"Nepotism Rocks" chants resounded on social media when Karan Johar unveiled the first look of Janhvi Kapoor and Ishaan Khattar of their debut film Dhadak on Twitter a couple of days ago. However, the negative reactions haven't gone down really well with Ishaan's father and actor Rajesh Khattar who called social media an open defecation ground for trolls.
Lashing out at the trolls, Rajesh Khattar told DNA, "Social media is great to reach out if you have something to convey or share, but unfortunately, has become an open defecation ground for trolls, where people want to dump their sh** on anyone they fancy."
Janhvi Kapoor is the daughter of veteran actress Sridevi and Ishaan Khattar is the half-brother of Shahid Kapoor. In fact, the two were already in talks with Karan Johar for their Bollywood debut for a very long time which is an open secret.
Rajesh Khattar pointed out that KJo wanted to cast new and fresh actors for Dhadak and that was the only reason he chose to cast Janhvi and Ishaan in his film.
"It's not as if Karan was compelled to take Ishaan! He is going by the subject and what he wants to project. The story is about youngsters in the 18-21-year-old age bracket and he wanted actors with no image, which is why he chose them (Janhvi and Ishaan)," Rajesh said adding that 400 Hindi films are made every year, and on an average 80-100 films have newcomers.
Pointing out that the focus is only on the few people from the marquee like Karan Johar, Sajid Nadiadwala and Yash Raj Films, Rajesh said, "When they launch newcomers, it is talked about, but it's not that other newcomers are not getting breaks. And the ones who have it in them and in their destinies are coming up. Where did Rajkummar Rao come from. Or for that matter, now Vicky Kaushal is coming up."
"What was nepotism applicable in Shahid's case? His parents — Pankaj Kapur and Neelima Azim —
were not huge stars. He made his way up. Today, they are targetting Ishaan for being Shahid's brother! When Shah Rukh Khan came in, where was the nepotism? But if his son Aryan will make his acting foray, they will say nepotism! Where will the buck stop?" Rajesh questioned adding that if nepotism existed, all the superstars' kids should have been superstars.
"We know that's not the case. So, for all those who are crying hoarse, getting a break is only the first step. It's the public who gives the final verdict," Rajesh rests his case.