Abhay Deol on nepotism debate: If we are serious about making a change, we need a cultural evolution
It’s been a while since nepotism has once again become a hot topic of discussion in Bollywood and Abhay Deol is quite glad about it. In a long post on Instagram, the Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara actor wrote about how nepotism is prevalent everywhere in our culture. However, Abhay, who comes from a family of renowned actors including Dharmendra, Sunny Deol and Bobby Deol, also emphasised that he was well aware of the existence of nepotism as it pushed him to take chances and do out of the box movies.
He even shared a collage of his picture with that of Dharmendra and called him an inspiration as the veteran actor was an outsider who ended up making big in the industry. “My uncle, whom I affectionately call dad, was an outsider who made it big in the film industry. I’m glad there is an active debate on the practices behind the scenes. Nepotism is just the tip of the iceberg. I’ve only ever made one film with my family, my 1st, and I’m grateful to be blessed and have that privileged. I’ve gone that extra mile in my career to make my own path, something that dad always encouraged. For me, he was the inspiration,” he wrote.
Abhay, who made his debut with Dharmendra’s Vijayta Films production Socha Na Tha in 2005, mentioned how after the first push from the family, he managed to make his own path. He further mentioned that nepotism exists in every field. Abhay wrote, “Nepotism is prevalent everywhere in our culture, be it in politics, business, or film. I was well aware of it and it pushed me to take chances with new directors and producers throughout my career. That is how I was able to make movies that were considered “out of the box.” I’m glad some of those artists and films went on to have tremendous success. While it plays a part in every country, nepotism has taken on another dimension here in India. I suspect caste plays a major role in it being more pronounced here than in other parts of the world. After all, it is “jati” that dictates that a son carry on the work of his father, while the daughter is expected to marry and be a housewife.”
Furthermore, the Dev D actor asserted that if this system has to be changed, hitting out at just one industry will not help. Instead, it is time for cultural evolution. “If we are serious about making changes for the better, then focusing on only one aspect, one industry, while ignoring the many others, will be incomplete and possibly counter productive. We need a cultural evolution. After all, where do our filmmakers, politicians and businessmen come from? They are people just like everyone. They grow up within the same system as everybody else. They are a reflection of their culture. Talent everywhere deserves a chance to shine in his or her medium. As we have learnt over the past few weeks, there are several ways in which an artist is either uplifted to success, or beaten down to failure. I’m glad more actors are coming out today and speaking of their experiences. I’ve been vocal about mine for years now, but as a lone voice I could only do so much. It’s easy to smear one artist for speaking out, and I have been at the receiving end from time to time. But as a group, a collective, that becomes difficult. Maybe now is our watershed moment,” Abhay wrote.