I don’t think nepotism has survived: Subhash Ghai
An alumnus of Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune, Subhash Ghai’s tryst with cinema began as an actor. But fate had something else in store for Ghai. He turned to direction with Kalicharan (1976 and the rest is history. The National Award-winner is known for movies such as Ram Lakhan (1989), Khalnayak (1993), Pardes (1997) and Taal (1999), among others. Ghai agreesthat a lot has changed in the film industry over the last decade, but he believes they have only been positive ones. “We’ve had a rush of enthusiastic, young talents in the industry, determined to reshape cinema and make their mark. We’ve also seen some fantastic new scripts being produced, visionary directors with unique styles and their own distinct flair, and an overall improvement in every aspect of filmmaking in general,” he shares.
Bollywood has been under the scanner in the recent times, but the 75-year-old believes that nothing can change the love in the minds of people for Bollywood in the country. “The Hindi film industry represents everything that is best about India. It tells us stories of our history, heritage, culture, and mythologies. It teaches us about love and family, kindness, and courage. It represents the best part of us, the part we all strive to emulate. The public knows this and know that we always try to do what is best for them and for our country,” he elucidates.
A lot has been debated about nepotism in Bollywood. Ghai, who has been a part of the Hindi film fraternity for five decades, says, “Over the years, the Indian film industry has grown to be one of the world’s largest, with some of the most talented people in the world. This has also meant that competition is intense, and that the efforts that goes into creating each film is massive. In this scenario, I don’t believe that nepotism has survived. Instead, it’s been replaced by a system of merit, that sees the best and most deserving person assigned any given job/role.”
So, does he feel some of the actions of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) are justified as a filmmaker? “The spirit of any censor board should not be to curb the freedom of expression of any artiste but to certify various content into different, suitable categories. The government does prefer to set up self-governing bodies on censoring the content offered via different mediums like cinema, TV or any other form of exhibition, when they receive forceful reactions from public in general regarding certain specific content, which may be hurtful, inciting negative emotions or have malign intent. Owing to this reason, some guidelines have to be formulated under the supervision of censor board, which I guess is to maintain a fair balance in the content that is offered,” he shares.
Talking about the recently-concluded annual event of Whistling Woods International, he says, “Celebrate Cinema is one of Whistling Woods International’s most renowned annual events. It serves as a platform for film and media enthusiasts to interact with the best experts in the industry, giving them the opportunity to learn about the artistic, technical and commercial aspects of the Media & Entertainment industry. Every year we welcome cinema lovers, aspiring filmmakers, and media and fashion aficionados for an array of workshops, screenings, and various contests and celebrity panel discussions. Our close ties to the industry mean that we often have some of the biggest names in the business in attendance. In past years we have welcomed such names as Hrithik Roshan, Abhishek Bachchan, Farhan Akhtar, Rekha and A.R. Rehman, to name a few. It was a fantastic event, and we are thrilled to have continued this tradition into 2020. We are also proud to do our part to support our nation’s brave COVID warriors and have chosen to donate all proceeds from the sale of tickets to aid their fight.”