The debate against nepotism in Bollywood, which started out as an important conversation, has quickly turned toxic. So much so that not just star kids but "outsiders" such as Katrina Kaif and Jacqueline Fernandez are being targetted for "having physical relations" with star kids and for being launched in the industry by them. Ranveer Singh, another example, is being trolled for "snatching" movies from Sushant Singh Rajput, hence being accused of playing a role in his depression and suicide. Trying my best to not comment on the level of toxicity Sushant's death is being connected to, something on Twitter (to my surprise) actually made me feel there's still some positivity and gratitude left in people, courtesy Sushmita Sen.
Actress, former and first Indian Miss Universe, and a humanitarian, Sushmita Sen has been an inspiration to many including myself. She raised two adopted daughters by herself and shattered stereotypes and gender norms simply by being who she is and having the ideologies that she has. An Army kid, she recently made an acting comeback with Aarya, a Hotstar Special, 10 years after her last film No Problem (2010). And just like Sushmita, Aarya too won the Internet's heart. She started a hashtag #AskAarya on Twitter inviting questions from fans and was asked about her experience with nepotism in Bollywood by a user.
The actress noticed the same and had the most humble reply. She wrote, "By focusing on my Audience...YOU GUYS!!! I will continue to work as an actor as long as YOU want to see me!! #simpleenough #AskAarya." Check it out:
In times like these when people are turning against each other from behind their screens--netizens attacking celebrities and celebrities retaliating and/or surrendering to hate speech--Sushmita's response, at least to me, comes in peace, humility, and gratitude. Every time the 44-year-old opens her mouth, she exudes upliftment and positivity.
We need more people like Sen to stay sane in these tough-getting-tougher times. More power to you, Sush.