Hema Malini and Sridevi
Hema Malini and SrideviVarinder Chawla/Getty Images

Actress Sridevi, who passed away in Dubai on Saturday night, is regarded as the first female superstar of Bollywood. However, many believe that it is Hema Malini who deserves the tag and a debate is raging on the internet on the matter.

Not just fans, many media houses also addressed Sridevi as the first female superstar of Bollywood. While there is no doubt the Hawa Hawai actress was a superstar of her era, a large number netizens wanted to bestow the first female superstar tag to Hema Malini.  

 Hema rose to fame much before Sridevi, some netizens pointed out. Their argument goes like this: Seeta Aur Geeta had made the "dream girl" Hema a superstar, while Sridevi became a star with Himmatwala.

Seeta Aur Geeta was released in 1972, while Himmatwala hit the screens much later in 1983. Hema's Seeta Aur Geeta is being compared with Sridevi's Chaalbaaz as both the actresses had played double roles in their respective films, and they both had played iconic characters. But, Chaalbaaz got released in 1989.

Not just Hema, some are saying there are other actresses like Madhuri Dixit and Rekha who were no less in stardom during that era. However, none refused to acknowledge Sridevi's achievements in her long career.

After Sridevi's untimely death, Hema spoke highly of the late actress, and even she addressed her as a superstar. "I value her for her sanskars as in spite of achieving the highest position of superstar in Bollywood, she never compromised with the south Indian sanskars inculcated in her," IANS quoted Hema as saying.

Sridevi died recently at a hotel in Dubai where she had gone to attend Mohit Marwah's wedding. While initially it was reported that the Hawa Hawai actress had passed away due to massive cardiac arrest, the forensic report later stated that she died due to accidental drowning. Traces of alcohol were also found in her body.