Published On: Tue, Oct 11th, 2016

Give my daughter her private life back: Shweta Bachchan’s heartfelt letter to Navya

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Give my daughter her private life back Shweta Bachchan’s heartfelt letter to Navya (10)

“Just like any other teenager, Navya likes to dress up and go out to parties,” Shweta wrote in her letter.

Mumbai: After Amitabh Bachchan, his daughter Shweta Bachchan Nanda has written an open letter to her daughter Navya Naveli Nanda, who is already a star in the country. People are curious to know about her and what goes around in her life, which has made Navya an internet sensation and a hot talk of the town.

Give my daughter her private life back Shweta Bachchan’s heartfelt letter to Navya

Just when everybody thought that living a life as a star kid with a reputed Bollywood family’s name tag attached to you is full of perks, Shweta Bachchan throws light on everything that isn’t as shiny as it looks in her heartfelt open letter to daughter, Navya.

She talks about how even though her daughter’s every social media account is private, her pictures end up on several cover stories on different websites with sleazy headlines. She also questions people why a normal teenager who likes to dress up, party, hang out with her friends is seen through different glasses just because she comes from a filmy family.

Give my daughter her private life back Shweta Bachchan’s heartfelt letter to Navya (2)

Shweta Bachchan Nanda’s letter, which appeared on DNA, surely evokes a lot of questions as it also paints a picture of the struggle Navya goes through in her every day as she tries to keep her personal life private and away from media’s prying eyes.

Shweta starts her letter by mentioning how a notification tone on her phone revealing a new picture post by her daughter, worries her about what will be written on her now.

Give my daughter her private life back Shweta Bachchan’s heartfelt letter to Navya (3)

“Before I can even click a heart on it in approval, I think… the internet is going to have a field day with this one when they get their hands on it, and they eventually will! I almost pick up the phone to call her and grumble about yet another picture of hers floating all over the net, but stop myself. This is why… You do not know my daughter, the websites that post her pictures with captions like ‘Navya Nanda HOT pics’ or ‘Navya Nanda parties with friends, WILD’! certainly do not know her either. Nor, might I add, do they have her permission to post her private pictures. She is not a public figure. Yes, she is related to some very famous people, but that is something completely out of her control.

Give my daughter her private life back Shweta Bachchan’s heartfelt letter to Navya

She is a teenager, and as most young teens are wont to do, she likes to dress up, hang out with her friends, pose for pictures and yes, go out to parties (she has a deadline and is always home well before it is over). If she finds herself on a beach, she will wear beach-appropriate attire — namely, a swimsuit — as would any young girl anywhere. If there is music, she will dance much like her peers would. She will pout, she will preen, she will hang out with boys — the last time I checked, absolutely normal teenage behaviour!

Give my daughter her private life back Shweta Bachchan’s heartfelt letter to Navya (4)

Most importantly all of her social media accounts are private and she is not on Twitter. So, it begs the question, how do her pictures land up all over the internet? Here is how. Websites with a keen interest in Bollywood and its goings-on, make fake identities (mostly in the names of her friends) and send requests to anyone following her and often to her as well. They then plunder the accounts of her friends and use their photos to post on their websites captioning them irresponsibly and disrespectfully, most of them stop short of objectifying and shaming her. This has been happening with my daughter since she was 13 years old!!

Give my daughter her private life back Shweta Bachchan’s heartfelt letter to Navya (5)

My daughter Navya likes reading, the Kardashians, rajma chawal, curling up next to her Naani while watching TV, teasing her brother and counselling her friends when their hearts are broken. She doesn’t have any particular interest in acting or pursuing a career in acting as of now. She is generous and kind and bright, but these attributes don’t make fetching headlines! Do the adults who run these sites even know how invasive and inappropriate what they are doing, is? Do they even care? And would they like it if this happened to their children?

Give my daughter her private life back Shweta Bachchan’s heartfelt letter to Navya (6)

Navya has a strong sense of self, so perhaps, it does not hurt her as much when in the comments section, people judge her, deride her, call her unattractive or scrawny. But you can well imagine what it would do to the self-esteem of a young, impressionable girl, who hasn’t asked to be thrust into the spotlight in this way. She is somebody’s child, a most treasured and beloved child. As a parent, I sit helpless. Unable to plug the flow of this filth that is distributed in the name of information and journalism, and all in the pursuit of hits and likes, leading to some kind of monetisation. In effect, they profit off pictures stolen from my daughter’s life. If there is rock- bottom, this would be it.

Give my daughter her private life back Shweta Bachchan’s heartfelt letter to Navya (7)

A couple of weeks ago, another slew of pictures went viral, and I asked my daughter to caution her friends against posting anything on an open platform, to which she replied, “I can tell them, but I don’t want anyone in college to know, though.” I decided then, that I was not going to fight this, I was going to let it be. She doesn’t have to hide, she isn’t doing anything wrong. Her parents and her family are absolutely okay with what she wears and does,” Shweta vents out

Give my daughter her private life back Shweta Bachchan’s heartfelt letter to Navya (8)

As she concludes her letter, she writer, “But I can write about it in the hope that the people peddling this nonsense have some shame or at least accountability, though I highly doubt they will. Perhaps if they understood that we, just like them, are human beings, trying to get about our everyday lives while making sure we give respect to the love and affection people show members of our family, couldn’t they in return give my daughter her private life back?”

Give my daughter her private life back Shweta Bachchan’s heartfelt letter to Navya (9)

About the Author

Syed Ammar Alavi

- is Lahore (Pakistan) based journalist & writer with 25-year experience in print, wire and broadcast forms of journalism. His major fields of interest are politics, film,tv,sports, climate change and technology