Hema Malini is a “Dream Girl” by all accounts – an amazing dancer, a brilliant actress, and a delight for audience of all ages and backgrounds. Tamilians love her because she represents the elite Iyengar clan so well. Punjabis love her because Dharmendra is no longer her husband, and he’s back with his first wife from Punjab! So why all the hate for the beloved Member of Parliament from the Lok Sabha (lower house)?
Hema was elected as an MP in 2014 from her constituency Mathura, the birthplace of Lord Krishna. Sadly, Mathura is in dumps! No real development work happened before Hema took office, nor is Mathura likely to see better days with Hema in office. You see, Hema is an actress-turned-politician, who still has a busy classical-dancing and movie-making career.
As an FYI, an MP in India is responsible for working with the State Government officials for the development of their constituency. A constituency comprises a group of citizens who elect an MP in good-faith, hoping their constituency will see new jobs and economic progress, very much like the election of Congresspersons in the US.
On the uneventful day of June 2, 2016, armed clashes in Mathura left 24 dead, including 2 polices officers. Illegal squatters were found with illegal arms, illegal land acquisitions and illegal demands. The squatters clashed with the police leaving widespread carnage of public property and human life.
Hema first said she really didn’t understand why media was hounding her with questions about the mess in her constituency. She stated with great candor,
It’s a state government’s issue, why is everyone after me? Concentrating on the issue is more important than on my tweets at this point of time.
Tweets in question showed Hema on a movie set. The tweets set the Twitterati on fire, and Hema was called careless, insensitive and out-of-touch like many other celebrity politicians such as revered Sachin Tendulkar and Rekha. The tweet was deleted and replaced by:
Thankfully, Hema’s PR team managed the situation promptly, with a barrage of pictures of the victims, shown here:
Hema also was visibly upset about all the backlash and wasn’t sure why she was called insincere. She vigirously defended herself,
I’m dedicating so much time to Mathura. Sometimes it is days before I even see my family or my house. Im attending to public needs sincerely.
Of course, the issue in Mathura has been brewing for over 2 years, but Hema was not expected to know about this, nor was the State Government. We’re so used to reactive and patchwork politics in Uttar Pradesh, that the reaction is totally understood. In fact, for us UPites to expect anything more from law makers and politicians is like women asking for gender-equality – I mean come on!
In Hema’s defence, the political situation in Uttar Pradesh has been messy for ages – the election of Akhilesh Yadav and family to the Chief Minister’s (CM) office, has made a limited difference in the plight of the common man. From communal clashes, to gang rapes, to widespread corruption, we UPiets have learnt to live with it all.
In interviews, CM Akhilesh Yadav admitted to lapses in police training, security, and agility. 350+ arrests have been made, and ammunition has been confiscated. But will the situation really change despite the acknowledgment? Many have said, CM knew about the encroachment and implicitly supported the activity.
As per expectation, both the CM and the MP will be off the hook as early as next week – life will be back to normal with more classical dance shows and political appearances. Maybe it is time to leave people to do what they know best – for Hema Malini it could mean being a Arts and Culture ambassdor for India than being an MP – a position she doesn’t really seem to care much for.
For the rest of us, no one really knows how the situation in Matura got so messy and in the end it doesn’t really matter. What the incident showcases is how wonderfully the great state of Uttar Pradesh has gone to the dogs. Between the majestic Elephant Parks, burning villages and opulent political scams, I can honestly say – we really don’t care for such a political representation anymore – we the UP junta will survive it all regardless!