Abhay Deol feels happy about 'the watershed moment' that India has been witnessing ever since the debate on nepotism has grabbed the spotlight in the wake of actor Sushant Singh Rajput's tragic death. Through a lengthy note on Instagram, the Dev D actor has expressed happiness over the 'active debate' about nepotism and has also attempted to make his fans aware that 'nepotism has taken on another dimension here in India'. He has claimed that there needs to be an upheaval in our culture itself where discrimination and classification on the basis of profession begins with 'caste' or 'jati'.
The Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara actor pointed out how his uncle, veteran actor Dharmendra, was an outsider in the film industry and has inspired him to find his path in the film industry. With his picture alongside Dharmendra, he wrote, "My uncle, whom I affectionately call dad, was an outsider who made it big in the film industry. I’m glad there is an active debate on the practices behind the scenes. Nepotism is just the tip of the iceberg. I’ve only ever made one film with my family, my 1st, and I’m grateful to be blessed and have that privileged. I’ve gone that extra mile in my career to make my own path, something that dad always encouraged. For me he was the inspiration". Abhay Deol made his Bollywood debut under Dharmendra’s Vijayta Films in the 2005 Imtiaz Ali film Socha Na Tha.
He went onto add, "Nepotism is prevalent everywhere in our culture, be it in politics, business, or film. I was well aware of it and it pushed me to take chances with new directors and producers throughout my career. That is how I was able to make movies that were considered “out of the box." I’m glad some of those artists and films went on to have tremendous success.". The actor is known for his art-house style cinema choices.
Further, Abhay emphasised that the root of nepotism in a country like India is the caste system which has been embedded in our culture. He added that blaming only the film industry for their unfair practices could possibly be 'counterproductive' as it is our cultural influences that we, as a group, must focus on. He continued, "While it plays a part in every country, nepotism has taken on another dimension here in India. I suspect caste plays a major role in it being more pronounced here than in other parts of the world. After all, it is “jati” that dictates that a son carry on the work of his father, while the daughter is expected to marry and be a housewife. If we are serious about making changes for the better, then focusing on only one aspect, one industry, while ignoring the many others, will be incomplete and possibly counterproductive. We need a cultural evolution. After all, where do our filmmakers, politicians and businessmen come from? They are people just like everyone. They grow up within the same system as everybody else. They are a reflection of their culture."
He concluded the note by suggesting that dialogue for the equal opportunity should take place in order for change to take place. He wrote, "Talent everywhere deserves a chance to shine in his or her medium. As we have learnt over the past few weeks, there are several ways in which an artist is either uplifted to success or beaten down to failure. I’m glad more actors are coming out today and speaking of their experiences. I’ve been vocal about mine for years now, but as a lone voice, I could only do so much. It’s easy to smear one artist for speaking out, and I have been at the receiving end from time to time. But as a group, a collective, that becomes difficult. Maybe now is our watershed moment."
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