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Tuesday, July 05, 2022

Dangal’s Zaira Wasim voiced her fears earlier too. Did we all overlook her concerns?

Monday was not the first time that Dangal actor Zaira Wasim spoke about being trolled and threatened. She had first spoken about it in 2015 when news about her film shoot became public knowledge.

Written by Sonup Sahadevan | Mumbai |
Updated: January 17, 2017 6:57:25 pm
zaira wasim, dangal, facebook post Zaira Wasim had spoken about being threatened and bullied in 2015 when she started shooting for Dangal. On Monday, she took to social media to post an apology that she later deleted.

After reading Zaira Wasim’s open apology on Facebook, my mind raced back to an old interview of hers conducted by a wire agency way back in December 2015. Dangal was still a year away and Zaira Wasim and her precocious talent were yet to gain the spotlight. But that didn’t deter the 16-year old from highlighting her real fears in one of her earliest ever interviews. The young girl was candid enough to admit that she was trolled, bullied and threatened the moment news about her film shoot became public knowledge.

WATCH | Actor Aamir Khan Defends Dangal Girl Zaira Wasim: Here’s What He Said

“Some nasty comments about me were posted on social media. Aamir Khan and the rest of the crew helped me. I am still getting comments from unknown persons, but I believe in positivity and have learned how to deal with such comments,” Zaira recollected in that interview.

Now a comment like this in today’s circumstances would have become a screaming headline but, back then, because Zaira Wasim was still an unknown face, no one cared two hoots about her fears. None of her later interviews during the film’s promotional blitzkrieg focused on this issue even while it kept its presence felt in a latent manner. And once Aamir jumped into the fray to promote Dangal, call it the nature of the beast, it was only the superstar and his fat-to-fit video and his thoughts on demonetisation that really mattered to all of us. What we really forgot to check is whether trolls and faceless bullies had stopped troubling Zaira on social media. One can’t also discount the fact that Aamir then had a huge role to play in keeping Zaira cool, calm and composed as is evident from her interview. No wonder one never saw any uncanny outbursts from the teenage actor on social media even though trolls kept coming her way.

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So what exactly went wrong yesterday? I am most curious to know as to why Zaira didn’t consult her father figure Aamir Khan before writing out a Facebook apology? Did she or didn’t she? In an age where a celebrity’s every move is dictated by her team of professional managers and publicists, rarely does one come across an aberration that can snowball into a controversy. Celebs are very particular about what they post on social media and almost every announcement, every news broken via Twitter is only done after careful and detailed consultation with their image and celeb managers. And that applies to each and every celeb in Bollywood unless, of course, you are Salman Khan.

For the moment, it is not clear which PR agency represents Zaira. But since she is the protagonist of Aamir Khan’s next production ‘Secret Superstar’ it would not be too far fetched to hazard a guess that actress is still under Aamir’s care and concern. But for the moment, Mr. Perfectionist has chosen to maintain radio silence.

Also read: Dangal girl Zaira Wasim apologises and deletes post, writes a justification and deletes it too

Another issue that needs some understanding is the reason behind acting in Bollywood films being looked down upon in the Valley. While we may have no clear answers, my mind goes back again to Zaira’s interview where she admits that convincing her own parents to let her act especially since she was a Kashmiri was quite a task.

WATCH | Dangal Girl Zaira Wasim Posts Apology On Facebook Without Saying What It Is For

 

Points the article out – Like other parents, Zaira too had to convince her parents to support her decision to act in the film, more so being from Kashmir. In Zaira’s own words, “It was my school principal and my aunt who supported my decision. They both convinced my parents and handled the situation very well.” Why is acting frowned upon?

Also read: Anupam Kher lauds Dangal girl Zaira Wasim’s strength: ‘You are my role model’

All said and done, eventually taking your frustration out on social media, especially when you are famous is not the wisest thing to do. But to err is human and Zaira at 16 is as human as you can get. And one can only hope that she is able to put this controversy behind her back in a jiffy.

Read Zaira Wasim’s original Facebook post which was later deleted from her account. 

السَّلاَمُ عَلَيْكُمْ وَرَحْمَةُ اللهِ وَبَرَكَاتُهُ

This is an open confession/apology. 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 I want them to know that I understand their sentiments behind it especially considering that what had happened over the past 6 months but I hope people can also understand there are certain circumstances that emerge which one cannot control and I hope people still remember that I’m a just a 16 year old girl and I hope you treat me accordingly. I’m sorry for what I did but it was not a deliberate decision and I really hope people can forgive me. There are few more things which are very important and I want to clear them as well. The first and foremost thing is that I am being projected as a role model for Kashmiri Youth. I want to make it very clear that I do not want anyone to follow in my foot steps or even consider me as a role model. I’m not proud of what I’m 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. To even consider me as a role model would be disgracing them and their disgrace would be OUR DISGRACE! I do not wish to start an argument here, this was a just a mere confession from my end which I really wanted people to know. May Allah bless us and guide us.

 

Zaira Wasim later made a second post and removed that one too. 

Regarding my last post, I have no idea why this has become such a big issue. I just wanted to make sure that I did not hurt anyone’s feelings and all of a sudden it has been turned into national news. Again and again I am telling people that I have not been forced into anything by anyone. This was post was not meant against anyone, just wanted to make sure that people were not hurt by what I was doing. From media to everyone else, please don’t blow this out of proportion. Neither was I forced nor am I against anyone. Hopefully this post just stops this once and for all.

 

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