Kangana Ranaut’s comments about nepotism in the Hindi film industry continue to rankle its beneficiaries. At the IIFA awards in New York on Sunday, Saif Ali Khan, Karan Johar and Varun Dhawan said “Nepotism rocks” in an apparent dig at the actor.
Khan and Johar were presenting the Best Comic Actor award to Dhawan. Khan said, “You are here because of your pappa,” referring to director David Dhawan. The actor, who was launched by Johar’s Dharma Productions, said, “You are here because of your mummy,” referring to Khan’s mother Sharmila Tagore. After Johar listed his connection to Bollywood, father Yash Johar, the trio said in union, “Nepotism rocks.”
When Khan began singing lines from the song Bole Chudiyaan Bole Kangana from Johar’s Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham, the director tried to stop them by telling them not to say Kangana.
Ranaut had appeared on Koffee With Karan in February and had told Johar, “In my biopic, if it’s ever made, you’ll be the stereotypical Bollywood biggie who is snooty and completely intolerant to outsiders; the flag-bearer of nepotism; the movie mafia.” Johar had later responded in a talk to students in London, “You cannot be this victim at every given point of time, always telling the sad story of how you were terrorised by the industry. If it’s so bad, leave it.”