The legendary Dream Girl Of the Mumbai film industry Hema Malini is baffled by attempts in recent months to tarnish the image of the Indian film industry. On Tuesday, in the Indian parliament, legendary actress-parliamentarian Jaya Bachchan defended the Indian film industry lashing out at fellow-parliamentarian Ravi Kishan for portraying the Hindi film industry as a den of drugs.
Actress and politician Hema Malini supports Jaya Bachchan but defends fellow-BJP parliamentarian Ravi Kishan. “Jaya is right. We all need to stand up and defend our beloved film industry which is being maligned. Remember, the world is watching. We need to guard ourselves against disruptive forces hell-bent on bringing Indian cinema down.”
Hema, however thinks Jaya’s reaction to Kishan’s comments might have been based on erroneous assumptions. “Jaya may have been misinformed about what Ravi said in parliament a day before she criticized him for maligning the industry. I don’t think Ravi would speak against our film industry which has given him everything.”
Hema is appalled at the vicious campaign to bring down Bollywood. “I haven’t seen such a vicious campaign to tarnish the image of our film industry’s reputation. Ever since Sushant Singh Rajput’s tragic death, any and everyone thinks it is their right to speak of the industry as a filthy place. This is unfair. I have been a part of the Hindi film industry for more than 45 years. It has only given me happiness. I take immense pride in being part of the film industry,” says Hemaji who made her debut in 1968 opposite Raj Kapoor in Sapnon Ka Saudagar and is labelled the first female superstar of Bollywood.
Does Hema deny the existence of drug consumption in Bollywood? “I am not saying that. I’m sure there is some truth to this allegation and this evil practice of drug consumption among the young people of India which is destroying families and lives everywhere, must be stopped. The Government should take strong action against those found to be dealing with and consuming drugs.”
While denying a rampant use of drugs in Bollywood Hema admits there is consumption of alcohol in the film fraternity. “Creative people in every walk of life tend to turn to alcohol for inspiration. Bollywood’s writers and directors are susceptible to alcohol consumption, but not drugs.”
What Hema objects to is the vilification campaign against the film industry. “These days anyone can go on one of the TRP-obsessed news channel and abuse anyone in the film industry by name. Who are these people who are constantly attacking us? And why are they not being reined in by the law? Hindi cinema is looked up to the world over. It has given the world great actors like Dilip Kumar, Raj Kapoor and Amitabh Bachchan.”
Hemaji imputes some blame on news channels for the anti-Bollywood propaganda. “The news channels screaming abuses against the film industry. Sadly people from the film industry are abetting and encouraging these news channels by joining in the mob lynching. This must stop. We won’t tolerate it.”
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