"Artistes are human beings, not products."
Renowned Bollywood actor Govinda has candidly opened up about nepotism and camps in Bollywood.
Currently, the outsider versus insider debate in Bollywood has been ongoing since the tragic demise of actor Sushant Singh Rajput.
Govinda reveals that despite his parents, Nirmala Devi and Arun Kumar Ahuja being actors, he has dealt with struggles throughout his journey.
According to Hindustan Times, Govinda recalled his initial days in trying to find a breakthrough in the film industry. He recounts:
“There was a gap of 33 years between them leaving the film industry and me becoming an actor at 21.
“So, by the time I entered the industry, many new producers had come who didn’t know much about my lineage.
“I had to wait for hours to meet them. I understood why they’d talk or behave in a certain way but never let it come in between me and my art.”
Govinda continued to mention that he was told by many people that would not make it as an actor. He explained:
“I’ve been told this on my face. But I knew even the likes of Raj Kapoor ji, Jeetendra ji, Amitabh Bachchan ji, Vinod Khanna ji and Rajesh Khanna ji went through a lot, too.
“In this industry, you need to have the right perspective. Either you work hard, or pay heed to what people say about you.”
The actor added:
“People said it went against the actor within me. But that’s not correct because, after that, I did films that worked.”
Govinda went on to explain that one cannot be consumed by success. He said:
“Success at times makes you harsh and doesn’t let you progress. From my experience, I can say that having a graceful approach helps.
“Film is a form of art and somewhere we’ve turned it into a business. Artistes are human beings, not products.
“Accept those who have merit. This will also help those who aren’t as talented and they’ll work harder.”
The concept of camps in Bollywood has been prevalent and this is something Govinda agrees with. He explained:
“Earlier whoever was talented got work. Every film would get equal opportunity in theatres.
“But now, there are four or five people who dictate the whole business. They decide if they want to let films of those who aren’t close to them release properly or not.
“Some of my good films also didn’t get that kind of release. But things are changing now.”
Govinda’s daughter, Tina Ahuja is also a part of the film industry. Speaking about nepotism, the actor said:
“I’ve never spoken much about her. Had I done that, hopefully, things would have been different.
“She’s charting her own path and will rise whenever her time comes.”