Before Film stars invaded Lok Sabha Election, the trend of film stars in politics was initiated by Congress First Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, who offered a Rajya Sabha Seat to present day superstar Ranbir Kapoor‘s Great Grandfather Prithviraj Kapoor in the year 1960. He was offered the honor for staging plays giving prominence to the Nehruvian ideals of socialism and secularism at his Prithvi Theatre in Mumbai. Thus actor Prithviraj Kapoor became the First Bollywood actor to become the Member of Parliament of India from 1952 to 1960.
It may be remembered that Prithviraj Kapoor is that brilliant actor who played the dynamic role of King Akbar in the magnum opus love story Mughal-E-Azam, starring Dilip Kumar and Madhubala in 1960. Prithviraj Kapoor was also the actor who played a key role in India’s First Talkie Film Alam Ara (1931). Prithviraj Kapoor was also awarded the Dadasaheb Phalke Award (Posthumous) for the year 1971, for his immense contribution to Indian theatre and cinema.
After Prithviraj Kapoor, the actor who got the honor to become Member of Parliament (MP) was actor Sanjay Dutt‘s mother and Bollywood top star Nargis, who became immortal with her superlative role in the film Mother India. Besides films, Nargis was an active social worker and did entertainment stage shows at the border for the Jawans of India. She worked for The Spastic Society of India and this won her a place in Rajya Sabha. She was MP from 1980 to1986.
After Nargis, Bollywood and South cinema dancing queen Vyjayanthimala became MP from 1993 to 1999 for contribution for flourishing Bharata Natyam, Indian classical dance. From 1997 to 2003 film star Shabana Azmi won the honor of being MP for her dedication and commitment in social work for supporting child survival and fighting AIDS and injustice to the underprivileged. Bharat Ratna winner and known as Melodious Queen of India Lata Mangeshkar too served as MP from 1999 to 2005 for immense contribution to Indian Film Music. From 2003 to 209 Dream Girl aka Hema Malini served as MP for her charitable and social achievements.
Jaya Bachchan has served four terms as MP. First she was selected from 2004 to 2006, on Samajwadi Party, representing Uttar Pradesh and later from 2006 till 2010. She was re-elected in 2012 for the third term and again in 2018 for her fourth term in the Rajya Sabha from Samajwadi Party.
Dara Singh, the world recognized wrestler and film star became the First Sportsperson to be nominated to the Rajya Sabha —between 2003 and 2009. Seven times National Film Award Winner Shyam Benegal too became MP 2006 to 2012 for making intellectual and mass awakening films like Aakrosh, Manthan, Mandi etc. Famous scriptwriter and lyricist Javed Akhtar became MP from 2010 to 2016 for giving films lyrics a high standard. Film star Rekha is known for her hit films like Umrao Jaan and Khubsoorat and Khoon Bhari Mang and her sensational Jodi with Amitabh Bachchan also was honored as MP from 2012 to 2018.