The entertainment world has its dark days just as much as it has its lighter ones. The sudden death of Sushant Singh Rajput, who passed away by suicide, caused havoc. From shunning celebrities to debates of nepotism, an outbreak struck.
Actress Richa Chadda took this opportunity to pen down in her own blog her thoughts on nepotism and how the Hindi film industry is only divided between ‘kind and unkind people’.
An Unpopular Opinion
Titled ‘An Unpopular Opinion’, Chadda wrote in her blog that the industry operates in similarity to a food chain. She starts off writing, “It is being said that the industry seems to be divided between ‘insiders’ and ‘outsiders’? In my opinion the Hindi film industry and its entire eco-system is only divided between kind and unkind people. The spectrum of unkind begins at mild displeasure, thieving and at it’s worst, at the underbelly-level manifests as a desire for sociopathic retribution. But if one’s lucky, kindness too is expressed in a straightforward manner. Genuine people tend to gravitate towards one another and often make lifelong bonds.“
Decency, sensitivity is considered a handicap…
“Those who are anguished today have themselves been cruel to their subordinates. You hate your bully for not being ethical with you, while bullying someone working under you as though it is a rite of passage for them. This is an acceptable MO in this dog-eat-dog world. Not feeling remorse is considered a leadership quality., decency, sensitivity is considered a handicap,” Richa pens, talking about how to be a leader in the industry, you must ambush others around you.
Richa also talks about how artists are ‘imperfect, vulnerable and bruise easily’. “It is a deeply isolating profession, wherein success and failure are both public and bring their share of dilemmas. Ours is a business where personal life is invariably affected by public life. Sometimes, for no real reason, actors dominate national headlines for a disproportionate amount of time.”
“I don’t hate star kids… This is a hateful and nonsense argument.”
Next, the actress opens up about her thoughts on nepotism and ‘star kids’. Richa mentions how she doesn’t hate star kids as she thinks one must not be ashamed of the family they are born into.
“As for nepotism, it just makes me laugh out loud in real life. I don’t hate “star kids”. Why are we expected to? If someone’s father is a star, they are born into that household the same as we are to our folks. Are you ashamed of your parents ? Is it right to expect someone else to be ashamed of their parents/families/legacy? This is a hateful and nonsense argument. I am a self-made person in this business. Will you tell my children to be ashamed of my struggle to reach where I have, for instance? ‘Star-kids’ have to deal with rivalry within their own clans.”
“Sushant and I started out together in a theatre group”
Richa has always been known as fearless and one with bold opinions. She finally writes about Sushant where she talks about how the two started their careers. “Sushant and I started out by workshopping together in a theatre group. I was sharing a 700 sq ft apartment in Andheri West with a friend from Delhi. Sushant would pick me up on his bike and we would head to the rehearsal, for which I was grateful.
“I wasn’t poor or broke. But I can’t say money was not a consideration when I had to head out to do an ad audition for a skin brand. I would worry about my make up melting in the auto-rickshaw before I even arrived. This was would NEVER happen with a ‘star-kid’, and if it does, they will be lauded for being humble enough to take the rickshaw in the first place. But I don’t resent their privilege.”
This is how Richa defines nepotism
“Nepotism by definition means to benefit from one’s relationships. A lot of actors citing nepotism as a reason for ‘not being accepted’ are the ones that got their breaks specifically BECAUSE of nepotism. i.e. they were physically and/or metaphorically in bed with the influential person that recommended them to a producer who gave them their first film or their family friend’s son was making a film and needed a ‘new face’ which was easily found in the family WhatsApp group. If our industry understood the difference between nepotism and legacy, we would truly be world class. Legacy is Ustad Allarakha Khan and Zakir Hussain sahab. Nepotism is, well, you tell me. The argument that your acceptance as an actor depends on the audience holds no water either. You have to be cast to be accepted or rejected.”
“My parents are superstars for raising me right”
Richa also writes about how star kids don’t have it wasy either. “Here I present the revolutionary idea, that both things can be true. That ‘star-kids’ don’t have it easy, albeit they have it exponentially easier as compared to an ‘outsider’; and that the ‘outsider’ experience rarely has a happy ending here. Therefore, when someone asks if I suffer because I am not a “star-kid”, I declare loud and proud that in fact I am. My parents aren’t just stars, they are superstars for raising me right.“
Check out Richa’s blog here: An Unpopular Opinion