Sunday, April 2, 2017

The whole nepotism discussion

This whole discussion on Bollywood Nepotism, oh if only media shows that same level of passion on Political nepotism. Now that's where the really negative impact is.

Most of the folks in Twitter and Social media comments are vocal as they or their relative, is employed in Film industry or its offshoots, and hence fairly envy the access privilege that comes to those born in existing Filmi families.

As opposed to Film-Nepotism, Politician-Nepotism is misuse of janta-money and anger of that is understandable. Film world is not without its own Politics. But it is definitely more inclusive to new joinees. Those who agree to that privilege, are being buried under other arguments because it's more newsworthy.

There is this naivety in the crowd who started working in the 90s & 00s. That the educated professional crowd got jobs by merit, which is true. But the same streak would continue in the next steps of career or the assumption that it is so in all other industries. It took a lot of experience to understand, that though merit, skills and experience have its place, connections can be a crucial thing as well.

There is difference between family business and nepotism. There is this confusion between connections and nepotism. If any group in some community figures a job sector, they refer others they know and soon all get into it. That is how past stereotype evolved, like about certain regional communities in Financial sectors. And it is the case with new world jobs too (ex Testing). This comes from sharing information. This kind of community based connection and knowledge sharing cannot be called nepotism. In case of Film World, this kind of connection is not by bonding based on what region they came from, but by family, extended family and friend connection.

Nepotism laws were to counter family connections based financial exploitation of tax payers money or an organizations money. Definitely laws are blurry in family owned businesses, but surely they are not suicidal with money.

Being born or married into existing established family give them reasons to stay relevant and get work. All outsiders want to come and grow roots, so it keeps paying in their future and makes things easier for the next generation.

 Doctors coaching their kids to be Doctor, paying fees and even setting up clinics - does that count as nepotism ? Definition-wise yes. Is it a bad thing ? For someone from Military home, writing books with Army and Airforce as background, is that unfair use of the info gained through connections ?

A lot of business transactions everywhere in the world depend on connections.
In regional cinema world, there are lot of folks from Theater families. Children or grandchildren of distributors, makeup artists, costume suppliers. They are not outsiders. But they are not privileged either. They may have connections, but everyone knows - connections last only in prosperous times. After that its "tu kaun, main khamakha". But what they do have which is their unique strength - that is they are not distracted by anything outside cinema. They live and breathe every logistics related to cinema. They can give their 200% to it coz that where they live, all their interactions and that is all they have. Their vacations, their after-school times, their evening discussions, their family or wedding or festival get-togethers. Everything. That kind of dedication is not possible for every layman. It is their strength, it is their curse.

Excluding certain production house owners, an average person in the Film world has made as much fortune in film world as anyone in share market. This is an uncertain business. If you look at the beginning trajectory of anyone they are envious off, its pretty unbelievable coz remember no one knew they would end up with good fortune or clout decades down the line.

Film world is definitely a soft-target for numerous issue. This whole discussion was surely just fodder for MSM to munch and spew out some content, bulk up their star interviews and fish for some more controversial comments to flame a new war of words, and then rinse and repeat.

Among many MSM who pitched in, Buzzfeed was the most half baked , quick turnout article.
No, Bollywood Star Kids, You Don’t Get To Have An Opinion About Nepotism

I found the Huffington Post articles very well-written on this topic. They are one-sided, but well-rounded within that side.
  1. Nepotism In Bollywood Goes Beyond Star Kids And Their Silver Spoons
  2.  Bollywood's Nepotism Debate Is A Terrific Lesson In How Privilege Actually Works
  3. It's Dismaying How Blind Bollywood's Star Kids Are About Their Privilege
And these two blog posts are so much eloquent in describing the workings of film-making. Basically how costs are kept down my recruiting someone they know, instead of running an expensive recruitment drive and paying extra salary.
  1. Hindi Film 101: Nepotism in the Hindi Film Industry, Part 1
  2. Hindi Film 101: Nepotism in the Hindi Film Industry, Part 2
I find this whole excitement more in line with Family-business-Envy rather than outrage against Nepotism.

Now parting from all these extensive thoughts, coming to Kangana & Karan conversation which started it all. I will always marvel Kangana's guts to speak out while continuing to work as usual. While I admire the powerhouse Karan has become and the entire folio of work his production house has churned out, his arrogant response to accusations to his privilege will get disgusting when he uses his power to hurt other careers. And since a creator is very different from her creation, I don't have to like the creator no matter how much I like their works.

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