Srinagar, January 16 (NIA): Zaira Wasim, the 16 year old Kashmiri actress, who shot into fame after acting as Geeta ,a prize winning female wrestler in the box office Bollywood film Dangal on Monday apologized for playing a role in the film, after Islamic zealots and Kashmiri separatists abused and threatened her with death in the social media for either being “un-Islamic” or for being “insensitive to Kashmiri sentiments”.
Though Dangal has been in the news for a long time, being an Aamir Khan film, Zaira Wasim gained attention only after the film made a splash in the media for grossing a record US$ 50 million at the box office in the first 17 days of running and she met the Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti last week.
Apparently, word got around that the young celebrity had portrayed herself as a “role model for Kashmiri youth”. Given the continuous political unrest in Kashmir since the death of the separatist military commander Burhan Wani at the hands of the Indian Security Forces on July 8, 2016, nobody other than Burhan Wani could consider himself or herself a “role model for Kashmiri youth”.
Since Kashmiri separatists and Islamic zealots coalesce in the struggle against Hindu majority India’s hegemony over Kashmir, Islamic extremists condemned Zaira’s role as a female wrestler, especially one who takes on male wrestlers. At any rate for fundamentalists, a girl acting in a Bollywood film with its romancing, singing and dancing, is taboo. Some social media zealots called her a slut who would soon be acting in porn films.
However, what actually triggered the social media tirade against Zaira was her meeting with the unpopular Chief Minister of Kashmir Mehbooba Mufti who had allowed the Indian Security Forces to blind hundreds of Kashmiri youth by using pellet guns to quell stone throwing mobs since July 8 last year.
The vicious trolling that went on in the social media over the past few days forced the 16 year school girl to backtrack and “confess and apologize.” She declared that she was not proud of what she had done in the last six months .And most importantly, she profusely apologized for considering her a model for Kashmiri youth .She said that entertaining such a thought would bring disgrace to her and all the people as there were other “real role models” both living and in the history of Kashmir.
Zaira had clearly wilted in the face of the grisly threats and the choicest abuses hurled at her in the social media. However, she removed the “confession/apology” from her Facebook page and posted a substitute which said that she was not against one, by which she perhaps meant Aamir Khan, who had cast the in the film and made her a household name in India. In fact he had cast her in his next venture too.
Zaira’s first FB post:
Zaira Wasim’s second modified post:
(The featured at the top shows Zair Wasim wrestling in the film Dangal)