News Desk |
‘Secret Superstar’ actress Zaira Wasim announced her shocking decision to quit Bollywood on religious grounds on Sunday. Her decision received polarized opinions on social media-while many respected it, others, prominently Raveena Tandon, slammed her regressive approach.
Wasim, who made her debut with Amir Khan’s ‘Dangal’ in 2016 and going on to win the National award for Best Supporting Actress, says that she ‘may fit in here perfectly but she does not belong here’, in a message posted on Facebook, which was later shared on many other social media platforms.
Wasim explained how she stepped into Bollywood five years ago and it opened for her ‘the door of massive popularity.’
“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,” wrote Wasim.
“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,” Wasim said in the lengthy post.
The actress revealed her dissatisfaction with her new identity while in Bollywood.
“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.”
“This field indeed brought a lot of love, support, and applause my way, but what it also did was to lead me to a path of ignorance, as I silently and unconsciously transitioned out of imaan (faith). While I continued to work in an environment that consistently interfered with my imaan, my relationship with my religion was threatened,” she said.
“I was constantly battling with my soul to reconcile my thoughts and instincts to fix a static picture of my imaan and I failed miserably, not just once but a hundred times,” explained the actress.
Read more: Why Dangal became a hit in China
The actress kept on observing things, things that she knew were wrong, but deluded herself by twisting perceptions as she wanted them to be. “I kept procrastinating by tricking and deluding my conscience into the idea that I know what I am doing doesn’t feel right but assumed that I will put an end to this whenever the time feels right and I continued to put myself in a vulnerable position where it was always so easy to succumb to the environment that damaged my peace, imaan and my relationship with Allah (God).”
Wasim confessed how she found peace when she connected with the Quran and her Creator. “In the great and divine wisdom of the Quran, I found sufficiency and peace. Indeed the hearts find peace when it acquires the knowledge of Its Creator, His Attributes, His Mercy and His commandments,” she added.
Zaira pressed how exhausting the journey was, of “battling her own soul” towards enlightenment and revealed that for a long time she had been questioning her beliefs, values, purpose and tried to suffice the shallowness of her soul by chasing her worldly desires.
“I discovered my lack of knowledge of the basic fundamentals of my religion and how my inability to reinforce a change earlier was a result of confusing my heart’s contentment and wellbeing with strengthening and satisfying my own (shallow and worldly) desires,” she professed.
“Success isn’t correlated with our biased, delusional, and conventional shallow measures of life. Success is the accomplishment of the purpose of our creation. We have forgotten the purpose we were created for as we ignorantly continue to pass through our lives; deceiving our conscience,” she said.
The actress decided that she wants to start afresh and this is just the commencement of her new journey. She advised, “No amount of success, fame, authority, or wealth is worth trading or losing your peace or the light of your ‘imaan’ for.”
Twitter Erupts in Angst
With two critically acclaimed movies behind her, the actress’s decision caused a tumult on social media as netizens condemned Zaira Wasim for forsaking her promising future on religious grounds. Her announcement incited a debate over ‘liberalism’ and ‘Conservatism’ on social media.
Actress Ravenna Tendon emerged as a staunch critic of Zaira Wasim, calling her ‘ungrateful’ in her tweets. Others derided her stance and stated they fear she might soon join a Jihadi group.
5 years ago I made a decision that changed my life and today I’m making another one that’ll change my life again and this time for the better Insha’Allah! 🙂 https://t.co/ejgKdViGmD
— Zaira Wasim (@ZairaWasimmm) June 30, 2019
An 18-year-old woman has come to a personal decision about her faith and career. It may not be the decision you would have made, or one that you would have wished her to make. But it’s still her decision. Let’s just thank #ZairaWasim for her work and wish her well. Case closed.
— Sadanand Dhume (@dhume) June 30, 2019
Of course @_sabanaqvi we must not judge choices of #ZairaWasim but in the age of Artifical Intelligence we must question the book that orders an individual to quit ‘ARTS’ to make peace with Allah. https://t.co/GTxWsqVwCU
— Vivek Ranjan Agnihotri (@vivekagnihotri) July 1, 2019
I will say to all the people, that pls don’t trust #ZairaWasim! She is doing all this for the publicity only. She is the biggest drama girl. She is in the Bollywood and she will never leave it. Don’t worry, Aamir khan will produce more films for her.
— KRK (@kamaalrkhan) July 1, 2019
Perhaps interpretation of religion for #ZairaWasim is different. After all #Bollywood has & had stars like Waheeda Rahman, Nargis, Meena Kumari, Saira Bano, Mumtaz, Zeenat Aman, Shabana Azmi, Nargis Faqri, Katrina Kaif to name a few. Art brings you closer to God it is believed https://t.co/zc4VrYT2bG
— GAURAV C SAWANT (@gauravcsawant) July 1, 2019
Disgusting to see some ‘liberals’ supporting her decision to quit films due to ‘religious reasons’. We know she has been under pressure from religious extremists. Instead of encouraging her to be fearless and progressive, you support her in going backwards..!! 👎 #ZairaWasim
— Manak Gupta (@manakgupta) June 30, 2019
Bollywood didn't interfere wid Mohd Rafi's and naushad sahab's religion back then…But it does interfere with #ZairaWasim 's.This is sheer indoctrination.She is such a talented girl. It's sad that she is being taught such pessimistic things.Religion shud uplift u not hinder u.
— Sakshi Joshi (@sakshijoshii) June 30, 2019
When a woman takes a decision, whether it contradicts popular opinion or not, somehow people always question her intelligence to know what is good for herself. #ZairaWasim
— Ashwaq Masoodi (@ashwaqM) June 30, 2019
No there is a big problem, & we have to judge it. Essence of what she said is her religion does not allow her to continue. Are u vouching this that #Islam does not allow freedom of expression? your statement is illiberal. Is this ur secularism? #ZairaWasim https://t.co/swaslRCzSR
— Pradeep Bhandari (@pradip103) June 30, 2019
I respect her decision to quit,announce to her fans,her life,her choice.would’ve been more graceful if she had not condemned all as the reason for doing so.discovering spirituality is beautiful,but don’t demean others.When girls in industry are wronged, I’m the first to protest. https://t.co/DV8KVU3bfi
— Raveena Tandon (@TandonRaveena) July 1, 2019
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 https://t.co/hRJKTfI9J8
— Raveena Tandon (@TandonRaveena) June 30, 2019