Bollywood and politics have remained strange bedfellows over the years. While several of B-town folk have dabbled in politics, a number of politicians too have rubbed shoulders with industry big-wigs. But this marriage between two distinctly different domains has made as many headlines for their gaffes as their contribution to the society. With Hema Malini’s recent media bytes on the lack of security for women in the country raking up a furore, it once again casts aspersions on how truly aware our stars-turned-politicos are of the real picture out there...
Quote: “Don’t take it so easy and go anywhere you want...anything can happen…you can get caught. Krishna would always come to protect Draupadi but we aren't so spiritually-evolved that God will come and protect us.”
Unquote: Though the statement had a cautious maternal tone, it made netizens wonder whether the mother of two girls’ was questioning urban realities. The rebuttal posed to the evergreen actress was quite a pragmatic one: if a woman can’t travel without fear and that too in a metropolitan, what’s the point of this thing called modern progress?
Quote: “Even today in Mumbai city, I can have a full meal at R 12. No no, not vada paav (snack). So much of rice, saambhar and maybe a few vegetables in it.”
Unquote: The Member of Parliament (MP) from Firozabad triggered a number of television debates to ponder as well as wisea** jokes to forward. Although he later retracted the statement and apologised, the damage was already done. Besides, the whole concept of Below Poverty Line (BPL) appeared ‘shaken’ by his misguided economic conclusion for a little while.
Quote: “I liked the movie and I went for the screening in order to support a fellow actor.”
Unquote: The Gujarat unit of his party has opposed the release of Aamir-Kajol starrer Fanaa but one of their own men had different plans. According to reports, the veteran actor watched it soon after its release in Pathankot. Interestingly, he refused to be drawn into the political row although his rebellious act didn’t go down very well with high command.
Quote: “Vishvamitra bhi bahak gaya tha, toh Shakti Kapoor kya hai?” (When a sage like Vishvamitra could get carried away by lust, Shakti Kapoor is just a mere mortal.)
Unquote: In his short stint (2004-08) as a politician, this actor faced quite a lot of controversies. One particular incident undermined his commitment to his party when he came out in support of his colleague. Kapoor was caught red-handed in a sting operation asking for sexual favours from a TV reporter posing as a Bollywood aspirant.
Quote: “There is no doubt that Nitish Kumar is PM material. But this is the parties’, allies’ and the people’s decision. If they desire, Nitish can definitely become the PM. If he doesn’t, it’s not that Nitish Kumar is not capable. He is definitely capable of becoming the Prime Minister.”
Unquote: The much-celebrated Shotgun is known for not mincing his words. He says what he has to but this time around, he ruffled his colleagues’ feathers. So much so that the opposition party announced that it will take disciplinary action against the actor for “harming the party” with his statement in favour of a political opponent.
Party: Samajwadi Party
Quote: “Hum UP ke log hain, isliye Hindi mein baat karenge, Maharashtra ke log maaf kijiye.” (We are from Uttar Pradesh, so we will speak in Hindi. People of Maharashtra, please excuse us.)
Unquote: For some it was a ‘democratic’ thing to mention on a wide platform but for others, it was just another promotional gimmick. After all, she said so during the music launch of the film Drona, starring son Abhishek. Local politicians made hay of the controversy that followed before Amitabh Bachchan tendered an immediate apology for her statements on her behalf and the matters cooled down.
Bollywood personalities who aren’t affiliated to a particular party but have been members of Parliament, too, have had their share of row...
Quote: “I wanted to buy a flat in Mumbai and it wasn't given to me because I was a Muslim and I read the same about Saif (Ali Khan). Now, I mean, if Javed Akhtar and Shabana Azmi cannot get a flat in Mumbai because they are Muslims, then what are we talking about?”
Unquote: The National Award-winning actress might have had a point considering how biased housing societies could be today but the ensuing dramatisation started losing its sheen when reports of her owning several flats in the city surfaced. No wonder her statement greeted disapproval from the industry as well as the media.
Compared to Bollywood, South actors are more actively associated with politics. And the number of participations - or career switch, if you may - keeps increasing with time. Some of the most active actors-turned-politicians are Karunanidhi, Jayalalithaa, Chiranjeevi, Vijaykanth, Nagma and Khushboo.