Zaira Wasim’s retirement from acting is ‘moronic’, says Taslima Nasrin, Bollywood weighs in
Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasrin has called actor Zaira Wasim’s recent decision to quit acting ‘moronic’. Zaira on Sunday announced on Instagram that her profession has come in the way of her relationship to her religion, which is why she has taken the step.
Taslima, reacting to the news, wrote on Twitter, “Oh My Goosebumps! Bollywood’s talented actress Zaria Wasim now wants to quit acting because she thinks her acting career almost destroyed her faith in Allah. What a moronic decision! So many talents in Muslim community are forced to go under the darkness of the burqa.”
Despite delivering acclaimed performances in her films, Zaira throughout her short career had faced criticism in her personal life, by citizens of her home state, and for her meeting with former J&K Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti. The 18-year-old Zaira has appeared in the blockbuster hits Dangal and Secret Superstar.
Zaira’s decision has received mixed response from her industry peers. On Sunday, actor Raveena Tandon had seemingly slammed Zaira for being ‘ungrateful’. She had written, “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.”
The actor’s first director, Dangal’s Nitesh Tiwari, said that the announcement came as a shock to him. He told Mid-Day, “I read about it in this afternoon, and it came as a shock to me. This was unexpected, but at the end of the day, it is her life and she has the right to lead it the way she [deems fit].”
Meanwhile, the team of Zaira’s sole upcoming release, The Sky is Pink, released a joint statement in the wake of the announcement, which read, “Zaira is an exceptional artiste and we are lucky to have had her play Aisha Chaudhury in our film. She has been a complete professional all through the shoot. This is a purely personal decision, which she has taken after much thought and we will support her in every way, now and always.”
Bollywood celebrities such Raza Murad, Neil Nitin Mukesh and Tanushree Dutta unanimously said that Zaira's decision to quit movies was personal. Murad accepted her move but said that relating her decision with religion is totally unreasonable.
"It is totally her decision to quit the field and we must respect it. But relating it to her religion is unreasonable. All the Islamic countries in the world where Islamic laws are followed including Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Bahrain, Oman, Iran, and Afghanistan, etc., have female news readers, actors," he said.
He recalled working with late Farookh Sheikh and said: "Farookh Sheikh acted in films without compromising with his prayers. So, these things go hand in hand. Sania Mirza is also religious who keeps 'Roza', prays and she has elevated India's name to great heights through tennis," he added.
Actor Neil Nitin Mukesh, who is currently busy shooting for Saaho, said, "I just wish her all the very best because I don't comment on anything religious or political."
Tanushree Dutta, who was recently in the news after she levelled sexual harassment allegations against Nana Patekar, said: "As I read her 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 Muslims to the true knowledge of Allah and Quran."
(With agency inputs)
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