Actor Abhay Deol says he went the extra mile in his career to make his own path and called his uncle, veteran star Dhamendra, whom he fondly calls his "dad", his inspiration.
Abhay took to Instagram, where he spoke about nepotism prevalent everywhere. He also shared a picture of himself along with Dharmendra.
"My uncle, whom I affectionately call dad, was an outsider who made it big in the film industry. I'm glad there is an active debate on the practices behind the scenes. Nepotism is just the tip of the iceberg. I've only ever made one film with my family, my 1st, and I'm grateful to be blessed and have that privileged," Abhay wrote alongside the image.
"I've gone that extra mile in my career to make my own path, something that dad always encouraged. For me he was the inspiration."
Abhay added that nepotism exists everywhere.
"Nepotism is prevalent everywhere in our culture, be it in politics, business, or film. I was aware of it and it pushed me to take chances with new directors and producers throughout my career. That is how I was able to make movies that were considered "out of the box".
"I'm glad some of those artists and films went on to have tremendous success."
Abhay said nepotism has taken a different side in the country.
"While it plays a part in every country, nepotism has taken on another dimension here in India. I suspect caste plays a major role in it being more pronounced here than in other parts of the world. After all, it is "jati" that dictates that a son carry on the work of his father, while the daughter is expected to marry and be a housewife," he said.
The "Dev. D" star says a cultural evolution is needed to bring about change.
"If we are serious about making changes for the better, then focusing on only one aspect, one industry, while ignoring the many others, will be incomplete and possibly counterproductive. We need a cultural evolution. After all, where do our filmmakers, politicians and businessmen come from? They are people just like everyone," he said.
"They grow up within the same system as everybody else. They reflect their culture. Talent everywhere deserves a chance to shine in his or her medium. As we have learnt over the past few weeks, there are several ways in which an artist is either uplifted to success, or beaten down to failure."
Abhay feels glad that more actors are coming out today and "speaking of their experiences".
"I've been vocal about mine for years now, but as a lone voice I could only do so much. It is easy to smear one artist for speaking out, and I have been at the receiving end from time to time. But as a group, a collective, that becomes difficult. Maybe now is our watershed moment," he said..