Institutional nephews

Sushant Singh Rajput 1

I have been following Kangana Ranaut with a mixture of fascination and admiration ever since she showed the extraordinary courage of taking on the bigwigs in Bollywood by attacking the source of their power—nepotism. Beginning from Koffee With Karan where she famously called Karan Johar the ‘flag bearer of nepotism’, she has been relentless in her attack. She must have known that she would be hated by the entrenched interests of the film industry for airing her honest views but she thought it was her duty to speak out so that people who came after her would not have to suffer as she did. She proclaimed that she was capable of succeeding on her own terms and so she wasn’t going to become a dumb and mute who would ignore all the wrong around her just to please the powers that be. By taking a principled stand which could hurt her personally and by risking her career after she had finally made it big after many years of hard work, Kangana became the hero that Bollywood needed.

I am a savarna who has lived a very privileged life. As I have become more conscious of my privileges, I have also become more aware of how I am directly responsible for the injustices perpetrated every day in order to keep my privileges intact. I try to speak and write about the caste system and learn from anti-caste scholars about the contribution I can make towards its annihilation. So when Kangana took up the fight against nepotism in Bollywood, I was excited and looked forward to her attacking nepotism outside Bollywood as well. She pointed in this direction when she said in an interview with Pinkvilla that the problem of nepotism was not limited to Bollwyood but was a manifestation of the kind of society in which we live. Someone like Kangana, who is an inspiration for many in the country, could have become a strong and influential voice in the struggle against caste being waged by the poorest sections of our society at the expense of their lives.

The Indian government has consistently tried to deflect international attention from the problem of caste by decoupling caste from race and by calling caste an internal cultural issue which is not understood by outsiders. Every time the UN tried to include caste as a form of racial discrimination, the Indian government protested. When other countries tried to pass resolutions against caste discrimination, the Indian government protested. India has maintained that caste was a problem but is no longer a problem as India is modernizing and letting go of pre-modern forms of social organization and discrimination.

This is why the recently published book by Isabel Wilkerson on Caste in America is so important for us in India. Wilkerson argues that the racial discrimination practiced by whites against blacks can be understood as a form of caste-based discrimination. The book does at least two very important things. It shows the commensurability between race and caste, thus showing how one form of discrimination informs another and how global action needs to combine against both. Second, it shows that caste is not limited to ‘pre-modern’ India but is also being practiced in modern nations like the USA. The book makes it impossible for Indians to argue that caste will automatically vanish with modernity. If caste can survive in Silicon Valley, surely it should come as no surprise for it to survive in Delhi or Mumbai. It seemed that the time had finally come when educated upper-caste Indians would be forced to confront the presence of caste among their midst.

It is in this context that Kangana’s tweet on caste came as an extremely disappointing surprise. At a time when Americans are being forced to confront caste-based discrimination, Kangana tweeted that caste is not a problem in modern India anymore.

Cast system has been rejected by modern Indians, in small towns every one knows it’s not acceptable anymore by law and order its nothing more than a sadistic pleasure for few, only our constitution is holding on to it in terms of reservations, Let Go Of It, Lets Talk About It

Various studies have shown how the caste system still operates in the modern market and in modern educational institutions. A study of formal sector labour markets was designed by a team from Princeton University and conducted by the Indian Institute of Dalit Studies between 2005 and 2007. The goal of the study was to find if discrimination existed even in situations where it wasn’t economically rational to discriminate. The results of the study overwhelmingly showed that ‘markets are not neutral arenas, … discrimination is not an aberration or a residual, but an integral part of the way markets are organized.’ Statistically, a significant wage gap is found between caste groups that cannot be explained with economic rationale. Even the lockdown impacted marginalized castes much more adversely than the higher castes. A paper by Ashwini Deshpande and Rajesh Ramachandran noted that ‘while all caste groups lost jobs in the first month of the lockdown, the job losses for the lowest-ranked castes are greater by a factor of three’. While ‘untouchability as a touch-me-not-ism’ might not be as prevalent as earlier (a study published in 2015 says that 27 per cent of all Indians imposed ritual untouchability upon others), the caste system ‘as a mental attitude manifesting in social discrimination’ is still extremely commonplace.

