Monday, October 29, 2007

National Shame or a Guinness Record?

In a nation that believes talent can be inherited, you will see some bizarre things. Things which would be considered a shame in other nations are considered world records here in India.

For example, it is given that Nehru-Gandhi family members inherit all the required qualifications for ruling this nation forever, till a new dynasty takes over. We had Mughal Empire, then we had British Empire, and now we have a Nehru-Gandhi Empire. Soon, the daughters and sons of Rahul and Priyanka will stake claim for the throne of India, and Indian people will elect them to power.

The same is true for Indian Cinema. Almost 80% of the present leading actors are either son/daughter of an erstwhile actor/director/stunt master. The fact that a person is born to a achiever in movie industry is good enough to be chosen as an actor.

Isn’t it a shame that for many generations members of single family have all become actors? Indian Cinema has accepted many Kapoors just because they belong to an ‘actor family’.

Now a young Kapoor who is fourth-generation in the family is all set to enter Indian Cinema with a big fanfare. And the Indian audience is eagerly waiting to see the scion of this family come onto the screen. They are willing to embrace this new actor with full arms. They are willing to ignore all her flaws and inadequacies. They tell themselves - 'Come on, its only her first movie. Let us give her 10-12 movies. Then see how she acts. They need chances to learn their acting skills'.

A nation which believes in selection only by ‘merit’ when it comes opposing reservations seem to believe that qualifications and talent such as acting and ruling will be inherited from one’s parents. For Indians, Einstein’s son is genius, Mozart’s daughter is a world-class musician, and Lincoln's son is a politician.

Instead of hanging our face in shame for promoting such nepotism, we seem to glorify it.

This Kapoor family is now seriously thinking of approaching Guinness Book of World Records to enter their name for having contributed to Indian Cinema consistently for sixty years. Should we consider this as our National Shame or celebrate it as a Guinness Record?

In the same vein Nehru-Gandhi family should approach the Guinness Records as well, for ruling India for nearly fifty years. All the dynasties in the world should approach Guinness Records to enter their family names. In the same way, Saddam Hussein and Pervez Musharraf should enter Guinness Records for winning election with more than 90% vote.


  1. Sujai, a suggestion. Don't waste your time and energy on such trivialities - pick your battles - unless you think your "Hindu fascism" plays a role here. SRK - who has been the number 1 (whatever it means) for a long time now had absolutely no family connections and made it to the top on his own. And I'm glad that Aamir Khan got his break in the movies because of his family connections - I don't really care. So, it's a mixed bag and not worth spending time+energy - there are other serious issues out there.

  2. I agree with Chirkut.... This is not only an Indian phenomenon but a global one....Angelina Jolie/Jon Voight...Michael/Kirk Douglas....Emilio Estevez and Charlie/Martin Sheen....Ben/Jerry Stiller.....

    Good for a laugh...if the Kapoors are seriously considering approaching the Guiness Book.... The only contribution was probably Raj Kapoor who in my opinion didn't vary his style very much form one movie to another.... where was the depth....Rishi ...maybe....Kareena is obviously eye in different ways maybe they showed different facets to Bollywood....

    My vote goes for Kareena....

  3. I agree with Sujai
    I dont think any other country encourages family dynasty as much as India. It is clear example of how nepotism stifles a fair competetion.


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