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Year Of The Celeb Children: 4 Star Kids Who Led Important Conversations In 2020

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2020 was an unprecedentedly difficult year for Bollywood, not primarily on account of the pandemic as should have been expected, but because it once again came under the radar of criticism for nepotism in the film industry. Actors, including industry veterans and stalwarts, became the target of abject backlash, especially in light of Sushant Singh Rajput’s death. The main allegation against cinema’s top stars was the privilege they exercised and therefore lent to their kids. Amidst all the noise, however, it was heartening to note that several of these celebrity children – who were slammed as “products of nepotism” online – had the grit to spearhead important conversations on social issues. Notwithstanding the negativity coming their way (and their parents’ way), these young personalities stood tall in voicing their opinions to the world.

Here are four such star kids that made a mark this year: 

1. Suhana Khan

Suhana Khan, daughter of India’s starriest star couple Shah Rukh Khan and Gauri Khan, appealed to people on Instagram for the need to end the rampant colourism in India. The 20-year-old shared her own experience of receiving hateful comments from people basis her skin tone. It was a maturely written, encouraging statement she gave, despite being trolled for her father having done ads promoting fairness creams in the past. She bravely wrote, “I’ve been told I’m ugly because of my skin tone, by full grown men and women, since I was 12 years old. I hope it helps to know that I’m 5″3 and brown and I am extremely happy about it and you should be too.”

 

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2. Renee Sen

Sushmita Sen’s daughter Renee Sen earlier this year hinted at her acting debut with the trailer for a short comedy film titled Suttabaazi. In the minute-long trailer, the young actor is seen as the film’s protagonist Diya Kumar, who is 19 and stuck at home with her nagging parents in lockdown. She is a chain-smoker who is always at loggerheads with her parents, played by Komal Chhabria and Rahul Vohra. The trailer for the short was released on the date coinciding with Sen’s birthday in November. Sen, who adopted Renee and Alisah, has been raising them both as a single mother.

3. Ira Khan

Ira Khan, the daughter of actor Aamir Khan and his ex-wife Reena Dutta, through her active use of social media this year has been at the forefront of the mental health conversation, something Bollywood has always been accused of neglecting. In October, the 23-year-old took to Instagram to open up about being the child of a non-traditional family system with divorced parents. Khan, on World Mental Health Day, informed followers of her clinical depression diagnosis, bringing notice to the importance of mental health awareness. Further in November, she once again recounted her personal experiences, this time sharing how she was sexually abused at age 14 and was relieved from the situation by her father. Khan received immense backlash for her candid chats, but the young artist soldiered on undaunted.

 

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4. Janhvi Kapoor

Early in the year, when the coronavirus lockdown was clocking in on its first months in India, Janhvi Kapoor shared a moving note on social media about all she learned after self-reflecting in isolation. The daughter of late acting legend Sridevi and producer Boney Kapoor, the Dhadak actor wrote on Instagram about how she learnt the value of food and what it is to have everything in abundance, and that she took all her luxuries for granted and started measuring them in terms of necessities. She also mentioned how she was taking up responsibility for the people in her house and began valuing everything more. Later in the year, she also spoke up about the undue negativity surrounding her film Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl, based on the life on Flt. Lt. Gunjan Saxena, and defended it.

Views expressed are the author’s own.

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