Screen writer and lyricist Javed Akhtar shared his advice to budding talents, encouraging them to forge their own path.
In a recent discourse on the perennially contentious issue of nepotism in the film industry, veteran lyricist and screenwriter Javed Akhtar staunchly defended his daughter Zoya Akhtar’s casting choices for the upcoming film, “The Archies.” Emphasizing the intrinsic risks involved in filmmaking, Akhtar asserted that Zoya, as a filmmaker investing her personal capital, holds the unequivocal right to select the cast without facing undue scrutiny.
Akhtar shed light on the distinct nature of the film industry, where the stakes are personal rather than reliant on government funds or external investors. He underscored that Zoya’s gamble involves her own money, making her casting decisions a matter of personal prerogative. “She has all the right to take anybody under the sun; she shouldn’t be questioned. She is taking the risk, it is her project, and she is backing it,” Akhtar remarked, staunchly defending the autonomy of filmmakers in their creative pursuits.
Addressing the broader discourse surrounding nepotism in the film industry, Akhtar acknowledged its persistent discussion but contended that the dynamics differ significantly from other sectors. Drawing a distinction, he asserted that success in the film industry is akin to an impartial election, where audience appreciation plays the pivotal role in an individual’s ascent to stardom. Akhtar articulated, “Film industry ke baare mein baat hoti rehti hain nepotism ki. Nepotism film industry mein ho hi nahi sakta. Duniya mein har jagah ho jaye, par yaha nahi ho sakta.”
Elaborating on his perspective, Javed Akhtar delved into the core of the matter, asserting that nepotism finds a breeding ground in bureaucratic settings or agencies where those in lower positions wield hiring authority. In contrast, he posited that the film industry operates on a distinct paradigm, with individuals willingly shouldering personal risks rather than depending on external patrons. “Lekin, yaha nepotism isiliye nahi hain kyuki aadmi yaha khud risk le raha hain. Wo kisi aur ke kandhe pe bandook rakhe huye hain,” he elucidated.
As the conversation surrounding nepotism in the film industry endures, Javed Akhtar’s perspective offers a nuanced understanding of the unique challenges and dynamics that filmmakers face, defending the right of creators to shape their projects according to their vision and financial investments.