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Just a brief definition to those unaware about nepotism- it is the act or practice among those with power or influence of favoring relatives or friends, especially by giving them jobs. Recent debate about Nepotism in Bollywood brings in mind the question that are all children of Bollywood stars are judged only for their lineage and not merit. ? However Here’s a look at a few some really talented kids that have captured headlines in the past and even now.
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Alia Bhatt: Daughter of filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt, half sister to director Pooja Bhatt. Having made her debut with Karan Johar’s ‘Student of The Year’ in 2012, Alia has established herself as an accomplished actress. After her first movie, in only two years Bhatt had three releases: ‘Humpty Sharma ki Dulhaniya’, ‘2 States’ and ‘Highway’. Each film had Bhatt play a character entirely different from the other and she did so convincingly, and in case of Highway, fairly memorably. She has made a series of excellent career choices, aligning herself with promising filmmakers and routinely delivering exceptional performances, even if the films themselves are rather ordinary. One of the best qualities about Alia as a performer is just how perceptive she is. She knows exactly which buttons to push, and more importantly when to take her foot off the pedal. So the nepotism debate – did she get a foot in the door because of her dad? Maybe. But she definitely doesn’t need his influence to keep her in the industry.
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Next up, Alia’s beau. Ranbir Kapoor late father, Rishi Kapoor, was one of the biggest heartthrobs of the 70s and 80s. Ranbir debuted in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s movie ‘Saawariya’. However, Saawariya boomed at the box office and many, without even seeing the film, proclaimed Ranbir to be a one-hit wonder. Ranbir persisted, experimenting with his choice of roles, which led him to his career's most appreciated performance in Anurag Basu's ‘Barfi’. He then played a deaf and mute person in ‘Jagga Jasoos’, touted as India’s first musical. And then in Imtiaz Ali's ‘Tamasha’, he, struck a chord with youngsters leading dual lives between dreams and reality. A good looking charming young man who is not afraid of taking risks and experimenting with his characters, Ranbir is a 'star child' not because of his legacy but because of his own acting prowess.
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The first time the world saw him on screen all thoughts of whose son is he vanished. Hrithik Roshan, may be the son of yesteryear star Rakesh Roshan, but over the years he’s become better known for a muscular frame, magical dance moves and intense screen presence. Is there a similarity between father and son – yes. But there’s also an undeniable dollop of talent that’s been passed through genes.
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Another Kapoor product, Kareena Kapoor or Bebo as she is fondly known, is known for her sense of style as much as she is her on-screen work. Kareena marked her debut in Bollywood with ‘Refugee’ in 2000 opposite Abhishek Bachchan and then went on to deliver some of the finest films over the two decades, such as ‘Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham’, ‘Heroine’, ‘Jab We Met’, ‘Angrezi Medium’, ‘3 Idiots’, ‘Udta Punjab’ and ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’ to name only a few. Twenty years have passed since she stepped foot into the film industry and fans still follow her every move. Nepo…what?
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Pankaj Kapoor’s son is a chip off the old block. Shahid Kapoor came to us as a baby faced boy in 'Aankhon Mein' by Aryans. Then he entered the big screen with project ‘ Ishq Vishk’ in 2003. Turns out though his first few movies were only warm-up acts. He went on to do movies such as ‘Jab We Met’, ‘Haider’, ‘Padmavat’, and ‘Udta Punjab’. He embodies his characters so completely that for a while the hangover of the role remains in the audience’s eyes. We challenge you, for instance, to see him in ‘Kabir Singh’ and not think of his as an arrogant fool for a while afterwards.
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Kajol is the daughter of famous actress Tanuja. But she took the legacy of her family to a different level. Her commendable performances were in movies like ‘Baazigar’, ‘Kuch Kuch Hota Hai’, ‘Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham’, the blockbuster romantic movie ‘Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge’, and ‘We Are Family’. We can affirm that she is a versatile actor who can perform many different roles in cinemas graciously.
Image Credit: Insta/kajol
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The son of famous actress Sharmila Tagore, Saif Ali Khan, is a recipient of many significant film awards. He earned the respect of audience in his films like ‘Hum Tum’, ‘Parineeta’, ‘Salaam Namaste’, ‘Race’, ‘Love Aaj Kal’, ‘Cocktail’, and so on. These movies showed us all a different level of performance from him.
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Tiger Shroff, son of yesteryear star Jackie Shroff, roared into action as a hero in ‘Heropanti’ in 2014. He went on to star in movies like Baaghi and Baaghi 2. He will soon feature in ‘Student Of The Year 2’. Even Tiger admits he’s been typecast, so whether he can really act or is just about stunts and fights remains to be seen.
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Sara Ali Khan is the daughter of two actors – Saif Ali Khan and his first wife, Amrita Singh. But has this translated into acting prowess? Certainly she’s had some starring roles such as in 2018’s ‘Kedarnath’ and 2020’s ‘Love Aaj Kal’ – but until now, she’s still proving her mettle.
Image Credit: Insta/saraalikhan95
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Sri devi’s daughter Janhvi Kapoor has also received critical acclaim for her roles in Gunjan Saxena and Dhadak. Among the new generation star kids she comes as one of the new talents to have made a mark in Bollywood.
Image Credit: Insta/janhvikapoor