Inter-caste marriages have been prescribed as the strongest solvent for the caste system because caste is based on endogamy; this is why the absence of inter-caste marriage shows that the caste system is still well and alive. Not only do we still conduct ‘arranged’ marriages through caste networks, our matrimonial spaces are intensely divided on caste lines and even modern dating methods have developed their own casteist languages. ‘In 2014, the first direct estimate of inter-caste marriage in India said that only five per cent of Indians married a person from a different caste.’ As Christina Dhanraj points out, this can’t be only because of arranged marriages; for these numbers to make sense, people have to be looking for intra-caste prospects via modern dating methods as well. Love is not a valueless neutral word and it doesn’t just happen between anybody irrespective of their social positions. Loving and being loved is also a matter of privilege. ‘Our attraction for another is a function of our social locations, defined by caste, class, race, and religion. Our decision in choosing a companion is dependent on how reluctant we are to challenge status quos.’ Between a Dalit doctor and a Brahmin doctor, a Brahmin bride to be would choose the Brahmin doctor on no other parameter but that of caste because the Brahmin doctor’s upbringing would have been similar to hers and because her family would be more ‘comfortable’ with the Brahmin doctor’s family. When my parents say matter-of-factly that I should get a bride from the same caste as ours,  it is not because they are casteists but because only a Jain bride would be able to fit into our family and understand our religious and cultural practices. Caste thus does not have to be practiced openly but can be practiced through covert methods that achieve the same results. Inter-caste marriage does not happen whether it is expressly prohibited or whether I ‘naturally’ fall in love with a Jain woman or whether I marry a Jain woman for the sake of domestic ease.

Suicides by farmers and daily wage labourers are a major problem in India. Nearly 43,000 such people committed suicide in 2019. One of the major reasons for this extremely high rate of suicide is that many of these people would rather kill themselves than do jobs that are below their status. A relatively privileged caste person who is in debt or is unemployed will not do a job that is beyond the line of pollution for his caste. For many from privileged castes, working in sanitation is a fate worse than starvation. This is why sanitation is still largely a preserve of the Dalits. If we could let go of our caste prejudices, we could save many people from needlessly killing themselves every year. Unemployment too is so high in India because many people would rather remain unemployed than do jobs that are considered degrading.

India ranks 76th out of 82 economies on a Social Mobility Index compiled by the World Economic Forum. Social mobility is related to the social and economic status of an individual relative to their parents. In a country with high social mobility, children born to poor parents would have a high chance of escaping poverty. While in a country with low social mobility, being born to a low income family is almost a guarantee that the child will also remain economically and socially backward. While in countries like Denmark, it takes 2 generations for a poor family to achieve mean income level, it takes at least 7 generations in India. This is because a child’s income and job prospects in India are still largely determined by what their parents do and this is why Dr Anand Teltumbde calls India a Republic of Caste.

This idea that children would follow in the footsteps of their parents is considered natural in India. In their defence of nepotism in Bollywood, people like Naseeruddin Shah and Zoya Akhtar said as much.

If I am a barber and I have a barber shop, am I going to leave it to my son or am I going to leave it to the best barber in the city? And that’s the bottom line. – Zoya Akhtar

Zoya Akhtar acts like it is obvious that a barber would want to leave a barber shop to his son. She probably thinks all barbers are ‘hair stylists’ like Jawed Habib. Most barbers are in fact not professionally trained hair stylists who work in air conditioned salons. Most people are barbers because it has been their caste occupation for hundreds of years. They have not necessarily wanted to become barbers but have been forced to become barbers because the caste system did not allow them to become something else. This is why they struggle against caste, so that their children do not have to be forced to become barbers like they were. Is Akhtar aware that whether you want your son to do what you do really depends on what it is that you actually do? While a successful businessman might like to leave his business to his son, very few barbers actually want their children to remain barbers. They have always dreamed of educating their children so the children can have a better life than they could have ever had as barbers. It is thus not obvious that a barber would leave the barber shop to his child, he might want his child to become a nuclear physicist instead. While the privileged castes want their children to remain privileged, marginalized castes do not want their children to remain marginalized. The idea that marginalized castes want to move up the social ladder is quite obvious. What Zoya Akhtar has said can only be said from a privileged caste viewpoint, where there is no upward to move to because you are already on top. If what she said were true, barbers would not try to send their sons to IITs but just employ them in their shops.

