Actor Mohnish Bahl’s daughter and yesteryear star Nutan’s granddaughter Pranutan started her Bollywood career with Notebook, produced by Salman Khan. Bahl and Khan go a long way back, right from Maine Pyar Kiya (1989). It was naturally assumed that this friendship paved the way for Pranutan too.
However, ask Bahl his reaction when his daughter’s name crops up in the nepotism debate, and her entry into films is labelled easy, and he says, “She has got everything on her own. Salman wasn’t even aware that auditions were going on. In fact, he called me when it was final and asked ‘Mohni, are you sure you are good with it? I thought she would be a lawyer or something’.”
He adds that all these discussions are ‘bound to happen’. “Nepotism has unfortunately been extended to star kids. A more appropriate usage would be that star kids are more privileged. But at the same time, Pranutan is still struggling. She managed her second film Helmet which is yet to get a theatrical release, and with the Covid 19 pandemic, even that seems to be in a doubtful situation,” says the 59-year-old.
What people therefore say doesn’t bother him as he knows that the ‘facts’ are. Bahl in fact feels Pranutan is becoming a ‘stronger human being’. “The whole nepotism debate, it has been pushed to an extent, (where we might get asked) ‘why would you give your children your wealth when you pass away?’ Am I supposed to give whatever I have earned throughout life to someone who will be able to manage it better, or my preferences? If as a producer, if I like to invest in my friend’s kid, that’s my call. I am not holding a government position, where I am selecting the best candidate for say, commissioner of some corporate body, then I would give preference to somebody, that would be nepotism,” explains the actor.
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