Since Sushant Singh Rajput's tragic demise, the nepotism debate in the Indian film industry has resurfaced like never before. And while there might be those who seek to call out the Godfather culture in the industry, there exist factions who would rather contest all these claims. Now, here's the deal: while privilege in itself is not the problem, it is a blissful unawareness and non-recognition of it that becomes the main issue.
There have been those who have either denied the existence of these privileges or shown a sense of conceited pride in it. And while in light of the incessant social media trolling most of the star kids have tried to steer clear of the topic, Janhvi Kapoor in a recent interview accepted that she is indeed aware of her privilege and feels guilty about it.
In a media statement ahead of her film Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl, Janhvi talked about the experience of playing a Kargil hero in the film, the kind of hard work and struggles that women have to put in achieving something significant, and the star kid privilege that she is very well aware of.
Accepting her privilege in interaction with Barkha Dutt, she said, “I haven’t had to deal with the kind of things that most women have to deal with. Because I do come from a slightly more privileged background and so I have been extremely lucky in the way that I have been treated and the opportunities that I have gotten.”
During the interaction, Janhvi also talked about the experience of playing the role of Gunjan Saxena in the eponymous biopic and how Gunjan's story made her more cognizant of her own privileges. She said, “I don’t think I have anything to complain about, but hearing her story, being in a simulated environment, when knowing that she’s been in probably these real situations, I don’t know if I can say maybe sympathise, but it made me come close to watch it may have been like, and it, of course, broadened my horizon and perspective of what women might be going through."
She further added, "It all comes down to the effort and the hard work you put into your work. Her (Gunjan Saxena's) outlook is very simple. If one keeps working hard, then one will get where one has to get. I am aware of my privilege. I often felt guilty about it. But the best I can do is to earn my place by working even harder.
Well, acceptance is a great way of recognising the faults with the system and certainly the first step towards rectifying it. Here's hoping that this encourages more star kids to speak up on the topic.