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Open Letter From Lutyenswood

To whomsoever it may concern, Over the last few days, a lot has been said and writ ten about the skit on the International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) Awards stage on July 14 by Karan Johar, Varun Dhawan and Saif Ali Khan. In an open letter (goo.glA6WWiW), Sharmila Tagore‘s son, who also happens to be Saif Ali Khan, wrote how the `Nepotism Rocks’ skit -in response to Kangana Ranaut calling Karan Johar a “flag-bearer of nepotism“ on a Koffee With Karan episode some six months ago -was “a joke on stage“.It was apparently a joke on the three Bollywood offsprings by the three themselves. It was very touching that Sharmila Auntie’s son had also called Kangana, daughter of businessman Amardeep and teacher Asha Ranaut, and apologised personally .This, he mentioned in the letter, adding that now, “Everybody needs to take a chill pill and back off.“

You take a chill pill, dude. Saif ‘s letter and apology upset me and my lot here in Delhi quite a lot. `Nepotism Rocks’ even as a joke rekindled a belief in me that it had been cruelly snuffed out ever since Lutyens’ Delhi‘s children were told to take a hike and stop moving and shaking.A new lot without pedigree slowly but surely took over.

So, it was nice to be reminded that even after being blinded into believing we were where we were because of pure ability , we were there in power, in fashion, because of whose son or daughter or nephew or niece or classmate we are. Watching the IIFA skit made me proud, not ashamed, of dynasty .

In that `joke’, Yash Uncle’s nephew, David Uncle’s son and Sharmila David Uncle’s son and Sharmila Auntie’s son made it clear to me that since India not only tolerates but actually celebrates a nepotistic Bollywood, it will surely again celebrate a nepotistic Lutyenswood. But despite the cringeworthy backtracking and apology to Kangana, Saif has held on to noble ideas in the letter that I will incorporate in my next campaign strategy .

As Saif points out, it’s extremely relevant in a conversation on nepotism, which means family favouritism, to talk about genetics and eugenics. Eugenics means well born and, in a movie context, the genes of, let’s say Dharmendra’s son or Amitabh Bachchan‘s son or Sharmila Tagore’s son come into play . Because people, as Saif underlines, are interested in what their children will be like and whether they will have the genes of their parents, in terms of their talent.

He then cites the example of race horses. We take a derby winner, mate him with the right mate and see if we can create another grand national winner. So, Pataudi Uncle’s son argues, this is the relationship between genetics and star kids. Bonking to produce Bollywood perfections.

Saif, an amateur expert in genetics -despite Kangana pointing out that talent or ability isn’t handed down through genes, something I will make a point to confirm by looking up Wikipedia later -makes the point that I always felt in my bones.

I, along with Lutyens’ Delhi’s Chos en Lot, am honed through the coup lings of India’s most elite, most poli tically savvy , most baba of logs to become a great leader. My surname itself endows me with extraordina ry abilities to lead people and mana ge a country . Ability is in my DNA as was the publication where Saif published his open letter.

There is `negative nepotism’, as op posed to positive nepotism that, till recently , allowed GOFs (Grand Old Families) and old boy networks to operate and manage business and politics perfectly in tried-and-tested jolly oligarchies. The real flag-bear er of nepotism -negative nepotism -Saif rightly says, is the media.

They photographed us and hyped us up to be the next big thing and we had no choice. From a young age, I have had to deal with being a youth icon.

Surely , I was not destined to be a mall shop-owner or a chief minister.So, what is nepotism? I think nepo tism means when you give somebo dy from your family a job that some body else is better suited for. But is that what happens in politics? Saif got my goat when he makes a distinction between Bollywood and what we do here in Delhi. Sorry , did.

Nepotism, he writes, is probably least prevalent in the movie industry and rampant in politics and business, adding that actors are the soft targets. What’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the Nehru-gander, dude.Children of politicians who are in politics face the same arrows from the media (much of which, too, comprises products of negative nepotism) as actors’ children in acting do.

So, if you say political kids had an advantage, of course, they did. It’s an advantage created by the press because people were interested in them. It was supply and demand.People wanted it, media served it -before these upstart crows became the taste of town and took over Lutyenswood.

What was at play here were three systems. Aristocracy , the rule of the best. Ruled by the best. Also, meritocracy . It was ruled by the people with the most talent. And this was also ultimately tempered by democracy , which is people power. Negative nepotism cannot work in Indian politics because it is a democracy . So, yes, maybe I got a chance because of whose son I am. But that is more genetics than nepotism. It’s a genetic investment that the electorate was making.

Compared to an outsider, I had a better chance of meeting people.But Mamata Banerjee is also an outsider. As is…well, never mind, you get the drift. If Bollywood can flaunt it -however jokingly , and despite the Kanganas dissing it -so can Lutyenswood! It’s time to bring back nepotism. I call it nepotism.

Sincerely , Doesmysurname Reallymatter?

http://epaperbeta.timesofindia.com/index.aspx?eid=31818&dt=20170724#

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Comment (1)

  1. K SHESHU BABU

    The talk of nepotism is televant because of its presence. The actress has rightly pointed out corruption in industry.

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