Actress Zaira Wasim of Dangal fame dropped a bomb by announcing her decision to quit Bollywood on June 30. The 18-year-old said that her profession interfered with her “Imaan (faith)” and “threatened” her relationship with her religion.
Her decision was critically vetted on social media. Scores of people supported and dissed her decision; however, several questioned her decision to quit attributing her faith.
The Kashmiri-born star wrote in an Instagram post, “Though I may fit here [Bollywood} perfectly, I do not belong here.”She added that she received love and appreciation from the industry, but she was portrayed as a “role model” which was not something she set out to do.
Though several people like former actress Nagma, Tanushree Dutta, Karanvir Vohra, and Omar Abdullah supported her decision, many from the fraternity questioned her reason for exiting Bollywood.
According to reports, Anupam Kher said, if she took the decision in the name of religion, then it wasn’t her decision, she was forced to do it. Likewise, many others supported her choice of leaving the profession but question the religion angle.
Faridoon Shahryar reacting to the Wasim’s announcement said that he respects her decision of quitting movies, but, “I don’t agree with the reasons that you’ve given.”
Dear #ZairaWasim I respect your decision of quitting movies. I don't agree with the reasons that you've given. I think you're an incredible actress and you can do so much more with your career.
I genuinely hope you'd rethink and continue to pursue Acting…
— Faridoon Shahryar (@iFaridoon) June 30, 2019
Similarly, Jammu and Kashmir police officer Imtiyaz Hussain tweeted, “She can’t invoke religion and faith to justify this. Are others in the field some kind of sinners?”
Respect choice of Zaira Wasim quitting acting in movies but she can’t invoke religion and faith to justify this. Are others in the field some kind of sinners?This dawning of new reality should be her own truth & her own interpretation of religion. Period.
— Imtiyaz Hussain (@hussain_imtiyaz) July 1, 2019
Entrepreneur and consultant Ramesh Srivats supported Wasim’s decision but said, “If art & creativity are in conflict with some religion, please question the religion, not the art.”
In a now-deleted tweet, actress Raveena Tandon lashed out Wasim calling her “two film old” and “ungrateful” for what the industry has given to her.
Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen too disagreed with the Dangal star’s decision of quitting Bollywood on religious grounds. On the micro-blogging site, Nasreen said, “So many talents in Muslim community are forced to go under the darkness of the burqa.”
Oh My Goosebumps! Bollywood’s talented actress Zaria Wasim now wants to quit acting because she thinks her acting career almost destroyed her faith in Allah. What a moronic decision! So many talents in Muslim community are forced to go under the darkness of the burqa.
— taslima nasreen (@taslimanasreen) June 30, 2019
Wasim rose to fame with Aamir Khan’s blockbuster movie Dangal in 2016. She played the younger version of the wrestler Babita Phogat. Following this, in 2017, she delivered a stellar performance in Secret Superstar.
Ironically, Wasim has till date played roles where she defies societal norms and religious barriers to achieve her dreams, much like her character in Secret Superstar.
There were speculations that the young actress’ social media accounts have been hacked, but Wasim clarified saying “none of my social media accounts were or are hacked and are being handled by me personally”.
On May 11 last year, Wasim came out openly about the fact that she has depression, and has been battling the condition for almost four years.
The Dangal star will be next seen in The Sky Is Pink, for which she completed the shoot in March earlier this year. The movie is the biopic of motivational speaker Aisha Chaudhary, a 19-year-old girl who died due to the disease of pulmonary fibrosis. Co-starring Priyanka Chopra and Farhan Akhtar, the film is set to release in India on October 11 this year.