Secondly, if it is indeed so obvious that all parents will bequeath their professions to their children instead of letting the best people from the next generation take up the mantle, then should not the society and the state do something about it? All knowledge is a social product and all knowledge is socially useful. Any privatisation of knowledge is hurtful to society because it prevents the best use of that knowledge. Since we can’t know in advance who will make the best use of some piece of knowledge, knowledge should be as freely and widely available as possible. Is not privatisation of knowledge anti-national in that it makes our country weak by leading to sub-optimal economic outcomes? If the barber’s son is bad at cutting hair and good at nuclear physics but still becomes a barber, we are faced with at least two losses. A better barber is not cutting hair so our hair is not as well cut, and our nuclear physics programme has lost a potentially good nuclear physicist so we are not being able to keep pace with the advances made in other countries. Businesses that are run by human emotions and not by great value-systems, might gain superficial profits. However, they cannot be truly productive and tap into the true potential of a nation of more than 1.3 billion people. (Kangana Ranaut)

Most modern states today have made systems where children can pick whatever streams they are interested in and good at, no matter who their father was. A good barber teaches other kids who want to be barbers how to be good barbers. He does not find it obvious to bequeath his knowledge to only his son like it is some family heirloom. A society has much more to gain from a barber who teaches his craft to a thousand kids, thus setting up the next generation, than from a barber who only teaches his craft to his own kid. The only thing that prevents such merit-based systems from being set up in India is caste, wherein a privileged caste person would not allow for the possibility that his son chooses a profession that is designated for the marginalized castes. What we need to do thus is to remove the stigma of caste from professions, such that people don’t think that a nuclear physicist’s son cutting hair is a crime against humanity. The barber should leave his shop to the best barber in the city. If he doesn’t, that’s a problem for the entire society to deal with.

Isn’t that a very natural thing to do? Which parent wouldn’t want to help their own kid get a better way than they had in the industry? If one knows how things are in the industry, and your children want to be part of the same industry, it’s only natural that you would want them to not repeat the same mistakes. – Naseeruddin Shah

Nepotism practiced informally would not be such a problem, nobody argues against the fact that people possess family sentiment and want the best possible lives for their own children. The problem is the institutionalisation of nepotism, in that our economic and ideological structures make it a matter of course. At that point, it is not one Brahmin trying to make his child a liberal intellectual but an entire socio-economic structure that makes sure that no one except Brahmins can become liberal intellectuals. Nepotism, to be effective, has to be enforced negatively upon unwilling people. It is only by stopping ‘outsiders’ that the dominance of ‘insiders’ can be maintained. You then not only want the best for your daughter but also require less-than-the-best for someone else’s daughter.

It is not simply that observing caste is a personal matter, caste to be caste is enforced upon unwilling people. The problem has never been people helping their own children. To frame the problem of nepotism that way is already to elide the issue. The problem is people hurting other people’s children to help their own children. As Kangana has said, ‘give everything to them, I am not stopping you but let us live also’. Live and let live. If someone has an interest in engineering, at least don’t stop them from becoming engineers because you want your son to be the greatest engineer. Teach your children as much acting as you want, why stop other people’s children from becoming actors? If to make your child an actor because you are an actor, you have to make a barber’s child a barber, then you are actively interfering in other people’s lives and they then have a right to question your decisions and your ability to act on those decisions.

Nepotism institutionalizes inter-generational social immobility just like the caste system does. It is as old as Bollywood because Bollywood itself was born in a Casteist society. According to accounts like those of Sudipto Basu, nepotism has ‘beset the industry since the late 1930s at least, when the first generation of “star kids” like Raj Kapoor, Shobhana Samarth and Nargis made their debuts’. Nepotism only seems unproblematic because we think that it is a personal choice and not an institutional mechanism. Imagine if nepotism in Bollywood was religiously sanctioned like the caste system has been. What if like manusmriti that says only Brahmins can read and write, there was a prithvirajsmriti that said only Kapoors can be lead actors. There is indeed such a smriti but it is worded differently—instead of religious injunctions written down in a book of law, it contains market injunctions operative in the unwritten laws of capital. Instead of purity and pollution, the prithvirajsmriti deals in the shadowy figures of profit and loss. Return on capital is the mantra that provides a justification to the whole enterprise. Thus, the only reason nepotism does not seem the same as the caste system is because it does not have any overt religious sanction but is practiced under the cover of practical business practices. It is the modern form of caste, more palatable to our ‘secular’ sensibilities. It seems just as ‘natural’ to the privileged as the caste system seemed to our forefathers. And to those who suffer from it, nepotism is just as degrading as the caste system.

When Saif Ali Khan makes the horrifying comparison of human beings with racehorses and says eugenics is the reason that nepotism works, Kangana takes a stand that is inherently anti-caste and echoes what anti-caste activists have been arguing all along.

