'Very hurt to hear people talk bad about B'wood'
Veteran actor and BJP MP Hema Malini said that Bollywood would 'always remain in high esteem' and no one could bring it down in a flash over allegations like drugs and nepotism. In an emotional defence of the film industry, she said, "I got name, fame, respect and everything from this industry. It feels really hurtful."
The 71-year old actor spoke to a leading news channel recently when another senior actor Jaya Bachchan, her contemporary in Hindi films, had spoken emphatically in parliament against what she called attempts to vilify the film industry with allegations of drug abuse related to the Sushant Singh Rajput death investigation.
Hitting out at actor and BJP MP Ravi Kishen over his comments on drugs in Bollywood, Jaya, a Samajwadi Party member, said in Rajya Sabha: "Just because of a few people, you cannot tarnish the whole industry. Jis thaali me khaate hain usi mein ched karte hain," she said.
Hema Malini, though a rival in politics, backed Jaya Bachchan's sentiment. "I want to tell people that not only Bollywood is a beautiful place and a creative world, but it is also an art and culture industry. I feel very hurt when I hear people talking so badly about it, about drugs and things like that. Where does not it happen? But if there is a stain, you wash it off and it goes. The stain on Bollywood will also go," she said.
The actor-politician added, "So many great artistes and matinee idols were gods in human form. People used to wonder whether they were artistes or God. Raj Kapoor, Dev Anand, Dharmendra (husband), Amitabh Bachchan - they are all examples of Bollywood luminaries who made Bollywood synonymous with everything Indian. Bollywood is India. I cannot take it when they ridicule our industry like this."
She added that even if there were instances, it did not mean that the entire industry is bad.
Tackling allegations of nepotism, which has been in the middle of a raging debate since actor Sushant was found dead at his Mumbai home on June 14, Hema Malini said: "If somebody's son or daughter joins the industry, it is not a given that they become superstars."
Bollywood, she said, could not be tarnished by a small stain.