Zaira Wasim Quits Bollywood: Media Reacts, Raveena Tandon, Anupam Kher and Tanushree Dutta Respond
Bollywood News

Zaira Wasim Quits Bollywood: Media Reacts, Raveena Tandon, Anupam Kher and Tanushree Dutta Respond

Zaira Wasim recently announced her decision to quit Bollywood and since then the actress has been receiving both supportive and angry reactions. Here’s what some Bollywood celebrities such as Anupam Kher, Raveena Tandon and Gauhar Khan had to say

Zaira Wasim, who has appeared in blockbuster movies Dangal and Secret Superstar, completed 5 years in Bollywood with the shocking announcement that she is going to quit the industry. The young actress shared a comprehensive post on Instagram discussing how the industry made her feel in the last few years and how she had "struggled to become someone else." She said that working in the industry was incompatible with her religious identity and beliefs, and that the industry "damaged my peace, imaan and my relationship with Allah." Several B-town celebrities have reacted strongly to her decision and the post:

Actress Raveena Tandon was incredibly disappointed with Zaira and tweeted: “I standby and love my industry, all the opportunities it gives to everyone. Exit is your choice,reason,by all means. Just do not demean it for everyone else.The industry where all work shoulder to shoulder,no differences, caste, religion or where you come from. #Respect #indianfilms

However, the actress later wrote that she regretted her initial tweets, calling them ‘harsh’, if Zaira had made the decision under pressure. 

Bollywood personality KRK accused her of doing all this for publicity: "I will say to all the people, that please don’t trust Zaira Wasim! She is doing all this for the publicity only. She is the biggest drama girl. She is in Bollywood and she will never leave it. Don’t worry, Aamir khan will produce more films for her."

Actress Soni Razdan defended the arts and entertainment industry: “I just hope she grows up to realise that if you love what you do, that is exactly what God would want for you. And acting and the creative arts are in no way something dreadful or self indulgent. To make people feel, cry, laugh, think and connect is in itself a noble thing to do.”

Vivek Agnihotri, director of Buddha in a Traffic Jam, questioned her views, highlighting that the industry is full of Muslim actors and musicians: “Why didn’t Akbar Ali Khan, Bismillah Khan, Zakir Hussein, Yusuf Khan, Amir, SRK, Salman etc leave arts to make peace with Allah? What happened to all woke Muslims?”

Actress Nagma Morarji appreciated Zaira for her courage: #ZairaWasim is a courageous girl who defied stereotypes and shined through. We must appreciate her courage and stand with her in her moment of crisis  @ZairaWasimmm you have our support . We love you for work you did and your spirit keep it alive. Wish you well and want you to be happy.”

Actress Payal Rohtagi criticised the teen actress for her decision, "I hope that this child now grownup Indian Muslim actress Zaira Wasim who says she quit Bollywood as it interferes with her religion doesn’t become a Jihadi tomorrow under the same ideology. After all she is an Indian so I am sharing my concern on public platform."

Anupam Kher also expressed his disappointment in an interview: "I think it's a tragedy that a 16-17-year-old girl has to take a decision like that. I do respect her sentiments, I do respect that it's her individual choice. But as a person I feel sad she had to take a decision like this of her flourishing career. On one hand, we talk about women empowerment and on the other hand we say that it's not like that. Personally, I feel she should not have done that. But she is an independent girl and our country gives everybody a fundamental right to choose what they want to choose." 

Meanwhile, Tanushree Dutta, who started the Me Too movement in India, appreciated Zaira in a statement, "I woke up this morning here in New Jersey with my phone buzzing with a request to give a quote on the Zaira Wasim issue. I wondered what the "issue" is as the journalist put it. A quick internet search revealed a post from Wasim herself what I consider the most beautiful, Grace-filled words drenched in spiritual wisdom from the Holy Quran. What a great way to start my day! As I read the full post I couldn't help but wonder if Zaira's true calling in life is in fact to be a young spiritual leader of some sort guiding young Muslim kids to the true knowledge of Allah and Quran?? I wondered if Bollywood was just an interim phase designed and placed by God in her way to simply be a stepping stone for something greater more fulfilling and profound of a life purpose?? I kept reading her post as there was a magnetism to it, a magnetism I'm much too familiar with: it's the magnetism of the word of God revealed through a human vessel that has the ability to bless the soul."

It seems that Zaira’s exit has come as a shock to everyone in the industry as she had received a lot of critical acclaim for both her performances and also won several awards. After Zaira made her announcement, it was rumoured that her social media accounts had been hacked. However, her manager quickly clarified that her accounts were not hacked and she had indeed made the decision to leave the film industry. The eighteen-year old actress will be last seen on the big screen in October in the Priyanka Chopra and Farhan Akhtar starrer The Sky Is Pink. However, according to recent reports, the actress has requested the makers to excuse her from the promotional activities of the film, which will commence at the end of August. 

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