Indian film industry concentrated in Bollywood is a peculiar entity. In a nation of 1.2 billion the majority are Hindus but in the Mumbai film world, the top stars have been Muslims. Islam frowns on dance, music, and showing off a woman's body, yet these are the very characteristic that have propelled the Muslim girls to stardom. However, there appears to have been a hardening of attitudes since those days as is witnessed by the unprecedented condemnation of Bollywood producers who had cast Muslim stars from Pakistan. The IMPA the apex body has now agreed after some arm twisting by the MNS leader Raj Thackeraynot to cast any Muslim star from Pakistan in the future.

This was after Raj had launched an agitation against the hiring and release of films with Muslim stars from Pakistan.

Earlier Muslim heroines

The two topmost and most beautiful actresses of the fifties were Nargis and Madhubala. Both were born Muslims but adopted Hindu names. India knew that they were Muslims yet they adulated them. Despite the trauma of 1947 Hindu-Muslim riots when nearly a million were killed from both communities, the Muslim stars in Bollywood were never at risk. In fact, they thrived and became heartthrobs of the masses who were predominantly Hindus.

Nargis and Madhubala are both dead, but both by a peculiar twist of fate had unrequited love affairs that died away. Nargis had a legendary love affair with the Hindu Star Raj Kapoor.

He could not marry her as he could not as per Hindu law take a second wife. Nargis drifted away from Raj and married another Hindu actor Sunil Dutt. Madhubala also had a tragic love affair and it is rumored that she would have married the reigning star of Mumbai films at that time, Dilip Kumar (Yusuf Khan), but her family, in particular, her father dependent on her earningsopposed it.

She ultimately married the Hindu singing star Kishore Kumar, but died shortly after, as she had a hole in her heart.

Last word

There appears to be a hardening of attitudes in Bollywood now and slowly the Muslim heroines are fading away. Many feel that even the 3 Khans may slowlygo into oblivion.