Are you implying that artistic skills, hard-work, experience, concentration spans, enthusiasm, eagerness, discipline and love, can be inherited through family genes? If your point was true, I would be a farmer back home. I wonder which gene from my gene-pool gave me the keenness to observe my environment, and the dedication to interpret and pursue my interests.

Kangana questions the idea that merit is passed through genes. Bollywood movies keep attributing people’s behaviour to the influence being in their blood. ‘Yeh to humare khoon mein hai’ is a constant refrain we have all heard A-list actors spout on screen. This ideology of merit being passed down blood lines is so ingrained in Bollywood, both on-screen and off-screen, that Francis Galton would have been proud of the industry.

The Kapoor family has been producing the biggest stars for at least five generations now. Is it because their children are just born better actors? I think Kangana would say that their merit is constructed by the opportunities and exposure they have got since their early childhood. When R Balki says that Ranbir Kapoor and Alia Bhatt are the very best actors in Bollywood, he might even be correct, but that is not the point. The thing to remember is that they have had the opportunity to hone their craft from a very young age while most others haven’t. While Ranbir and Alia have had access to the best directors, producers, and actors and have grown up in an atmosphere where they know the ins and outs of the industry because they literally live in the industry, Kangana has had no one around her to tell her what is what. While people like Kanagana and Sushant Singh Rajput had to learn the ropes of Bollywood from scratch because they had an intense desire to succeed, Alia and Ranbir got the skills not in their blood but in their homes. It is not that star kids cannot be good actors. It is that other people do not get the same opportunities to be good actors as the star kids do. The Kapoor family knows what films will work at what time because they have been in the industry for over 90 years. They make sure that the films their children do will succeed by ensuring the right producers, distributors, directors, etc. The star kids start from a point that is much ahead and thus do not even compete on a level playing field.

Filmmakers use stars to sell tickets and justify their choices as good business strategy. An Alia will sell more tickets because people recognize her. People recognize her because she is a star kid. She is a star kid because she was born to a star. This way the continuity of the cycle is ensured. It is not that they discriminate against Kangana for not being a star kid but that they make decisions based on sound business practices in a market that rewards having the right set of parents.

A star is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Once a kid is proclaimed a star, then the audience treats them like a star and their films automatically become more popular than the films which are made with non-stars. Since stars are more bankable due to their recognisability with the audience, they are picked for more films than non-stars and thus become even bigger stars. To be born a star kid is to be born a star, which is to be born more bankable than a non-star since a star ensures the presence of the audience and thus the success of a film.

Alia is more ‘meritorious’ than Kangana because she sells more tickets. This is why Karan Johar makes movies with star kids, because he wants to ensure that people buy tickets based on star power. To counter this, Kangana suggests that people stop buying tickets to films that have star kids for no other reason than they are star kids. She says that people should help outsiders by buying tickets to their films. She is not saying that people should judge which films are best and then buy tickets. Star kids might very well produce ‘better’ films because they have access to the best resources. How can outsiders produce films as good as the insiders when the insiders have so much more social and economic capital? The only way to level the playing field would be to allow outsiders to gain experience and learn. Sure, the outsiders will make some mistakes in the beginning, but the audience should ignore those mistakes and support them regardless for the long-term benefit of the industry.

This is precisely what reservations are. Sure, the privileged castes might be more suited for jobs when judged initially. But this is only because privileged castes have been exposed to the kind of soft skills required to do those jobs from a very early age while the marginalized castes have not had that kind of an exposure. The marginalized castes should get jobs not because they will be better at the jobs right off the bat but because they need to get that experience to even get a chance of becoming better. In the long term, the marginalized castes can only catch up to the privileged castes if they are given opportunities that allow them to learn the soft skills that privileged castes learn in their homes. A Ranaut can become as good as a Kapoor if she is given the chance by an audience that supports her. If the audience only watches Kapoors, then a Ranaut can never even get the opportunity to bloom and utilize her talent to the fullest.

