Nepotism is merely a weakness of the human nature says Kangna
Kangana Ranaut finally broke her silence on the ongoing debate over nepotism, she penned an open letter addressing Saif saying this is not my issue alone
“Nepotism Rocks” the slogan which was used proudly by the biggies of Bollywood at IIFA has ignited controversy in Tinsel Town. After getting slammed, the actors Saif Ali Khan, Varun Dhawan and producer Karan Johar apologised for their jive on Kangna. Karan Johar promised that he will not speak about nepotism or Kangana because it would be ‘distrustful’ for her and it would be ungraceful on his part.
And then Saif Ali Khan’s open letter posted on Friday went viral.
“‘Nepotism Rocks’ was a joke on stage. It’s not something that I wrote or something I believe in. It was a joke on ourselves, between Varun (Dhawan), Karan (Johar) and me. It was not supposed to be a big deal, but I realised at some point, that it might have offended Kangana (Ranaut). I called her and apologised personally. That should be the end of it. Everybody needs to take a chill pill and back off. He doesn’t owe anybody else an explanation. The issue is over.”
He then proceeded to attack media. He wrote, “The real flag bearer of nepotism, I’d say is the media. Look at how they treat Taimur, Shahid’s daughter Misha or even Shah Rukh’s son Abram. They photograph them and hype them up to be the next big thing and the child has no choice. From a young age, they have to deal with being celebrities, which they don’t really deserve before they can even speak or talk, leave alone understand what is happening.”
The world was waiting for Queen’s response and Kangana Ranaut finally broke her silence on Saturday and penned an open letter addressing Saif. Here is what the actress said:
‘All the debate and exchange of thoughts on nepotism is exasperating but healthy. While I enjoyed some of the perspectives on this subject, I did find a few disturbing ones. This morning, I woke up to one such open letter (circulating online), written by Saif Ali Khan.
I don’t know if he was being misinformed, or simply naïve, but to discredit the likes of Mr Dilip Kumar, Mr K Asif, Mr Bimal Roy, Mr Satyajit Ray, Mr Guru Dutt, and many more, whose talent and exceptional abilities have formed the spine of our contemporary film business, is absolutely bizarre.
Saif, in your letter you mentioned that “I apologised to Kangana, and I don’t owe anyone any explanation, and this issue is over.” But this is not my issue alone. Nepotism is a practice where people tend to act upon temperamental human emotions, rather than intellectual tendencies. Businesses that are run by human emotions and not by great value-systems, might gain superficial profits. However, they cannot be truly productive and tap into the true potential of a nation of more than 1.3 billion people.
Today, I can afford to have the willpower to stand for these values, but tomorrow, I might fail, and help my own children realise their dreams of stardom. In that case, I believe that I would have failed as an individual. But the values will never fail. They will continue to stand tall and strong, long after we are gone.
So, we owe an explanation to everyone who either owns or wants to own these values. Like I said, we are the ones who will shape the future of the coming generations.
In another part of your letter, you talked about the relationship between genetics and star kids, where you emphasised on nepotism being an investment on tried and tested genes. I have spent a significant part of my life studying genetics. But, I fail to understand how you can compare genetically hybrid racehorses to artistes!
Are you implying that artistic skills, hard-work, experience, concentration spans, enthusiasm, eagerness, discipline and love, can be inherited through family genes? If your point was true, I would be a farmer back home. I wonder which gene from my gene-pool gave me the keenness to observe my environment, and the dedication to interpret and pursue my interests.
You also spoke of eugenics — which means controlled breeding of the human race. So far, I believe that the human race hasn’t found the DNA that can pass on greatness and excellence. If it had, we would’ve loved to repeat the greatness of Einstein, Da Vinci, Shakespeare, Vivekananda, Stephen Hawking, Terence Tao, Daniel Day-Lewis, or Gerhard Richter.
You also said that the media is to be blamed since it is the real flag-bearer of nepotism. That makes it sound like a crime, which is far from the truth. Nepotism is merely a weakness of the human nature; it takes a great deal of willpower and strength to rise above our intrinsic nature — sometimes we excel, sometimes we don’t. No one is putting a gun to anyone’s head to hire the talent they don’t believe in. So, there is no need to get defensive about one’s choices.
In fact, the subtext of all my talk on this subject has been to encourage outsiders to take the path less travelled. Bullying, jealousy, nepotism and territorial human tendencies are all part of the entertainment industry, much like any other. If you don’t find acceptance in the mainstream, go off beat — there are so many ways of doing the same thing.
I think the privileged are the least to be blamed in this debate since they are part of the system, which is set around chain reactions. Change can only be caused by those who want it. It is the prerogative of the dreamer who learns to take his or her due, and not ask for it.
You are absolutely right — there is a lot of excitement and admiration for the lives of the rich and famous. But at the same time, our creative industry gets this love from our countrymen, because we are like a mirror to them — whether it’s Langda Tyagi from Omkara or Rani from Queen, we are loved for the extraordinary portrayal of the ordinary.
So, should we make peace with nepotism? The ones who think it works for them can make peace with it. In my opinion, that is an extremely pessimistic attitude for a Third World country, where many people don’t have access to food, shelter, clothing, and education. The world is not an ideal place, and it might never be. That is why we have the industry of arts. In a way, we are the flag-bearers of hope.’
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