Mathura violence and Hema Malini’s insensitive tweet raise questions on the culture of ‘Trophy MPs’


Dr Kouser Fathima

The violence in Mathura and the subsequent reaction by Mathura MP and actress- turned-politician Hema Malini has been regretful to say the least.

While Mathura faced clashes over anti encroachment drive leaving 2 cops including the local SP and 19 protesters dead , the respected MP was busy promoting her new film and posting pictures from the shoot .

Though she later deleted the pictures and expressed concern about her constituency, the damage was done. The incident reflected her callous attitude and highlighted how unconnected she was from the people who voted her .

To be fair, not only Hema Malini but many ‘filmy’ MPs, who are nominated or elected only based on their crowd pulling capacity have been proved to be indifferent to their constituencies.

Also Read | While Mathura burns, local MP Hema Malini busy posting ‘shoot ;pictures’ from exotic location, later deletes tweet

The trend of nominating personalities from the film industry and was set many years ago when in 1952 Prithvi Raj Kapoor was nominated to the Rajya Sabha and later in 1980 Nargis Dutt was nominated followed b Vyjyanatimala (1993-1999), Shabana Azmi (1997-2003), Lata Mangeshkar (1999-2005), Hema Malini (2003-2009), Shyam Benegal (2006-2012) Javed Akhtar (2010-2016) and Rekha (2012-2016).

No doubt these personalities are highly acclaimed, talented and respected in their respective fields but sadly very few have been active members of parliament. Other film stars who have been elected are no better.

Sunil Dutt was one of the active politicians, who enjoyed respect cutting across party lines. Shabana Azmi too came close to Dutt in terms of earning plaudits for her care for the masses as an MP.

Shatrughan Sinha , Paresh Rawal and Vinod Khanna have tried to maintain a balance between their political responsibilities and film commitments. But, the others have been great disappointment with very few visiting their respective constituencies and barely connecting with their voter.

Many a time when they return after the term to seek votes these celebrities face the resentment of the voters and fare badly in the elections .

The response of Hema Malini smacks of callous attitude of these ‘Trophy MPs’ towards the people they once voted her. Far from being sympathetic to their plight, she was clearly busy in her own glamour world . It’s time that political parties stopped fielding such candidates in elections. Even more important is that public must stop falling for their glamour until they prove their commitment towards public cause.

Views expressed here are the author’s own. doesn’t subscribe to them.