As social media buzzes with charges of nepotism against Shah Rukh Khan’s daughter, media watchers say no big deal.
Mumbai: Social media has unleashed its fury once again and the latest target is actor Shah Rukh Khan’s daughter Suhana Khan who has been featured on the cover of fashion magazine Vogue India’s August edition.
The magazine’s cover story, which has a stylised Suhana looking at ease in front of the cameras, is nothing but an initiation of the celebrity kid into the world of the Hindi film industry, or Bollywood as many like to call it.
Suhana, however, is no stranger to celebrityhood. Given her lineage, the paparazzi have been following her for a while now.
But for some, especially on social media platforms, this is the latest show of obscene nepotism in Bollywood.
Celebrity kids getting easy access to popularity while the commoners have to slug it out. “What is her claim?” they ask.
‘Fashionable to target Bollywood’
Access has always been a privilege for the ‘connected’. And haven’t we argued innumerable times that nepotism exists not just in the film industry but in all sections of our society? In a year when more than a dozen industry star kids are making their debut; when newcomers like Ishan Khattar, Jahnvi Kapoor, Sara Ali Khan and many from their ilk already have huge followings on social media; when the paparazzi follows them all relentlessly; and when their photographs and videos are instant hits online, why this brouhaha?
What really is the problem? Is it that the cover girl is Suhana or that Vogue has let its readers down?
Media watcher and author Naomi Datta says, “The anger over the cover is just on social media. Twitter thrives on outrage. And it has become fashionable to target Bollywood for nepotism. It is a soft and selective target. People should be equally resentful that the progeny of big industrialists get to run companies in their twenties. Isn’t that more dangerous than some inconsequential film starring a celebrity kid? Also, this anger and outrage, honestly, is boring and no one outside Twitter cares. People follow star kids on Instagram, Dhadak is a huge hit and Taimur Ali Khan gets you instant hits on your website.”
Columnist, critic & author Bharathi S. Pradhan adds, “This is a country that worships dynasty. If Rahul Gandhi, who has achieved nothing on his own, can be featured all over the place simply for his lineage, what’s wrong with putting a young, trendy Suhana Khan on the cover of a fashion magazine?”
Did Vogue lose its credibility?
Vogue is a glossy magazine on fashion and pretty women. Its website even says that its first editor Josephine Redding was known to prefer animals to fashion. Yes, once in a while it creates a stir when it features prominent social changes, for instance the cover with Saudi Arabian women in the driving seat after the recent reforms in the Islamic country. But even in that edition, Vogue Saudi Arabia was criticised for not mentioning the activists who have been jailed by the Saudi government.
Basically, Vogue doesn’t care. It will put on its cover whatever works for the magazine. And in case of Vogue India, the furore is only helping.
Pradhan says, “With people venting over a celebrity kid making it to the Vogue cover, the magazine has achieved what every publication aims for — eyeballs. The fact that so many have seen the cover, read her interview and commented on it justifies the magazine’s decision to feature her. I can’t think of any publication that wouldn’t have taken Shah Rukh Khan’s daughter. Whether we like it or not, being his daughter is her ‘achievement’ for now. Maybe, like Janhvi Kapoor, she’ll make her own place in showbiz some day. Until then, just celebrate her for who her father is.”
Shah Rukh Khan unveiled the magazine cover Tuesday introducing Suhana formally to the world as the next star kid waiting in the wings. In the story, Suhana said she can’t honestly say that trolls don’t affect her, but we think daddy got exactly the kind of splash he wanted for his darling daughter.