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For the kids of Bollywood’s next generation, social media isn’t about political correctness

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For the children of the next generation in Bollywood, social media is not about political correctness: for the children of Bollywood, social media is not a place to hide: Indian audiences have always attached immense power to every element that exists in the celebrity bubble, including the movie families. And this is only understandable since the cinema here has been handed down shoulder to shoulder to famous descendants – the Kapoors, the Khans, the Deols, the Khannas (but carried largely by “ foreigners ” from industry, the real gems).

While the current generation of older children of the Bollywood star have taken over the acting roles of their legendary ancestors decently enough, the same can’t be said for their involvement in matters of social relevance. The industry as a whole is regularly criticized for keeping a safe distance from “controversial” issues that could put them in the crosshairs.

But a new generation of child Bollywood stars has emerged on the block. These young people also expressed a propensity for things that lie outside the world of theater. This group does not hesitate to speak up to make a change. From colourism to bullying, depression and abuse –these star children boldly take on everything their loved ones in the film industry have played their part in stigmatizing for years.

Game changers

Suhana Khan has been in the limelight since birth, and as a young girl began making occasional appearances alongside her famous parents on television or at public events. Being the daughter of Shah Rukh and Gauri Khan, fame was destined for her. His fame came in particular surrounded by negativity pointed at his complexion, then only considered public gossip and tabloid garbage.

Years later, when everyone sat down to take note of the young Khan again in 2020. With the power of social media at his disposal this time around, Khan yelled loudly against anything that might have happened. had to be turned away from all these years. from the media glare and comments from the public, about how she was called ‘ugly,’ or ‘kaali,‘and how that no longer discouraged her on her journey towards self-love.

On the mental health front, Ira Khan and Aaliyah Kashyap keep the posts. The two young women, daughters of actor Aamir Khan and director Anurag Kashyap respectively, have been honest on their social networks on issues that a majority of Indian society is still brushing under the rug. While Khan routinely recounts his experience of depression and healing for his followers, Kashyap fended off online abusers who came to him for his clothes.

When it comes to toxic masculinity, late actor Irrfan’s son Babil Khan is hitting the bricks with every post he posts online about flowing clothes, makeup or skin care or just about anything. what is and should be neutral and inclusive. Amitabh Bachchan’s granddaughter, Navya Naveli Nanda, is a very tangible force in the realm of actualizing female power, having launched her own healthcare portal for women.

Other members of their league – like Janhvi Kapoor, Ananya Panday, Sara Ali Khan – have been recognized as icons of youth, for varying reasons. But, and without pitting these 20-year-old groups against each other, it is quite clear that most of the relevant dialogue is being conducted by those who have not (yet) entered mainstream cinema, and by therefore, may not be. under the pressure of correlating box office numbers with what they say on social media.

Can other older children compare to them?

And what about the current children of the Bollywood star? Sonam Kapoor, Kareena Kapoor-Khan, Shraddha Kapoor, Alia Bhatt, Sonakshi Sinha? What noise are they making against patriarchy, oppression, social exclusion, hate crimes, discrimination? Whispers, at best. At least in relation to the decibel and the intensity that the youngest talk about.

It’s not as if they have completely ignored their role as people with broad public reach and the associated ability to impact social issues. There are occasional posts from Kapoor or Sinha against the trolls that anonymously show the women. And the few of Kapoor-Khan who, it was believed with more pretension than sense, made remarks about racism in the United States.

But how far will this singular remark or this resounding commentary take them? A statement about a single social issue buried somewhere between tons of other selfies and movie promotions – does that have it at all? Are these stars driving change or just internet trends?

Where their predecessors carefully followed (or avoided) paths that would lead them into ‘problem-causing’ conversation territory, this young league of young Bollywood stars is changing the very definition of what the industry does. cinematographic considers as a “ problem ”. ‘

Are their efforts leading to real-time change? Can mental health topics be given the weight measure they deserve only from child stars of Bollywood talking about it? Are celebrity comments on toxic masculinity more to readers than just commenting and scrolling down? Will celebrities parading in flowing clothes transform prejudices? Are these people making an impact, pushing us towards a better future?

It would be naive to assume that Khan’s or Kashyap’s social media posts act as immediate stimuli for greater social change in the world beyond their phones, where women are raped, men laughed at, queer people are under attack. But the conversation itself is the first stimulus. And these Bollywood child stars aren’t afraid to lead that. They are strong, they are clear and they repeatedly defend the world with an optimism that carries the hope of changing it for the better.

The opinions expressed are those of the author.



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