- "There is inequality in India that needs to be explored," said Saif
- "Nobody speaks of that," he added
- "Nepotism, favoritism and camps are different subjects," said Saif
On Twitter, #SaifAliKhan has trended all day. The reason - the 49-year-old actor dropped the "N" word (as in nepotism) during an interview. Saif, son of actress Sharmila Tagore and cricketing great Tiger Pataudi, steered into somewhat puzzling waters by presenting himself as a "victim of nepotism." Before we go any further, Saif Ali Khan has, in the past, championed nepotism and also lectured the public on the intricacies of eugenics. Bearing this in mind, read what Saif told The New Indian Express in an interview: "There is inequality in India that needs to be explored. Nepotism, favouritism and camps are different subjects. Even I have been a victim of nepotism but nobody speaks of that. I'm happy to see more people from film institutes come to the forefront."
While his comments on inequality and advocacy of merit are welcome, Saif's casting of himself as having been in some way disadvantaged by nepotism instead of having benefitted by it is baffling - more so, since he offered no explanation of why he thinks he's a victim. The Internet is not buying it. Twitter, in its element, has turned Saif Ali Khan's claimed victimhood into memes and jokes.
Saif Ali khan complaining about nepotism is like : pic.twitter.com/svK7zkel50— Mr. Stark (@Mr_Stark_) July 2, 2020
When Saif Ali Khan Says ,— RaFi (@IamRaaFii) July 2, 2020
He is an Victim of Nepotism.
There were also many tweets reminding the actor not only of his own lineage but of his legacy.
Saif Ali Khan says he is a victim of Nepotism, then Sara Ali khan is definitely a victim of her acting skills!— DOPE. (@Antic_piece) July 2, 2020
Not only Saif Ali Khan but also Taimur has been a victim of Nepotism pic.twitter.com/72JnA4BdJY— Souvik Nag (@SouvikNag_tatai) July 2, 2020
Also, how about that National Award? Saif Ali Khan won the National Award for Best Actor for his performance in 2004 rom-com Hum Tum, raising several eyebrows at the time and prompting speculation that his mother Sharmila Tagore's office as chief of the Censor Board had been a factor in his win. Twitter is of the opinion that other performances of the year were more deserving of the award - Shah Rukh Khan's in Swades, for instance.
Saif Ali Khan says that he has been a victim of nepotism. Yeah that's why you had got National Award for Hum Tum instead of SRK for Swades. #SRK#ShahRukhKhan— Rohit Agrawal (@rohit__6428) July 2, 2020
Slow Clap for you #Saifalikhanpic.twitter.com/MsFVvvSPOU
"Saif Ali Khan says that he has been a victim of nepotism. Yeah that's why you had got National Award for Hum Tum instead of SRK for Swades. Slow claps for your Saif Ali Khan," wrote a Twitter user.
#SaifAliKhan khan saying I was also victim of nepotism— Raees Happu (@TheBoy_WhoIived) July 2, 2020
The biggest robbery in national awards happened because of your mom actually. Everyone was sure SRK is getting it for Swades.
But Saif got it for usual Rom Com Hum tum.
Saif Ali Khan's talent is not in question here - performances such as Langda Tyagi in Omkara and Sartaj Singh in Sacred Games speak for themselves. However, talking about nepotism in an enlightened and sensible manner clearly seems to be as much beyond him, one of Bollywood's more educated and cerebral members, as it is for others.
In 2017, Saif joined filmmaker Karan Johar and actor Varun Dhawan to chant "Nepotism Rocks" at the IIFA Awards - it was a response to actress Kangana Ranaut calling KJo the "flagbearer of nepotism" in Bollywood on his show Koffee With Karan. Soon after, Saif told Firstpost that those of us discussing nepotism were actually confusing it with "eugenics and genetics," compounding his unlikely argument by writing an open letter in DNA where he compared breeding race horses to star kids.
In terms of work, Saif Ali Khan has a super busy schedule. His line-up of films includes Hunter and Bhoot Police . The actor starred in the period drama Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior and comedy drama Jawaani Jaaneman this year.