Nepotism row: Saif says talent is in genes. Is that true?

By Debjani Arora | Updated:Wed, July 26, 2017 1:06pm

Genetics or talent, what really matters?

The Bollywood big guns never fail to entertain us. While recently there have not been enough blockbusters that made us applaud the star kids for their talent and histrionics, the nepotism row has caught our attention and interest like no other. It all started with the Koffee with Karan Show where the bold and beautiful Kangana Ranaut lambasted the self-proclaimed Bollywood messiah, the "good-hearted" talent hunter Karan Johar for nepotism. Agreed, had it not been him the launch of so many star kids would have been a distant dream. Just when we thought that the entire row was settling, it took an ugly turn at the IIFA awards when Karan Johar, Saif Ali Khan and Varun Dhawan teamed up to take a dig at Kangana and yes, they said Nepotism Rocks .

Nepotism Rocks! So, what?

The social media outrage and the anger of people regarding this issue are justified. The trio tried to pull a joke on themselves but clearly wanted to give Kangana the message that Some have it easy, but, hey don t be jealous. You don t think so? Then think about it. The gig and the apologies were so staged. First, at a global platform, three privileged men displayed their 'histrionics to die for' at the expense of a woman who was not so privileged like them but carved her own path. So what did being privileged make them do? Get a guaranteed entry pass to Bollywood and also made them ignorant to other's sentiments who are working hard without a Godfather in the industry to rise and shine. This divide between the have-alls and have-nots is so prominent in Bollywood that one fails to see the perils of nepotism. So much that real talent is brushed off without even being given a second thought. We, as an audience, are forced to lap up the mediocre, uninspired, underrated talent packaged with cheap thrills and tricks to make them appear like the real deal. Tired with this forced packaging of amateurish performers as the next big thing on big screens, our eyes lit when a real star catches our attention with artistic excellence. When will the industry influentials understand that the audience has matured and is intelligent enough for their immature gigs?

Today fan-manship is not just about being in awe of the star's charm and larger-than-life presence but is about the inspiration, aptitude, attitude and principle we see in the artist beyond that reel character. And we love and applaud stars who speak their mind and stand up for their dignity no matter if nobody got their back. And this is something that doesn't go down too well with products of nepotism and favoritism. Preferential treatment has taught them that fame comes easy and so taking a dig is no big deal. If only Karan, Saif and Varun knew what it takes to climb the ladder of success with nothing more than trusting your own skills and proving it every single time to the world, they would have thought over the act a thousand times before making a pass on Kangana. But they are stars who will ever question them. And as they know it, the thumb rule to be a star is to be under the umbrella of favouritism. That is what works in Bollywood. Of course, we get the point nepotism rocks.

A gentleman s trait is to apologise if they make a mistake

Hey, but why are we so angry with them? They might be star kids but they know how to own up to their mistake. Our gentlemanly, talented and good humoured men did come out and apologise. Really, guys, you think we are that dumb to just take it? I mean, Mr Karan Johar, you are so generous to take the onus of the whole act upon yourself since it was your call and not of your partners-in-jibe. Great gesture, seriously.

So, you were ready with the rebuttals Mr Johar even before you scripted the gig, right? Oh yes, you mentioned it got misplaced, so lame. So what did you think Director Saab, we would gulp it down and clap as if it was a song-dance sequence from one of your movies with an overdose of romanticism? You did mention you were raised to be a dignified, chivalrous and a decent person and failed on those accounts. Well, Mr Johar no empathy over here. You already knew what you were doing and your plan B was ready. But the glorified apology doesn t work these days. Not when you are trying to pull down a person who is fighting all odds to stand true to her own beliefs and convictions. We identify a lot with such stars. The girl who dreams and lives up to it. Now we all know who the flag-bearer of nepotism is. Well, what is wrong with living up to that name?

When you don t want to say sorry, but you say sorry because you should owe it up to your lineage (umm, or nepotism)

That was exactly how Saif Ali Khan s open letter read. It is difficult to say if he was apologising or justifying nepotism. Eugenics, hybrid horses can t be a parallel for extraordinaire talent and artists. Eugenics means the science of improving a population by controlled breeding to increase the occurrence of desirable heritable characteristics. Hybrid horses can be bred by mating the selected ones, but an artist is not just all gene and DNA.

If genetics was all that was needed to become an actor par excellence, we would not have the likes of Nawazuddin Siddiqui or Irfan Khan in the industry. We can't stop admiring the likes of Priyanka Chopra and Deepika Padukone for their wit, gumption, composure and their skill that have raised the bar in Bollywood. Despite nepotism being rampant, these talents got a foothold in the industry and received accolades for their artistic excellence.

This is not to say that the privileged gene doesn t matter. Coming back to the argument of the privilege gene it is not to say that the privileged gene doesn t matter. There are studies which say (published in the famous PLoS One Journal) one does inherit the gene from parents but its manifestation largely depends on one s experience during upbringing, ability to better the art and learn the nuances to polish one s skills. A group of scientists while accessing some people s musical creativity found that they had the presence of one cluster of genes that correlated with musical ability. So the star kids do have an acting gene in them. But that is not all, creativity is something that needs nurturing and nourishing. Gene alone can t make you shine and soar. A genetic makeup can make you inclined towards art. What you do with it makes you an artist. This is why a Ranbir Kapoor is a more distinguished talent than a find like Athiya Shetty. Both product of nepotism and blessed with the acting gene going by Saif Ali Khan s theory.

If gene would make you a replica of what your ancestors were, Mr Khan, you are defying the theory of evolution. Even when horses breed they produce offsprings that are different from the parental set. That is how we evolve and what makes the world go around. Your genetic makeup is just a part in making you what you are. And if you think that gene is all you need to become a star can you honestly answer to yourself how many star kids whom we know would have made it to the industry if it was not for nepotism? Hey, be honest with yourself over here. Because we know the answer. And yes, let me tell you box office turn over and talent is not directly proportional to each other. While one can lure the audience with charisma and charm, it is talent that makes reel and realism one, where we find it difficult to see a Ranveer Singh and Bajirao as two distinct entities.

We think Saif Has his own gene theory over here. We encourage people to dream with conviction because the recipe for success is still the same dedication, determination and hard work. Shahrukh Khan, Madhuri Dixit, Akshay Kumar (don't forget his national award) are such examples.

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Published:Sat, July 22, 2017 9:04pm | Updated:Wed, July 26, 2017 1:06pm


Genes Karan Johar Kangana Ranaut Saif Ali Khan
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