Family is truly IMPORTANT in India!

Bollywood to Politics: Family Rules!

Bollywood to Politics: Family Rules!

Family business is the thing for Indians! One easily accepted norm in India is for the offsprings to carry the family business/name ahead. The children of some of the most happening star names, professionals and business people are expected to (and usually do) take over family-owned business or professions. Within the business community this is evident in the family-run businesses of the Birlas, Ambanis, Godrej and others. The trend is equally routine in the film industry, and Bollywood star-kids such as Abhishek Bachchan, Kareena Kapoor, Vivek Oberoi, Hrithik Roshan, and Ranbir Kapoor have recently joined the bandwagon of star off springs making it to the Bollywood dream. It might surprise some (not Indians perhaps, as they have gotten used to it) to observe the same trend in politics with Rahul Gandhi, Akhilesh Yadav, Om Prakash Chauthala, Rabri Devi and family entering politics after their parents, spouses and siblings. May be it should be called ‘Bollywood star —— & Family’; ‘Politician———- & Family’ and so on. Wonder who will be the next to be hit by this trend – ‘Sachin Tendulkar & Family’ – maybe.

The Ambanis

Like father, like son: Anil & Mukesh Ambani step into the shoes of Dhirubhai Ambani as heirs to multi-billion business empire

Being linked to a star or business name does not translate into success or the guarantee that a star offspring will shine without merits. At the same time having a family business as the stepping stone does have its clear paybacks! Passing on a legacy is a good thing as most children learn about the line of work starting at the dinner table be it business, acting, cricket etc, but the benefits of meritocracy cannot be overlooked. What about those talented folks who want to break into Bollywood, politics, business and arts who do not have family ties! How would they get a fair chance to break in?

Akhilesh Yadav

Under the safe aegis of his father: Akhilesh Yadav with his mentor and father Mulayam Singh Yadav

Moreover, individuality is a streak that should be encouraged in children. An artist’s child may or may not be an artist but deserves to find out on his own. There is a fair chance a star child is truly interested in the same field: Politics, Films, Art, Sport etc. But just because there is an established family business or star name and it is easy to carry the tradition ahead, compelling a person to follow in the parents footsteps is to me a case of royalty repeated! It leaves much to be expected (than being compared to the shadow of popular kin/family member) and it is unfair for other talented people in the industry waiting to break in. They are sure to pale in comparison to names like the Bachchans, the Chauthalas, the Gandhis and so on. India has taken its tradition of “the King and his heirs” far too seriously, hindering fair meritocracy. History is a witness to the most amazing discoveries and talent coming from unexpected places. I look at new talent as the modern way to change. With young talent will also emerge the possibility of any real change coming from different quarters of India? Probably this is the change India needs!

Your thoughts are welcome.

-Sanjay Puri

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