In addition to actor-parliamentarians like Hema Malini and Jaya Bachchan playing a prominent role inside the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha chambers, a number of leading ladies from the film industry made special appearances outside the Parliament during the current session.
Women personalities, including Kangana Ranaut, Bhumi Pednekar, Esha Gupta, and Tamannaah Bhatia, visited the new Parliament building as special invitees of Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur following the introduction of Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam in the House.
The faction of the Nationalist Congress Party led by Sharad Pawar alleged on Thursday that the Union government was inviting actresses to visit the new Parliament building in order to obtain publicity for the passage of the women’s reservation bill. “Did any of the invited actresses address the atrocities committed against women? Where were they when women in Manipur and elsewhere in India suffered?” Clyde Crasto, the spokesperson for the party commanded by Sharad Pawar, asked on X, formerly Twitter.
— ANI (@ANI) September 21, 2023
To coincide with the women’s reservation bill being debated in the House, many Union ministers and BJP lawmakers extended special invitations to women from their constituency. Hundreds of female visitors occupied the visitor galleries of the Lok Sabha.
Former Union minister and Gautam Buddha Nagar BJP representative Mahesh Sharma also invited a group of women from his constituency as special guests. “Visited the ‘New Parliament House’ along with the matri shakti of the Gautam Buddha Nagar parliamentary constituency. “With the passage of the Nari Vandan Act, the mothers and sisters of the region are expressing their heartfelt congratulations to the Prime Minister,” he said on X on Wednesday.
The Women’s Reservation Bill, which seeks to provide a 33 percent quota for women in Parliament and state Legislative Assemblies, was unequivocally approved by the Rajya Sabha on Thursday evening, a day after passing the Lok Sabha with flying colors.
Each actor expressed gratitude to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for introducing the Bill. Ranaut stated, “This is a historic day for the nation and its women.” This is a new era in which women play more active roles in the Army and Air Force.
In addition to actors, Thakur’s special invitee group included designers, content creators, and social media influencers. Designer Rina Dhaka referred to it as a significant victory for women in the country. “Women were underrepresented despite being an equal part of our country and society,” she said.
On the second day, when the Lok Sabha began discussing the women’s reservation bill, another group of actors and athletes visited Parliament as special invitees of Thakur, who also holds the sports portfolio, to convey their support for women’s empowerment.
Mary Kom, a boxer and former member of the Rajya Sabha, led the group and stated, “We are pleased that prominent athletes have been invited to visit Parliament, and women’s reservation will play an important role in women’s empowerment.” Mithali Raj, former captain of the Indian women’s cricket team, congratulated the Prime Minister, stating that a 33% reservation for women will increase women’s participation in governance. Hockey player Rani Rampal was also among those who expressed joy at the prospect of increased participation of women in Parliament.
Deepa Malik, a paralympic athlete, spoke not only about the women’s reservation bill but also about the accessibility of the new Parliament building. “The first thing I noticed was that my wheelchair could reach everywhere in the new building,” she said. A substantial number of them also posted about their visit on their social media accounts.