These days, Bollywood, our favorite filmi jagat, has become synonymous with the term “nepotism”. The unfortunate demise of Sushant Singh Rajput has reignited the debate around nepotism and the pressures on “outsiders” in the Hindi film industry. It is believed that Bollywood is a tough turf to maneuver for rank outsiders and star kids have it relatively easy.
Netizen’s anger is being vented out on those who have had the privilege of nepotism. The backlash is real, and the nepotism kids are bearing the brunt on various social media platforms. However, when it comes to many self-made Bollywood stars, with their own struggles and success stories, will their children be spared the ‘nepo-kids’ tag in the times to come?
Here are eight such highly-successful Bollywood outsiders, whose kids might still face the wrath of nepotism in the times to come.
1- Ravi Kishan – Riva Kishan
Ravi Kishan, the superstar of the Bhojpuri film industry started out as a small-time Bollywood actor. Over time, his popularity as an entertainer grew even in Bollywood and today he is also a Lok Sabha MP. Yet none of that will save his daughter, Riva Kishan, from being called a product of nepotism.
2- Nawazuddin Siddiqui – Shora & Yaani Siddiqui
Now, who doesn’t know about this man who has not just inspired many of us, but has proved himself in the best possible way in Bollywood? Born in a small town of Muzaffarnagar district, where his late father was a farmer, Siddiqui struggled way too much, till he finally won critical acclaim for his performances. Considering even he came from without a godfather, his achievements have been exemplary. With his films having traveled around the world today — from the local festivals to the Cannes — he is a recognized face in India and globally.
Now, if his children Shora and Yaani decide to make the same career choice as him, they may also end up bearing the brunt of their father’s success.
3- Irrfan Khan – Babil & Ayaan Khan
Late actor Irrfan Khan, considered a precious gem in the history of Indian cinema, also had faced struggle before making it big. After multiple serials, art-house films, and years of unending struggle in Mumbai, he made a breakthrough with Haasil (2003) where he played a negative role. The man who changed the concept of acting in India, Irrfan will be remembered for his massive contribution to the movie industry in the country. Having acted in Hollywood too, Irrfan has been conferred with the prestigious National Award and Padma Shri too.
Now, in the future, if his son Babil, who is studying filmmaking in London, was to join Bollywood or young Ayaan were to debut as an actor, will they be expected to carry the burden of their father’s success and their own talents will perhaps be overlooked in the nepotism debate?
4- Shah Rukh Khan – Aryan & Suhana Khan
Shah Rukh Khan’s story is nothing less than some magical-mystical ride. Who knew that an ordinary Delhi boy would come to the city of dreams and become the Badshah of its most glamorous industry. Shah Rukh who started his career with television eventually graduated to films and now is a global phenomenon whose fan following knows no boundaries. Today Shah Rukh’s stardom is so vast that there’s no one close to him.
Now, even as reports continue to pop up every now and then, claiming Suhana’s or Aryan’s Bollywood debut, we are aware of how most people look at it.
5- Ayushmann Khurrana – Virajveer & Varushka Khurrana
Ayushmann Khurrana has created a niche for himself in the industry purely on the basis of his talent and skills. The video jockey-turned actor has taken risks and we can see that in his film choices. Today Ayushmann is one of the most versatile and promising young actors Bollywood has.
As for his kids, Virajveer and Varushka, who are both very young right now, they probably won’t be allowed to have a go at Bollywood without bringing their father’s stardom into the mix.
6- Sonu Sood – Eshaan Sood
Sonu Sood made a space for himself in the industry, on his very own terms. His journey to success was equally riddled with struggles known to most Bollywood outsiders. Right from struggling to getting noticed, and from sharing a room with six people to landing his first mainstream Bollywood role five years later in Mani Ratnam’s Yuva, the man had seen it all.
Now, if Sonu Sood’s teenaged son Eshaan who is currently enrolled in LMU, may someday decide to join Bollywood after graduating, do you think his father’s struggle and good work would spare him from being labeled a ‘nepo-kid’?
7- Pankaj Tripathi – Aashi Tripathi
A regular feature in top web-series being produced in India, Pankaj Tripathi had to suffice with multiple small roles before filmmakers started to see the innate talent in him. With respect to his background, Pankaj’s dad was a farmer, and hence, he had to face many obstacles before making it big in Bollywood.
Now, if Pankaj Tripathi’s teenage daughter Aashi Tripathi may wish to join Bollywood in the future, she will perhaps be called a product of nepotism.
8- Deepak Tijori – Samara Tijori
Deepak Tijori was typecast as a supporting character in the 90s. After his debut film, Deepak had to settle for tiny, insignificant roles. It was after three years of long and hard struggle that Deepak finally got his big break with Mahesh Bhatt’s Aashiqui.
Deepak Tijori’s daughter Samara, who is currently undertaking acting classes will also probably not be able to escape the ‘nepo-kid’ tag.