Hi Pooja Bhatt, You Are a Beneficiary of Nepotism, Whether You Acknowledge It Or Not


Hi Pooja Bhatt, You Are a Beneficiary of Nepotism, Whether You Acknowledge It Or Not

Illustration: Reynold Mascarenhas

If there’s an online course that Bollywood stars could take during the lockdown, it would be on sensitivity when discussing topics like nepotism. After Sonakshi Sinha, Sonam Kapoor, and Saif Ali Khan drew criticism for their comments, actress and filmmaker Pooja Bhatt has joined the fray. She took to Twitter to talk about this “hot topic”, and claimed that her family had launched more new actors, musicians and technicians than “the entire film industry combined”.

Some users were quick to point out that Pooja Bhatt had personally benefited from being born in a Bollywood family, and that most of her initial projects involved movies made by family members. So a bit of humility was due when preaching on the subject. Others didn’t have it so easy.

Some also pointed out the logical flaw in the argument, and how they were all part of the problem.

Through a series of tweets, Pooja Bhatt weighed in on the issue. She pointed out that there was a time when the Bhatts were accused of having something against established actors and were launching only newcomers. “And now the same people play the nepotism card?” she asked.

Pooja Bhatt cited the example of Kangana Ranaut, stating that she is a great talent and wouldn’t have been launched in Gangster if she wasn’t. She claimed that it was no mean feat that Vishesh Films invested in her and backed her. She also took a dig at Kangana Ranaut by spinning a dialogue from one of her films, stating “toh yeh ‘nepotism’ shabd se kissi aur ko zalil karne ki koshish karo doston.”

Kangana Ranaut’s team was quick to hit out on these claims, stating that hiring newcomers “for free” is a favour that many production houses do for their own good. “That doesn’t give your father a license to throw chappals at her, call her mad, and humiliate her,” the tweet read. Team Kanaga also alleged that “Mukesh Bhatt doesn’t like to pay artists.”

Pooja Bhatt also commented on an upcoming release Sadak 2, that has been in conversation for its ‘nepotistic cast’. Nepometer, an app to be launched by Sushant Singh Rajput’s family, had given Sadak 2 a rating of 98% Nepotistic.

Pooja Bhatt defended the movie stating it gives birth to a brand new music talent Suniljeet. “A music teacher from Chandigarh who came to our office with no prior appointment, a dream, a harmonium & a brilliant song called ‘Ishq Kamaal’ that was absorbed into the film on first hearing by my father,” she said.

While the nepotism issue will continue to rage on over the coming months, the beneficiaries of this rotten system could do themselves a huge favour in approaching the topic with grace and at least acknowledging the fact that they have benefited from this system, unlike outsiders who have had a tough ride to the top.