Seeks three Kendriya Vidayalayas and Yamuna ‘shuddhikaran’ in Mathura

By Parsa Venkateshwar Rao Jr

Member from Mathura and evergreen heroine of Hindi cinema Hema Malini spoke on the Finance Bill on Wednesday afternoon, when there were not too many in the Lok Sabha. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley walked in when she was speaking.

Her praise for Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Finance Minister Jaitley was without a trace of fawning. She said that the world was discussing the manner in which the prime minister was steering the country’s economy. Extending support to digital economy and demonetisation, she put up the simple defence that greater digital transactions would reduce black money and this would contribute to greater development in the economy.

But the main theme of her intervention was naturally with regard to her own constituency, Mathura. She pointed out that there were no roads, no schools and no primary health care centres in Mathura. She made the specific demand for three Kendriya Vidyalayas for Mathura.

She said there is need for Yamuna ‘shuddhikaran’ or cleansing of the river to keep it flowing. She said that the prime minister wanted to encourage religious tourism, and reminded all that Mathura is the city of Krishna, and that she wanted to develop a Krishna-themed park to attract tourists. “All this would require a lot of money,” she said.

She talked about agriculture and the help that the sector requires. She also said that it was possible to set up industry in the area which do not add to pollution and protect the beauty of the Taj Mahal.

Hema Malini spoke for ‘Bollywood’, and she said that Hindi films enjoy popularity all over the world and that many of the actors of the Hindi films are the highest tax-payers. This was just a preface to her demand to the finance minister that Hindi films should be given industry status, and that there should be provision for the real heroes—the technicians, the people behind the cameras who work through day and night—so that they can lead a dignified life after they are no longer are in the workforce.

Then she turned her attention to performing arts, and she told the House that dancers and musicians are brand ambassadors of Indian culture, and they do not earn as much money as the film artistes. She said that there should be tax concessions for these artistes and they should not be made to pay the taxes at the same rates as the others.

Dressed in a gorgeous emerald green saree, she spoke in a simple and straightforward manner. Her voice was even, and she sprinkled English phrases in her Hindi speech, sans histrionics.