Veteran actor and BJP MP Hema Malini has come out in support of Jaya Bachchan, who on Tuesday said in Parliament that the government must stand by the film industry at a time when its image is being "tarnished" because of the actions of a few people.
Hema Malini, though a rival in politics, backed Jaya Bachchan's sentiment. "I want to tell people, Bollywood beautiful place, a creative world, it is an art and culture industry... I feel very hurt when I hear people talking so bad about it, about drugs and things like that...Where doesn't it happen? But if there is a stain, you wash it off and it goes. The stain on Bollywood will also go," she told NDTV.
Hema Malini said Bollywood would "always remain in high esteem" and no one could bring it down in a flash over allegations like drugs and nepotism.
"I got name, fame, respect, everything from this industry... it feels really hurtful. So many great artistes, matinee idols were gods in human form. People used to wonder whether they were artistes or God. Raj Kapoor, Dev Anand, Dharmendra (Hema Malini's husband), Amit-ji (Amitabh Bachchan) - they are all examples of Bollywood luminaries who made Bollywood synonymous with everything Indian. Bollywood is India. I can't take it when they ridicule our industry like this," she added.
Raising the issue during Zero Hour in the RS, Jaya Bachchan, who is also a Rajya Sabha (RS) member of the Samajwadi Party (SP), said the government must offer protection to the film industry and not kill it. “Just because there are few people, you cannot tarnish the image of the industry,” she said.
She added: “The entertainment industry always stepped forward to support the government and whatever good work it takes up. They support the country. If there is a natural calamity, they donate money and also offer their services. The industry brings international fame.”
She made the comments at a time when the film industry is under the spotlight over the alleged death by suicide of actor Sushant Singh Rajput on June 14.