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For those who’re not too familiar with the word, ‘nepotism’ is commonly described as an act of favouritism, wherein somebody with a high authority or power favours, promotes, or hires their own friends and family.

As a kid, I had my favourites too–be it in toys, what I ate, the clothes, and even friends. Back then, I called my favourite person in class as my best friend. When it was my birthday, I distributed sweets in class and gave two instead of one to my special friend. Does that qualify as nepotism? Not really, that’s just a personal choice, because it wasn’t done out of a selfish motive and certainly did not harm anybody else’s chances. And herein lies the difference between having favourites and nepotism. The latter often favours one party, while being unfair to the others.

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Nepotism bothers me because it is everywhere–it is practised impractically. Favouring someone by going out of your way could be harmful for both, the doer and the receiver. In a recent tiff, Kangana Ranaut went on to call Karan Johar the ‘movie mafia’ of Bollywood on his TV show, Koffee with Karan, owing to his habit of casting his friends in his movies. Siddharth Malhotra debuted with a Karan Johar flick and continued to do most of his films under the Dharma Production banner. Despite his last few failures, Karan is again considering him for his next. Now this is absolute nepotism. Karan has been blamed for forming ‘camps’ earlier too, but his behaviour and actions are the most obvious ones vis-à-vis nepotism.

Nepotism in Bollywood is no new thing. Fathers cast their sons, uncles cast their nieces and nephews, and top actors cast their recent girlfriends. For instance, Rakesh Roshan chose Hrithik Roshan for Kaho Na Pyaar Hai as the debutant. After its humungous success, signing Hrithik for the Krrish series was senior Roshan’s business centric decision, more so an act of nepotism. As Vidya Balan was quoted by a news website, “To each his own, everyone has different experiences.” She adds, “there are camps out there but let’s not forget, humans have their favourites.” Sounds fair?

While Kangana took on to the debate calling Karan the flag-bearer of nepotism, there have also been the cases of honest professionalism experienced by the likes of Sushant Singh Rajput, Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone. None of them are star kids and managed to go up the ladder proving that mere favouritism can’t make you a star. At least you can’t maintain the stardom just by being the son of a famous star (referring to junior Bachchan here).

Even big corporates follow nepotism if we go by the definition. Birla’s son takes over the business and then his son, and so on. It’s very obvious that a Birla will consider a Birla first to take on the family business but in doing so, isn’t he killing the chance for every qualified manager or CEO out there?

Actress Alia Bhatt, who supposedly entered the film industry thanks to nepotism, said, “I think a star kid can get that first film due to nepotism. But to constantly get films just because you belong to a filmi family is not possible.” I agree, I also sometimes feel that nepotism has been more hyped and controversial than required.

Nevertheless, there is no denying the fact that it cannot be justified. No matter how anyone perceives it, it’s a practice curated out of selfishness and thus, is totally unfair. Nepotism can give you the gateway, but not the glory.

Image Credit: Rediff.com

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