Why Dangal Actor Zaira Wasim’s resignation to her Bollywood acting career created an uproar? Here’s what you need to know

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As the news of Zaira Wasim’s resignation to her Bollywood career to protect her ‘Iman’ of Islam has created uproar in Bollywood. The national award-winning star who is known for her roles in Dangal and Secret Superstar has posted an open letter on social media.

First on Facebook and then she posted her letter to Instagram and Twitter as well. She wrote on Twitter, “5 years ago I made a decision that changed my life and today I’m making another one that’ll change my life again and this time for the better Insha’Allah! :)”

After her resignation Dangal director Nitish Tiwari expressed his shock saying, “I read about it in this afternoon, and it came as a shock to me. This was unexpected, but at the end of the day, it is her life and she has the right to lead it the way she deems fit.” Adding further he continued, “She was chosen for reasons best known to all of us. There’s a sense of loss because Zaira is an extremely talented actress.”

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Zaira wrote on social media about her decision to quit Bollywood for it has threatened her to push ‘iman’ of Islam. Many celebrities have reacted to her statement. Slamming Zaira, actor Raveena Tandon twitted, “Doesn’t matter if two film olds are ungrateful to the industry that have given them all. Just wish they’d exit gracefully and keep their regressive views to themselves.”

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Source: Twitter

Tanushree Dutta who was in recent news on controversial accusation of Nana Patekar said the media, “as I read her full post, I couldn’t help but wonder if Zaira’s true calling in life is, in fact, to young spiritual leader of some sort guiding young Muslims to the true knowledge of Allah and Quran.” Adding further, she said, “In today’s times, many young minds are getting corrupted through fanaticism and aggressive violent ideologies. Can Zaira be the voice of reason and show the world the true mystical and graceful wisdom of the Quran? If she does, she surely has one follower in me.”

She continued, “Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have this kid start a YouTube blog sharing her faith? Clearly, her understanding and grasp on religion is far superior to what I have seen so far among seasoned clerics even. Perhaps it is due to her youthful innocence and I pray it remains that way and she receives more grace and wisdom from the almighty to share with others!”

In further criticism of Zaira’s decision Dutta said, “And now for the people who are criticising her decision to quit Bollywood, I will say that she is only a teenager. Let her do what her heart calls her towards at this moment and who knows maybe someday if she finds something worth her time she may even do something in Bollywood again. Best wishes and loads of love.”

In reaction to the post, Filmmaker and social activist Ashoke Pandit disclosed that any form of art brings a person closer to God. “As a performer, I believe that very few are endowed with the gift of art. Everybody can’t be an actor. I don’t have any problem if you want to retire. However, don’t connect it with religion,” he told ANI.

“If you think your career is not going the way you want, then you can retire but don’t say that you are going away from God due to acting, he added. He also condemned her for not mentioning herself as a proud Indian while she proudly stated her happiness for being a proud Muslim and having so many Pakistani followers. “But nowhere does she mention that she is a proud Indian too,” he said.

Director of movie Buddha in a Traffic Jam Vivek Agnihotri also wrote on Twitter, “Of course we must not judge choices of Zaira Wasim but in the age of Artifical Intelligence we must question the book that orders an individual to quit ‘ARTS’ to make peace with Allah.”

Slamming the decision of Zaira, Bangladeshi author Taslima Nasreen twitted, “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.”

In defence of Zaira’s decision Former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir and National Conference vice-president Omar Abdullah twitted, “Who are any of us to question Zaira Wasim’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.”

The actor has retired before the release of director Shonali Bose’s The Sky is Pink where she performed alongside Priyanka Chopra and Farhan Akhtar. The team released a joint statement after Zaira’s announcement, which read, “Zaira is an exceptional artiste and we are lucky to have had her play Aisha Chaudhury in our film. She has been a complete professional all through the shoot. This is a purely personal decision, which she has taken after much thought and we will support her in every way, now and always.”

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Lachit Roy

A writer and a cinephile. Can be reached @lasit_letto