Zaira Wasim, Bollywood actress of Kashmiri origin, yesterday announced that she would be leaving the film industry; as it conflicted with her religious identity and beliefs. In a long statement, she demeaned the Bollywood by taking recourse to hardline fanatic Islam. Soon, there were rumors that Wasim’s social media account was hacked and she did not write those posts. However, her manager has confirmed that the reports claiming that the accounts were hacked are false. “No, we never said that. The post has been put up by Zaira, that’s it. We have never said anything like that,” Tuhin Mishra, Zaira’s manager told ANI over the phone.
Wasim made her film debut with the role of wrestler Geeta Phogat in the biographical sports film Dangal (2016), which emerged as one of the highest grossing Indian film (US$290 million) worldwide. She rose to prominence by starring as an aspiring singer in the musical drama Secret Superstar (2017), which also ranks among the highest-grossing Indian films. Her performances in both films earned her critical acclaim as well as several awards, including the National Film Award for Best Supporting Actress for the former and the Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actress for the latter. Wasim was honoured with National Child Award for Exceptional Achievement by Ram Nath Kovind, the President of India, at a ceremony in New Delhi in 2017.
The 18-year-old actor said she was not happy with the line of work as it interfered with her faith and religion. In a detailed post on her Facebook page, which she later shared across all social media platforms, the Kashmiri-born “Dangal” fame star said she realised “though I may fit here perfectly, I do not belong here”. Hours after national award-winning actor Zaira Wasim announced her “disassociation” from the field of acting, political leaders in Jammu and Kashmir supported her decision and wished her luck. Former chief minister Omar Abdullah tweeted, “Who are any of us to question @ZairaWasim’s choices? It’s her life to do with as she pleases. All I will do is wish her well & hope that whatever she does makes her happy.”
Former bureaucrat-turned-politician Shah Faesal said he respected Wasim’s decision and wished her luck. “I always respected @ZairaWasim’s decision to be an actor. Perhaps no other Kashmiri has achieved such an iconic status, such success and fame, at such a young age. And today, as she quit the industry, I have no choice but to respect her decision. Wish her luck,” Faesal said in a tweet.
However, the way teenage actress tried to defame and demean the Bollywood, did not go down well with several senior actors. Her post irked Raveena Tandon to a great extent. She wished if only the 18-year-old could’ve kept her regressive views to herself and gracefully made her exit from the industry rather than making it a nation-wide issue. “Doesn’t matter if two film olds are ungrateful to the industry that has given them all. Just wish they’d exit gracefully and keep their regressive views to themselves,” Raveena Tandon tweeted.