Posts online apology for ‘unintentionally hurting people’; draws support from netizens
SRINAGAR: Actress Zaira Wasim, known for her maiden role in recent Bollywood movie Dangal, wrote an open letter online on Monday seeking apology for being projected as ‘role model’ for Kashmiri youth. She later deleted the post but caused an online stir.
The 16-year-old actress, who played Amir Khan’s younger daughter Geeta Phogat in the movie, wrote on a social networking site that she wants to apologize for ‘unintentionally’ hurting people and ‘understands their sentiments considering what has happened over past six months.’
“I am just a 16 year old girl and I hope people treat me accordingly,” Zaira said.
Zaira, who has also appeared in few TV commercials, also expressed that Kashmiri youth should not follow her footsteps and consider her as a ‘role model’, she says, she is being projected as. “I am not proud of what I am doing and I want everyone, especially, the youth to know that there are real role models out there whether they be in this time or in our history,” she added.
After the post was deleted, the actress shared another post insisting that she ‘was not forced’ to write the letter and only wanted to make sure that she is not hurting anyone.
The ‘confession’ from the young actress comes after she met with Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti a few days ago, a meeting that drew sharp reactions from a large number of social media users.
Stating that the government that blinded youth last year should not have ‘appropriated’ Zaira’s success, journalist Gowhar Geelani said, “The state government must stop using success stories like hers for their propaganda narratives and psy-ops. Both the Kashmiri society and the government should let her live her dream.”
Assuming that Zaira was trolled and forced to ‘apologise’, netizens came in full support of the actress and expressed solidarity with her.
“Can any Kashmiri tell me why this young girl is being made to apologise? Extremists pressure? I stand with @zairawasim and so should everyone,” Journalist Rajdeep Sardesai wrote on micro-blogging site Twitter.
“I’ve a problem with @MehboobaMufti trying to usurp other peoples success to cover up her own failures but why punish/troll people she meets?” former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah wrote on Twitter.
Contesting the claims that the government has politicized Zaira’s success, People’s Democratic Party’s (PDPs) Waheed ur Rahmad Parra, however, told Kashmir Reader that people like Zaira are ‘self-made’ and they appreciate these icons.
“They need recognition from own people and own government. Every state does that. They are our own kids and we don’t see politics in this and only time will prove that,” Parra said.
Meanwhile, also coming in support of the young actress Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said, “Zaira is indeed a good actress. It is wrong to force her to apologise on Facebook for meeting Mehbooba Mufti.”