From insider-outsider debates and nepotism to drug links, Bollywood stands divided more than ever
Given the sudden turn of events in the last few months, if there's anything that remains constant, it is the fact that Bollywood stands divided, now more than ever.
The last few months have turned the spotlight from grave issues in the country like unemployment and Covid 19 to Bollywood. The Hindi film industry's workings have come under the scanner and raised a red flag for all those involved in it. Late actor Sushant Singh Rajput's demise opened a Pandora's box and issues like nepotism, insider-outsider debates and actresses being called out for their drug links has been demanding our attention on prime time television.
If there's anything that remains rooted to the ground, it is the fact that Bollywood stands divided, now more than ever. The general audience, movie buffs, aspiring actors and artists have always been aware of the fact that camps exist in Bollywood. It may not be right in your face, but certain artists and producers, directors have their favourites. The whole chatter about Bollywood camps existing even today came up yet again in heated arguments on social media after Sushant's tragic demise.
The industry's stance on Sushant Singh Rajput's demise has been varied. While many have come out and acknowledged that there indeed is a problem in regards to nepotism, some others have called the need to co-exist where new talent and star kids can shine. Celebrities like Kangana Ranaut, Ranvir Shorey and Taapsee Pannu have made their voice amply clear on subjects like these.
Even when it comes to the Bollywood-drug nexus case and names of top actresses are being dished out, the industry stands divided. The parliament arguments during the monsoon session was one such example wherein actor Ravi Kishan called for a 'Bollywood clean up' and Jaya Bachchan slammed his comments demanding an end to the vilification of the entire industry.
While some actors acknowledge they are a product of nepotism and favouritism, many others say that simply being a star kid is not enough. But apart from the insider-outsider talk, Bollywood also has camps which tend to affect the career growth of actors.
Does the industry need to introspect?
Sonu Sood in a recent Gulf News interview was asked if he belongs to a Bollywood camp. He said, "I am not part of any Bollywood camp. I work with everyone. There’s no denying that if you are a part of a camp, you serve each other well … But the truth is that you can’t be a part of a camp, the camp must decide if you should be a part of them. You just can’t enter one because you want to."
Aftab Shivdasani also echoed similar sentiments once. He told TOI, "This groupism was called campism in the early 2000s where people were saying, ‘This one belongs to YRF, Bhatt or other camps.’ I was never subjected to this as I always worked with a wide spectrum of producers and I was friendly to all but never close. Therefore, whenever they had a role and they would call me then I would go and meet them."
Apart from these two, many other top stars like Ayushmann Khurrana, Rajkummar Rao and Kriti Sanon have addressed this issue. It is probably high time for the industry to introspect and take a small but significant step in the direction of change. Because the fact of the matter remains that scores of actors, producers and filmmakers in the Hindi film industry acknowledge the problems prevalent, but what are they doing to fix it?
Do you think the industry needs a significant change? Let us know in the comments below.