To say that the privileged castes should get jobs because they are more meritorious does not mean anything if merit itself is differentially imparted. How can marginalized castes even compete with the privileged castes when they haven’t been given a chance? Is it possible for outsiders to compete with insiders in Bollywood? It is not, which is why Kangana says the audience should get involved and help the outsiders and penalize the insiders. The same way the state gets involved when it mandates reservations. An outsider should be lauded for their attempt even if their film is not ‘objectively’ as good as the film made by insiders. Similarly, people from marginalized castes should be accepted with lower grades because for most of them it is not possible to get the same grades as the privileged castes. The privileged castes are not born with more merit in their blood but are merely exposed to more opportunities to learn ‘merit’ than the marginalized castes through the schools they go to and caste networks they live in. An 18-year-old whose parents are MAs has a higher chance of being better at English than a person whose parents are agricultural labourers. Reservations are there to give the son of agricultural labours a chance to learn English. Just like the audience buying tickets to the movies made by outsiders are to give a chance to those outsiders to learn the ropes of the film industry.

Reservations are necessary not because the son of agricultural labourers is poorer than the son of doctors. They are necessary due to the difference in access to networks which are made through caste alliances. While Alia has grown up being friendly with the best directors and actors and knows what kinds of an actress she wants to be and the manner in which she wants to enter the industry, Kangana has to figure all that out by trial and error. An 18-year-old savarna has one uncle in the air force, one uncle who is an IAS, a cousin working in a multinational corporation after passing through IIT and IIM, father’s friend who is a doctor, mother’s friend who is a professor, etc. He can talk to all these people and figure out what is the best educational and professional path for himself. All his problems can be solved within the family, he doesn’t even need to pay for career counselling, so it is not just that he is richer than the son of agricultural labourer but that he has social capital that makes the spending of money unnecessary. Even if he was just as poor, he would be better off.

The son of the agricultural labourer, even if he manages to be as good at English, will not have this kind of ‘free’ career counselling since his uncles and aunts would themselves in all likelihood be working low-paying jobs and would have no idea how to navigate the careers available to educated folks. He would thus be prone to making more mistakes as he has nobody to guide him. Even if Kangana is as good an actor as Alia from day 1, she will still be prone to signing movies that fail more than Alia would because she has nobody to tell her what to do and what not to do. While trial and error has been done by someone else for Alia, Kangana has to go through the process herself. This is why the audience should overlook Kangana’s mistakes as part of a necessary process and support her. This is why the state should give reservations to marginalized castes who are not as adept at cracking exams as privileged castes.

Logically, Kanagna should have supported reservations as she is advocating for the same thing in Bollywood. Suraj Kumar Bauddh pointed out as much to her:

Crying on Nepotism and silence on Casteism shows your double stand. Just as Nepotism prevents OUTSIDERS, Casteism prevents OUTCASTES. Fight against both. N next, quota doesn’t kills merit but ensures opportunity for oppressed community in nation building. Got it

Instead of understanding what Bauddh was saying, Kangana started questioning the efficacy of reservations:

Sorry sir but there are many ways of uplifting the oppressed other than gifting them the ranks they don’t qualify for, learn to earn your worth that’s what I stand for, reservation works on the same law as nepotism, undeserving gets the job cos of which Nation suffers, SIMPLE.

To flag the obvious, reservation does not work on the same law as nepotism. While nepotism helps ‘insiders’, reservations help ‘outsiders’. While nepotism helps the dominant retain their dominant position, reservations help the marginalized get rid of their domination. Finally, while nepotism helps the undeserving get jobs, reservations help the deserving get jobs that they wouldn’t get otherwise due to an extremely uneven playing field. According to a study that says affirmative action policy in higher education works largely as intended, as many as 26% male and 35% female students from India’s most disadvantaged castes and tribes in 245 engineering colleges would not be there without reservation.

Reservations only help students enter universities and professionals get jobs. Reservations do not help the students do well inside the universities or professionals do well at their jobs. And yet, once inside the university, Dalit students have been shown to do just as well as their savarna counterparts. If this wasn’t the case, we would see Dalit students failing more than savarnas. As Anoop Kumar showed through his documentation of 22 cases of student suicides in India’s central universities, Dalit students commit suicide not because they can’t do well but because they are discriminated against. Kangana would agree that outsiders like Sushant Singh Rajput commit suicide not because they are worse actors than those with the ‘right genes’ but because they also are discriminated against.

Kangana argues that Sushant Singh Rajput’s alleged suicide, if not a cover-up for direct murder, is at the very least a case of institutional murder. He was forced to kill himself by people who would not let him succeed and who blocked his path even though he had talent and was willing to work hard. Could not the same things be said for the ‘suicides’ of students like Rohith Vemula, Payal Tadvi, Balmukund Bharti, among countless others. Balmukund Bharti, who was a gold medallist, was told by his professor at AIIMS in his fifth year that he didn’t deserve to be a doctor. The professor told him that he would be failed no matter what he did. That was so distressing for Bharti that he committed suicide two months before his graduation. Just like Bharti’s professor, directors and producers also told Sushant that they wouldn’t let him succeed no matter what he did. The parallels, between what she calls nepotism in Bollywood and what Dalits calls caste on campuses, are impossible to ignore.

