Srinagar/Mumbai, Jan 16 (IANS) Kashmiri actress Zaira Wasim of “Dangal” fame on Monday posted on social media an apology for meeting J&K CM Mehbooba Mufti — an action for which she had been subjected to vicious trolling — but later withdrew the apologia after receiving unstinted support from well-wishers including Bollywood celebrities and leading politicians.
After receiving accolade from the film industry and elsewhere for her work in “Dangal”, the 16-year-old met Mehbooba Mufti on Saturday, who enquired about her education and interest in other creative fields like acting.
However, the Srinagar-based Zaira was trolled on social media when photos from the meeting emerged.
Without saying what she was sorry for, the actress took to social media on Monday to apologise for hurting the sentiments of fellow Kashmiris and posted that she does not want anyone to follow her footsteps or even consider her as a role model.
But politicians like former J&K CM Omar Abdullah and film celebrities Javed Akhtar, Anupam Kher and Vivek Agnihotri came out in her support, lashing out at those who trolled her, questioning her ‘azadi’ (freedom) in the country.
Abdullah posted: “A 16 year old shouldn’t be forced to apologise and that too allegedly for meeting Mehbooba Mufti. What are we coming to! I’ve a problem with Mehbooba Mufti trying to usurp other peoples success to cover up her own failures but why punish/troll people she meets?”
Akhtar wondered whether Zaira had ‘azadi’ to do as she wished and tweeted: “Those who shout ‘azadi’ from the roof tops don’t give an iota of azadi to others. Poor Zaira Waseem had to apologise for her success. Shame!”
Anupam, too, expressed his support for the young actress, calling her his role model and posted: “Dear Zaira Wasim, your apology letter is sad but full of courage. It exposes the cowardice of people who made you write it. But you are my role model.”
Agnihotri also shared instances from his past and lashed out at individuals for not taking a stand in support of Zaira.
Later, however, Zaira deleted the apology and posted a clarification — but this, too, the actress took down later.
The now-deleted clarification read: “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 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.”
Zaira rose to fame as young Geeta Phogat in the Aamir Khan blockbuster “Dangal” which has been lauded by the audiences for its powerful portrayal of the story of Mahavir Singh Phogat, who, much to the disapproval of his wife and his whole village, trained his daughters Geeta and Babita to wrestle.