Apart from defining love and romance, Bollywood has also defined parenting. It has portrayed loving, supportive and encouraging parents who want the best for their child. But apart from that, it has also portrayed the worst kind of parents, parents who are toxic and go to any extent to feed their ego, even if it means compromising upon their children’s mental peace and happiness.
Egoistic, manipulative, and propagandist, here is a list of bollywood movies which featured on- screen parents which nobody wants in real life.
#1 Main Prem ki Diwani Hoon
Every mom wants a rich and successful husband for her daughter, and so did Kareena’s mom. But the cruel part was, she wanted Kareena to fall in love with Hrithik whom she thought to be a rich guy, but when it turned out that he was just an employee in the rich man’s company, she wanted Kareena to forget him and marry Abhishek Bacchan, who was the boss of Hrithik.
What was worse, she asked Kareena whether she had established any physical relations with Hrithik to which Kareena simply denied, all she had to say was “Toh fir problem kya hai?” (What’s the problem then?) Means if a girl has established sexual relations with a guy then that can be considered for marriage, otherwise there’s no problem in forgetting a guy she loves and marrying a stranger.
Seems like emotions don’t find any place in love. Which mother would want her daughter to compromise her happiness for a social status?
#2 Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam
Aishwarya’s father is a product of patriarchy in the movie. He believes that women in the house are not allowed to love and choose a partner of their choice. That’s the reason he forced his niece to go back to her in- laws even after she faced domestic abuse there.
Though he loved his daughter dearly, but his love for the orthodox ideas was greater, hence, he forced Salman to leave his place forever and got Aishwarya married to another guy whom she barely knew. Because that’s what’s done to preserve the dignity of the family, and forced marriages are the best thing to do to preserve the family’s honour.
There is a similarity in most of the toxic parents of Bollywood, i.e. their aversion to love, especially of their daughters. It can be said that it is backed by the patriarchal society where good women should marry according to the will of their parents.
Another such example of toxic parent is from Mohabbatein. When Aishwarya told Amitabh about her love for Shah Rukh, who was the student of Amitabh’s college, he simply rusticated him without any further thought. The harsh reality of her dad and separation from her lover was too much to endure for her and she committed suicide.
#4 Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham
Amitabh Bacchan, again, was featured as an arrogant, egoistic patriarch who took too much pride in his wealth and status, and was a dictator in the guise of a father and a husband. According to him, the final decisions of the family rested in the hands of the male member (read the eldest male member).
He was a heck of a snub who didn’t even care about the opinion of his wife. And he broke all chords with Shah Rukh and even made him realise that he was not his own blood when he married against his wish.
He always boasted of his family’s parampara (traditions) and wanted his children to strictly adhere to it, while he himself was seen shaking his legs to the tunes of ‘Shava Shava’ with young, scantily dressed female dancers. Maybe seeing those beauties he forgot his ‘parivaar ki parampara’ for a while.
#5 Gangs Of Wasseypur
Richa Chaddha’s role is definitely not that of an ideal mother. Any mother would never want her children to practice violence and bloodshed to avenge the family’s destruction. But she made sure that in an atmosphere that breeds violence, her sons also take part in it to avenge their father’s death by killing Ramadheer Singh.
In a scene Nagma (Richa Chaddha) is seen questioning her son Faizal (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) as to when his blood would boil, to which he replies that he will avenge the death of his father and whole bloodline by jumping in the blood thirsty saga of violence and hatred. This is one of the most emotionally jolting scene in the movie.
#6 Taare Zameen Par
The little boy, Ishaan was suffering from dyslexia, a learning disorder, that made studies more difficult for him than other children. The disturbing fact is that his parents in the movie represent the majority of the parents of the modern era.
In the cut throat competition of today’s world, his parents shoved him in the rat race, disregarding his artistic side and paying no attention to his clinical condition, which instead of encouraging the child puts him in constant pressure and mental unrest. Such parenting should not be encouraged in the real world, but sadly, it exists.
#7 Student Of The Year
Ram Kapoor as Varun Dhawan’s dad in the movie is an arrogant man who discriminated between his two sons just because his younger son didn’t fit within the parameters of his liking for career and ambition.
From discouraging his son in every phase of life, throwing tantrums upon him in front of his friends, and actually wanting him to get defeated in the college competition in the climax just to humiliate him further in life are all the toxic traits he possesses as a parent.
#8 Rang De Basanti
Anupam Kher was the father who constantly liked to put his son down in life. He was drunk on wealth and power. Not just a corrupt man, he was also the one who was behind the death of his son’s friend, by scamming money which was meant for the upgradation of the air force planes, thus killing Madhvan (a defence personnel) in the crash and putting many other lives in danger.
How difficult it was for a son to digest that his corrupt father had a role behind his dearest friend’s death?
#9 Dil Dhadakne Do
Anil Kapoor and Shefali Shah came across as one of the most manipulative parents in the Bollywood. They wanted Priyanka Chopra, their daughter to stay in a lifeless and crumbling marriage just for the sake of the society, even if it meant compromising upon her mental peace and happiness.
Whereas they also kept forcing Ranveer Singh, their son to tie a nuptial knot with the daughter of another business giant just to keep their business afloat, as if marriage was some sort of business deal for them. They did everything to earn their place in the infamous list of toxic parents.
Ranjit Rai and Harbans Lal are my personal favourite in the notorious list of toxic parents of Bollywood. When their children fell in love with the partners who were poor, the two filthy rich fathers who were also best friends came together to hatch a conspiracy to separate their children, Ajay Devgn and Juhi Chawla, from their lovers, Kajol and Amir Khan, as they wanted their children to get married to each other to suit their social status. As if this was not enough, they made their children to go through a harrowing experience and also ruined their friendship with their best friends.
#11 Goliyon ki Rasleela
Mothers are regarded as the most sensitive persons who cannot see their children even in slight pain. But what can be worse and more barbaric than a mother who chops off the finger of her daughter just because she refused to marry another man as she was wearing the ring from the man she loved. Supriya Pathak played the role of one such tyrant mother to Deepika in the movie.
The hostile clash between the two clans of the village was so intense that she didn’t mind mutilating her daughter’s finger for loving the man of the enemy clan. This one scene shook me to the core and me realize how such parents even exist in the real world who even practice honour killings upon their own children.
#12 3 Idiots
The parents of Madhvan and Sharman Joshi, who pushed their children in the rat race are the epitome of the modern day parents for whom the degrees and the scores matter the most. Even when Madhvan wanted to be a wildlife photographer, his father rejected his dream and urged him to study engineering.
The scene where Madhvan receives a letter from a renowned wildlife photographer to assist him, and he shows his fears by saying “Abba nahi manenge!” (Dad won’t agree) was a scene which touched many hearts and made all the youngsters relate with it who leave behind their dreams and aspirations just for the sake of their families’ satisfaction. Although his father agreeing to his dream in the end was a much needed relief, we can’t deny the fact that most of the parents in reality don’t support their children.
Boman Irani, who played the father of Kareena Kapoor, was another example of toxic parent in the movie. He was so much obsessed with engineering that he drove his own son to commit suicide just because he couldn’t handle the pressure of unwanted career path and he was interested in literature, a field where his father would have never allowed him to go.
Though these characters were fictional, undoubtedly such parents exist in real life who push their children in the rat race, most of the times destroying their creative side and mental peace, only to realize their mistakes when it’s too late.