If those who got jobs through reservations were indeed undeserving and thus bad at their jobs, that would also have become apparent. There has only been one major study to challenge this notion that reservations bring in undeserving candidates. Deshpande and Weisskopf analyzed 22 years of data on the Indian Railways and concluded that ‘an increased proportion of reserved SC/ST employees positively associated with productivity and growth’. Kangana would also agree that the film industry has only survived because of the dogged determination of outsiders to succeed. She regularly names outsiders who have done more for films than the Kapoors have.

Entry into the industry is difficult just as cracking entrance exams is difficult. Once inside, Kangana managed to learn English and so do the Dalits. But they are still construed as weak because of where they came from. Naseeruddin Shah still calls her a ‘half-educated starlet’. Is that fair? Can people who were not provided English education by the state be judged as unmeritorious for not knowing English? Kangana sees the problems that make reservations necessary but she still thinks reservations are not needed. She is only able to hold this position because she thinks nepotism is limited to Bollywood and caste is not a problem anymore in the wider society. We have already shown how that is untrue and how caste discrimination still forms the contours of our everyday life in all spheres of society. We have shown how institutionalized nepotism itself that Kangana is fighting against is a form of caste. Reservation is not the only remnant of caste in an otherwise caste-free society, as she claims, but one mechanism to deal with a caste-infected society.

Society tells my community that we have no rights to dream. Even if we get educated and secure a good living, ‘modern’ Indians conspire for our downfall. I was one victim, but I don’t fear to speak this truth, because of the strength I get from Babasaheb’s Constitution.- Meena Kotwal

Kangana should ally with Meena Kotwal who has had an experience of life that is similar to Kangana’s experience of Bollywood. When Kangana says there is nepotism in Bollywood even as the biggest stars shout otherwise, she wants to be believed because of her lived experience. Should she not extend the same right to be believed to women like Meena Kotwal who are attempting to point out caste discrimination and argue for the need for reservation from their lived experience?

Kangana tagged an article published in Outlook to point to the bad side effects of reservation. The article is about one Tajinder Singh who qualified for the PCS (Judicial) main examination after scoring minus ten marks in the preliminary examinations. She says that he is undeserving since he couldn’t even get a positive score. Instead of parroting the line of those who want to keep Tajinder out, should she not ask: how come no one else in his category was able to get a score higher than minus ten in an examination for a coveted government post? If discrimination does not exist, how is such a thing possible? Are outsiders undeserving because their films don’t sell as many tickets or do the films not sell as many tickets because the entrenched interests will not let that happen? While she understands how a nepotistic Bollywood makes sure that a film like Sonchirya flops, is it so hard to understand for her how no Dalits were able to get positive marks?

Change can only be caused by those who want it. It is the prerogative of the dreamer who learns to take his or her due, and not ask for it. (Kangana Ranaut)

The Dalits are taking reservations because they dream of a better future. They never asked for it and they are not asking for it now. They struggled to get reservations against all odds and they still struggle to keep them every day. It is their due. They will take it even if she opposes them. The question for her really is: can she win her fight against institutionalized nepotism in Bollywood without addressing the wider issue of caste that makes such nepotism possible?

Kangana’s attack on nepotism is an attack on the caste system in Bollywood. At some point she even calls it ‘sadism of the human psyche’ which is very close to Chandra Bhan Prasad’s articulation that ‘sadism is central to Hinduism’. It is imperative upon her to ally with the anti-caste struggle if she wants to ‘shape the future of the coming generations’ positively. Bollywood, which is one part of Indian society, can only be freed from nepotism when caste is annihilated from Indian society as a whole. By divorcing nepotism in Bollywood from anti-caste struggles, she is setting herself up for failure and thus assuring that Bollywood will remain nepotistic and discriminate against future outsiders and cause the deaths of more Sushant Singh Rajputs who dare to dream.

#JusticeforSushant is only possible if we #annihilatecaste and prevent the deaths of more dreamers like him.

Akshat Jain is a writer currently residing in India. He uses the debate methodology of Syādvāda to piss people off. Like a good Syādvādist, he claims that all his claims fall within the ambit of falsifiability.



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