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Dangal star's move to quit films attracts controversy

July 2, 2019

The decision taken by Dangal star Zaira Wasim to leave the Hindi film industry continues to attract strong reactions from many quarters. In a Facebook post, the National award winning actor had gone into details about her decision saying she was not happy with the line of work as it interfered with her faith and religion. The Kashmiri-born star had said "though I may fit here perfectly, I do not belong here".

Wasim, who is 18 years old said that as she completed five years in the profession, she wanted to "confess that I am not truly happy with this identity i.e my line of work".

For a very long time now, it has felt like I have struggled to become someone else. As I had just started to explore and make sense of the things to which I dedicated my time, efforts and emotions and tried to grab hold of a new lifestyle, it was only for me to realise that though I may fit here perfectly, I do not belong here. - Zaira Wasim, Former actor

Zaira has recently finished shooting for the film The Sky is Pink, which also stars Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Farhan Akhtar. Her decision to leave the industry has attracted criticism from many quarters including Raveena Tandon. While Raveena did not name her, she called her ungrateful. "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".

Zaira made her entry into films with Aamir Khan as his onscreen daughter in Dangal. Explaining her decision she also said, "As I stepped my foot in Bollywood, it opened doors of massive popularity for me. I started to become the prime candidate of public attention, I was projected as the gospel of the idea of success and was often identified as a role model for the youth. However, that's never something that I set out to do or become, especially with regards to my ideas of success and failure, which I had just started to explore and understand. As I complete 5 years today, I want to confess that I am not truly happy with this identity, that is, my line of work. For a very long time now it has felt like I have struggled to become someone else.

Coming out in support of her decision, former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir Omar Abdullahtweeted, "Who are any of us to question her choices? It's her life to do with as she pleases. All I will do is wish her well & hope that what ever she does makes her happy.

Filmmaker Onir reacted calling it her right to choose what makes her happy. "It's someone's right to choose what profession one finds happiness in. Wish the decision did not have to be accompanied with a sermon on "good way of life.

Throughout her career, Zaira has faced backlash from Muslim religious groups who have criticised for working in films. She was also slammed for meeting the then Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti.

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