New Delhi, Feb 21 (IANS) Politics could be a predictable career option for the progeny of politicians, but showbiz seems to be the new choice. Defence Minister A.K. Antony's son Ajith's entry into Malayalam films just goes to strengthen this trend in the flourishing $2 billion Indian movie industry.
Showbiz has lured many youngsters from political families - Riteish Deshmukh, Arunoday Singh, Chirag Paswan and Rahul Mahajan to name some - and they are trying to carve a niche for themselves in a world very different from the one they grew up in.
Now Ajith Antony is reportedly set for his silver screen debut with director Aji John's "Oberoi", for which the 22-year-old has also penned the screenplay.
Riteish, the son of former Maharashtra chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, is so far the most popular among the lot. He embarked on his showbiz journey in 2003 with "Tujhe Meri Kasam" and has gradually grown to be one of the most sought after actors in tinsel town today. A variety of films like "Heyy Babyy", "Dhamaal", "Rann" and "Housefull", have cemented his position in the film industry.
Arunoday, the grandson of late Congress veteran Arjun Singh, has always chosen to be unconventional. Despite his political lineage, he delved into cinema and his films - "Sikandar", "Aisha", "Mirch" and "Yeh Saali Zindagi" - also reflect his distinct choices.
"I've always been interested in acting. Since my school days I have been doing theatre. I'm not interested in politics at all. As it is, I feel there is enough politics in Bollywood," the 6'4" handsome hunk had told IANS.
His family was perhaps as supportive of his decision to enter the film world, as was the case with Chirag, son of Lok Janshakti Party chief Ram Vilas Paswan.
The entry into the electoral battlefield could have been a cakewalk for the young boy, but Chirag, who feels he would eventually enter politics, decided to challenge himself in showbiz first.
"Politics excites me. I cannot say no to politics because I have been born and brought up in that atmosphere. Politics flows in my blood. I have actively campaigned for and with my father during most of the state elections. So in the later days of my life, I know I will walk that path. Eventually I know I will give in to politics, but for now, movies are my priority," Chirag had told IANS.
Considering that his debut vehicle, "Miley Naa Miley Hum", bombed at the box office, his father's wish that he "should try to grab the No.1 spot" in Bollywood came crumbling down. But Chirag may have a lot more to offer to the acting world.
Another name one can't miss is Rahul Mahajan. The son of late Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Pramod Mahajan, Rahul may have made news for all the wrong reasons, but his entertainer streak hasn't gone unnoticed.
His brush with controversial reality show "Bigg Boss 2" in 2008 won him more popularity in households than his chequered past, which included allegations of beating his ex-wife, a drug abuse case in 2006, and an alleged affair with actress Payal Rohatgi. In "Bigg Boss", he came into the limelight for flirting with co-participant Monica Bedi.
"Bigg Boss" opened many avenues for him, including a chance to be a judge on children's reality show "Chhote Miyan".
Following that, he shocked one and all by deciding to get married for the second time -- that too on national television through the show "Rahul Dulhaniya Le Jayega". He found his bride in Bengali beauty Dimpy Ganguly and tied the knot with her.
Off and on, Rahul is seen entertaining the audience through comedy shows, but politics seems a far cry for the man who once told IANS: "I would first like to stabilise myself financially and personally. Once I do that, there is no reason why I shouldn't serve the nation."
In the fashion world, there's designer Siddartha Tytler, son of controversial Congress politician Jagdish Tytler. Party spokesperson Renuka Chaudhary's daughter Tejaswini has been seen on the ramp while another daughter Poojita has made documentary films.
The list only seems to be growing.
(Radhika Bhirani can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)