Bollywood stars and nepotism go hand in hand (Part I)

When “Queen” Kangana Ranaut told off Karan Johar and gave him an earful about nepotism in Bollywood on his show, “Koffee with Karan”, she really opened up a Pandora’s Box. The Hindi film industry has talked about little else since (barring, of course, the other Ranaut-related issue – the alleged affair between her and Hrithik Roshan; more on that on another day). With well-connected actors, such as Saif Ali Khan and Varun Dhawan, defending themselves stoutly and claiming there is not even the teeniest-tiniest possibility of nepotism in the industry, Ranaut has had to pretty much fend for herself. She did get a whole lot of support on social media, but not much from within the industry. Not that the lady depends on anyone!

But ask yourselves, would you have seen these gentlemen as leading men in Hindi movies had they not had Mummys and Daddys and Uncles in the industry?


Arjun Kapoor


Seriously, who would have given an overweight, chubby boy a chance to be a hero in Hindi films? But Arjun Kapoor, son of producer Boney Kapoor, had it easy. Spotted by YRF, he was asked to lose weight so that he could play the leading man opposite Parineeti Chopra in Ishaqzaade. To his credit, Arjun did go on to lose weight; in fact, he lost a whole lot of it. And the film did well too. But the thing is this: would an outsider have been blessed the way Arjun was? We think not.

Tiger Shroff

A gentle face, a boyish look, a hairstyle that would make most men cringe, a shy manner – how many Bollywood actors can you think of who boast of such characteristics? Yet, Tiger Shroff, son of Jackie Shroff, gained a foothold in the industry with his debut film, Heropanti. Yes, Tiger has a great body and is a splendid dancer. He performs stunts with ease, thanks to his athleticism. But does he, even remotely, resemble a Bollywood leading man? We think not.

Varun Dhawan

Varun Dhawan is a good actor, no doubt about that. His performance in Badlapur will be remembered for a long, long time. But does he have the typical Hindi film hero looks? Would Karan Johar, who launched him in “Student Of The Year”, have done so had he not been David Dhawan’s son? We think not.

Emraan Hashmi

Serial kisser Emraan Hashmi would not have made it in Hindi films had he not been Mahesh Bhatt’s nephew. Period. But Hashmi was the one of the very few people in the industry who said, quite plainly, that nepotism does exist in Hindi filmdom. He even went on to say that he got a break solely because of his uncle. That’s refreshingly honest. Forgiven.

(In Part II, we will cover Bollywood ladies who made it big on Papa’s or Mama’s name.)

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