Job interview

It is the practice among those with power or influence of favoring relatives or friends, especially by giving them jobs.

‘Khaandan’ is a word that Indians are very quickly acquainted with and pick up the meaning of effortlessly from a very young age. And it’s not an offensive term. It’s about respect, love and what defines us. Which is all inherently harmless. But this mindless dedication and pledged loyalty can be very problematic when defended to a fault. There is a place for family in the 21st century but it cant replace effort and deserving and this seems to be a concept that the, otherwise traditional, India stills seems to be grappling with.

Nepotism is undeniably rife in India. From the very proudly thrown around ‘Tujhe pata nahin Mera Baap Kaun hain’ we notice that most Indians don’t see being defined and empowered by their families as an issue. In fact, it’s a matter of Pride.

IIFA Example

This was visible in the recently concluded IIFA awards 2017 where Bollywood, collects with much festivity to congratulate itself. Here, host Karan Johar along with actors Saif Ali Khan and Varun Dhawan, all hailing from rich and famous filmy families had a lot to say about an actress who dared to point out nepotism in the industry.

Although the joke was a tad bit distasteful as it was attacking a valid view point, what is shocking is the number of people who accept nepotism as a valid way of nature.

The rule of Nature is that the Fittest Survive. Here, the word Fittest only includes ones that persevere to better themselves and arm themselves with tough survival skills. The fittest doesn’t include those that were accidentally lucky at birth. It’s the fittest beast of the wild that survives not it’s entire ‘khandaan’ that rides on its back across the finish line.

Black or White?

Now simultaneously, it is important to note that nepotism isn’t a black and white matter. It has a lot of gray areas. What about those kids of famous people who make it to the top and actually do have talent? It is undeniable that all three men mentioned above still thrive in their industry because they have something to offer them. Their talent in itself enables them a worthy place. But it’s hard to not deny that they got there is a much easier way compared to the thousands who are struggling in destitution.

But it’s not just this little incident that showcases a problem of nepotism. When we view Indian in a panoramic view, we see that it still exists every where.

Nepotism in film industry

Most people in power and who play with fame and fortune would rather involve their families and off springs. They would rather that all the fame, fortune and power that is wielded by them in the country would continue down to their lineage. Here, it takes a very exceptional individual to break into the sectors that have already been occupied in inaction by khaandans for centuries. If you belong to the un-demarcated middle class, breaking a glass ceiling seems more difficult. Due to the firm obstacles which come in form of lateral entry points.

Where else?

These lateral entry points enable those sons and daughters to breeze through corporate races and corridors of power with their surnames. While Hard work, talent, and perseverance take a back seat and are of secondary importance.This is rife in the industries and legally recognized ‘Joint Family Companies’ where even multi million-dollar franchises choose their CEOs by bloodlines as opposed to by virtue of merit.

Views on nepotism

It is rife in politics where a senior party official vacates a seat of power so that his/her son/daughter can take over after him.It is rife, of course, in our film industries with its multiples of Kapoors and Khans many of whom survive with a string of flops. Even as an outsider takes many commendable performances to even be noticed.It is natural to look out for our own. But not by disclaiming a position that belongs to one more worthier than your own bloodline.


While the main disadvantage of Nepotism seems like it’s just ‘Aesthetically Wrong Morals’, it is much more than that. This provides an easy access, to positions of consequence, to incompetent people. This, in turn, destroys the reputation, hinders growth and progress. How can we aim to succeed in an international market if we don’t let our best perform? How do we truly expect India to step up if we refuse to unleash our best by constraining their access to power by our ‘familial values’?

Another argument one needs to look into is that of ‘genetics’. While the three Bollywood men rushed to apologize for their jokes, one of them provided a rather dissatisfying defense for nepotism.


Justifying Nepotism with genetics is taking the issue to a whole new (unnecessary level). There is so much questionable in the above statements. Their beliefs seem to state that a person is already defined by birth. If you aren’t born to a Tendulkar or Dravid, don’t play cricket. You aren’t going to make it. Is that what we need to teach children instead of the old tale of ‘Dream it, Do it.’So does a child born to a mediocre banker have no prospect of stepping up in life?

This age old Indian explanation is harmful to the progress of every child in this country. It is of prime importance to reform this thought process as soon as possible.

Considering these points, India needs to be a nation of dreams and possibilities. Not a prison of constraining people by virtue of their birth. Nothing except pure perseverance should justify an individual’s position in the social hierarchy. And we will do good to remember that.

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