Actor, politician, producer, and classical dancer Hema Malini celebrates her 72nd birthday today. Famously known as the ‘dream girl’  of Hindi cinema, Malini has mesmerised viewers for decades with her performance in several hit Bollywood movies like Seeta aur Geeta, Dharmatma, Pratigya, Sholay, Andaz and Johny Mera Naam to name a few. The actor turned into a politician in 2003 when she officially joined Bharatiya Janata Party and currently is a Lok Sabha Member of Parliament.

On her birthday let’s have a look at Hema Malini’s political career.

Malini made her first political appearance in 1999 when she campaigned for BJP candidate, Vinod Khanna, a Bollywood actor for the Lok Sabha election in Gurdaspur, Punjab. After officially joining BJP in 2003 the then-president APJ Abul Kalam nominated her as an MP to the Upper House or Rajya Sabha. Her tenure lasted till 2009.

Also Read: CCTV Footage From Hospital Where Hathras Survivor Was Taken On The Day Of The Incident “Deleted”

In 2010, Hema Malini was made the general secretary of the BJP. The politician made her electoral debut in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections when she contested from the Mathura constituency on a BJP ticket. Her massive popularity helped her win the elections by defeating the then Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) incumbent Jayant Chaudhary by an astonishing margin of over 3.30 lakh votes. She reserved her Mathura seat, by winning the Lok Sabha elections again in 2019.

Controversies during her career as a politician

Hema Malini’s political career encountered controversy in 2019 when several Facebook and Twitter users started sharing pictures in which she could be seen sitting in a helicopter and then lending a helping hand to female farmers in another one, with a claim that the BJP leader is being “airdropped across wheat farms for photo-ops,” reported by TOI.

One of the Twitter posts that trolled her, said, “Gosh, so much progress under Modi Ji! Women farmers are provided helicopter services to go to their fields for harvesting!”

Later it was found that the circulated claims were fake and the images being circulated were taken in 2014 and 2015 on two different occasions.

Also Read: Dream Girl Hema Malini’s Biography To Be Out Soon

An Animal Rights Supporter

In 2011, she wrote to the Union Minister for Environment and Forests, Jairam Ramesh, urging him to ban bullfighting (jallikattu). Expressing her views she said, “bulls in ”jallikattu” are terrorized for entertainment. They are surrounded by screaming crowds, jumped on, pushed, hit, teased and wrestled to the ground…investigations at ”jallikattu” events show that bulls are pulled roughly by nose rings, punched, pummeled, hit with sharp sticks and crammed into trucks so tightly that they can barely move,” quotes by Siasat Daily.

Defended Bollywood in the drug nexus controversy

Last month, a day after fellow actor Jaya Bachchan gave a rousing speech in defence of Bollywood following allegations of drug abuse in the industry, Malini came forward and backed Bachchan’s comments. “These are small instances, like a stain on a piece of cloth we must wash it away. I have received a lot of love from this industry, how can I watch anyone say anything bad about it?” she said in an interview, also adding, “Bollywood is a beautiful and creative world. It is an art and culture industry. I have gained name fame and respect from this industry.” Read more about it here.

Picture Credit- Sahara Samay

Arunima Sharma is an intern with SheThePeople.TV.

Get the best of SheThePeople delivered to your inbox - subscribe to Our Power Breakfast Newsletter. Follow us on Twitter , Instagram , Facebook and on YouTube, and stay in the know of women who are standing up, speaking out, and leading change.