SRINAGAR: Kashmir-born Bollywood actress Zaira Wasim on Friday rebuffed minister of youth affairs and sports Vijay Goel, creating an online stir, days after she was caught in a row over her apology she posted on a social networking site for being projected as a ‘role model’ for Kashmiri youth.
The 16-year-old actress felt offended after Goel, a senior Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) leader, drew parallels between the recent controversy surrounding Zaira and a painting depicting headscarf as a ‘cage for women’.
The painting that showcased a woman in Hijab and a girl trapped in a birdcage in the foreground was tweeted by Goel.
“This painting tells a story similar to @zairawasim, (Our daughters are moving forward by breaking free from cages). More power to our daughters,” the minister wrote on micro blogging site.
Zaira, however, tweeted back saying, “@VijayGoelBJP Sir, with all respect to you, I feel I must disagree. I request you not to connect me to such a discourteous depiction.”
In her support for Hijab, Zaira added “women in hijab are beautiful and free.”
Zaira negated the parallels drawn by Goel and pointed out the minister was “wrong” in juxtaposing her situation against the depiction drawn in the painting at featured during the inaugural of The India Art Festival in New Delhi.
“Moreover, the story depicted through this painting is not even remotely relevant to mine,” Zaira wrote in a series of tweets directed at sports minister.
Zaira, a resident of Srinagar, became famous as she played young wrestler Geeta Phogat in movie Dangal alongside actor Amir Khan. In a recent post, Zaira, however, made an online apology after she met with Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti.
“I know that many people have been offended and displeased by my recent actions or by the people I have recently met. I want to apologise to all those people who I’ve unintentionally hurt and want them to know that I understand their sentiments, especially considering what has happened (in Kashmir) over the past six months,” Zaira had posted but found herself in the middle of huge support from netizens including celebrities and politicians.
In his response to the actress, Goel claimed that she had interpreted him “wrongly”.
“I appreciated your work and stated that evil and patriarchal notions must be discouraged.” he wrote and added, “I’m afraid you still haven’t understood. But I wish you all the very best and appreciate your work. Hope to meet and interact too.”
Zaira’s upcoming movie titled – Secret Superstar – is scheduled to release this year in August. In the trailer, she features as a young aspiring singer who posts her songs online, wearing Burqa to hide her identity.