Why we can’t judge Zaira Wasim’s decision to quit, let the 18 year old be
Why we can’t judge Zaira Wasim’s decision to quit, let the 18 year old be
Photo by PTi

Zaira Wasim, on Sunday declared her exit from Bollywood over a detailed post on social media. What seemed normal to spectate, the issue took a different turn when other members of the film fraternity commented to the actress’ move.

Dissecting Zaira’s stand, let us begin by stating outright that she is an 18-year-old, who has been the centre of attraction, ever since her debut in Dangal, and escalated her Bollywood career with Secret Superstar. The common element between two of her highly appreciated performances is that both these celluloids speak of a small town girl breaking stereotypes, and emerging powerful in an oppressed environment.

Having an opinion isn’t a crime, but coinciding it with religion, is when all hell breaks loose. In this particular scenario, there are two perspectives. The first is that Zaira is an inspiration to several millennials who went flat over her skills as an actress. For her to state that being in the industry threatened her relationship with Allah is a smack on all those who struggle to mark themselves in this industry that is quite ignorant of outsiders marching to the top. She may have probably let down her fans who fancied her as the flag bearer of beginners, working hard to stand out.

Wasim, a Kashmiri Muslim, was definitely hailed by religious clerks who find Bollywood a murky place that exploits ideologies at large. These religious cults are the ones who cause hindrance in the process of creative expression. For Zaira to say it out loud, only proves that all those statements made by these religious wings are true and films basically go against dharam and imaan.

Second point of view is coming to the immense flak Zaira has received from her seniors in the industry. Raveena Tandon, earlier called the kid out on Twitter stating, “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.” And now she has apologised for her harsh comment and deleted the tweet. She further went on to add" If this is true and the reason for her to quit, if she was or is under pressure, then I do feel sad for the girl. Was she forced into writing the long statement by radicals out of fear? She was a role model to so many youngsters with dreams and inspirations that they could achieve."

Citing the above example, it is a fragment of the several opinions given by faceless individuals on social media that could harm ones mental state, let alone a teenager. It’s pretty obvious Raveena received backlash for her tweet, deleted, and then wrote a positive one. If a day of social media pressure can make one change their stand, Zaira can be forgiven for her statements.

How many of us are even proud of the posts we’ve made online as 18-year-olds. Facebook even reminds us how immature we have been, and it is only a calendar that tells us how far we have come as individuals. Speaking of work opportunities, we probably set goals as a teen which change with time and tide as we enter adulthood, and up doing something else altogether. We call it job satisfaction, perhaps Wasim wants the same. She could probably change her stance over the years, it’s just a personal decision after all, something we all have made at some point.

Overall, Zaira Wasim can be a spiritual leader or an applaud worthy actress, in no way is she hurting sentiments, or creating havoc in the country with her decision to quit. It could be mentally tiring, or as some mention, the pressure of belonging to Kashmir, technically no one has the right to comment on choices. But it seems like we manage to be hypocrites when it isn’t needed. For instance commenting on Nusrat Jahan’s sindoor despite being a Muslim, or Fatima Sana Sheikh wearing shorts, religion and Bollywood have never shared the same wavelength. So instead of bullying someone, it’s high time we learn the art of acceptance.

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