Richa Chadha opens up on nepotism in Bollywood

The Bollywood actor says that the film industry is divided between kind and unkind people


Published: Fri 17 Jul 2020, 10:25 AM

Last updated: Sat 18 Jul 2020, 11:53 AM

Actor Richa Chadha says in her decade-long career, she has met generous insiders and "egomaniacs" outsiders, making her realise that the divide in the Hindi film industry is primarily on the lines of kindness.
Actor Sushant Singh Rajput's death on June 14 sparked a debate around the industry's nepotistic culture.
In a blog post, Richa said the unkindness directed towards a person can be wide-ranging, from "mild displeasure" to even revenge.
"It is being said that the industry seems to be divided between 'insiders' and ''outsiders'? In my opinion, the Hindi film industry and its entire eco-system are only divided between kind and unkind people.
"The spectrum of unkind begins at mild displeasure, thieving and at its worst, at the underbelly-level, manifests as a desire for sociopathic retribution," the Gangs of Wasseypur actor wrote.
Richa said if one's lucky, kindness, too, is expressed straightforwardly, with genuine people eventually finding each other to make lifelong bonds.
The actor said she has been at the receiving end of outsiders' unkind behaviour.
"There are insiders who can be kind and generous, and outsiders who are punitive egomaniacs. In the nascent phase of my career, I was often ''cut to size'' by outsiders.
"It took me all my strength to recover from various forms of subtle sabotage. But this is not about me. The tragic part is that everyone here has experienced a version of this," she added.
The 33-year-old actor said nepotism makes her "laugh out loud" as many miss the nuance in the debate.
Pointing out that the definition of nepotism is to benefit from one''s relationships, Richa said a lot of actors who are citing it as a reason for "not being accepted" in the industry are the ones that got their breaks specifically because of nepotism.
Richa added she does not "hate star kids" and doesn't understand why one is expected to.
"Is it right to expect someone else to be ashamed of their parents/families/legacy? This is a hateful and nonsense argument.
"I am a self-made person in this business. Will you tell my children to be ashamed of my struggle to reach where I have, for instance?"
Highlighting the rivalry that exists within the insiders, Richa said stars kids are often at the receiving end of the inter-generational, unforgiving and all-encompassing contest.
"There exist hierarchies within the clan too, wherein said grandson of a legendary singer or the son of an ace stuntman may be thought of as lesser than that of a director or actor.
"Knowing how deeply rooted caste is in our country, why does this unstated ranking system surprise, anyone? We may never know what someone else may be dealing with here. I empathise but I won't know that pain unless I am standing in their shoes," she added.
Richa, however, said the argument that an actor's acceptance depends on the audience holds no ground as one has to first be cast to eventually be embraced or rejected.
After Rajput's passing away, conspiracy theories were linking the actor's death to several people, targetting even his actor-girlfriend Rhea Chakraborty.
Chadha said a sincere discussion about privilege can't sustain in an environment of blame-game.
"The thing with privilege is, it is invisible to those who have it. We cannot have a sincere discussion about equality before confronting entitlement. And it will not happen by blaming ''the privileged'' for a man's death or calling for an actress to be raped.
"Do 'well-wishers' want others to be driven to suicide because of this rancour they've unleashed? What would we do then, book you for abetment to suicide? What does this malice achieve? Zilch," she added.

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