The 18-year-old wrote in a social media post, “As I complete 5 years today, I want to confess that I am not truly happy with this identity i.e my line of work.”

Dangal star Zaira Wasim quits acting says it interferes with her faith
news Entertainment Sunday, June 30, 2019 - 15:45

Actor Zaira Wasim who gained national recognition with her debut role as a young Geeta Phogat in the 2016 sports drama Dangal has decided to quit acting. In a statement on Facebook and Instagram, the national award winning actor said she was unhappy with her line of work, and that she felt like she did not belong in the industry. “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),” she wrote.

In a long post shared on her social media pages, Zaira said, “Five years ago, I made a decision that changed my life forever. 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 i.e my line of work.”

The 18-year-old who was born in Kashmir said that because of her work, her relationship with her religion felt threatened leading to her “loosing all the Barakah (spiritual presence) in life”.

“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. While I continued to work in an environment that consistently interfered with my imaan, my relationship with my religion was threatened. As I continued to ignorantly pass through while I kept trying to convince myself that what I was doing is okay and isn’t really affecting me, I lost all the Barakah from my life.”

Elaborating that she found sufficiency and peace in the divine wisdom of the Quran, Zaira further wrote that she “began to heavily rely upon Allah’s mercy for my help and guidance.”

“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 well being with strengthening and satisfying my own (shallow and worldly) desires. I discovered my disease of doubt & error that my heart was afflicted with (sic),” she wrote.

Making her intention to end her acting career clear in the post, she said, “This journey has been exhausting, to battle my soul for so long. Life is too short yet too long to be at war with oneself. Therefore, today I arrive at this well-grounded decision and I officially declare my disassociation with this field.”

Zaira’s social media post sparked a discussion on the internet with many weighing in on her decision.

The young actor has in the past faced abusive trolling on the internet, after pictures of her meeting with J&K Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti in 2017 were shared, with the Mehbooba describing her as a “Kashmiri role model”, The young star received hate and abusive messages from Muslim fundamentalists.

Soon, she put out an open apology letter in which she wrote, “I hope people still remember that I'm a just a 16 year old girl and I hope you treat me accordingly. I'm sorry for what I did but it was not a deliberate decision and I really hope people can forgive me. (…) To even consider me as a role model would be disgracing them and their disgrace would be OUR DISGRACE! I do not wish to start an argument here, this was a just a mere confession from my end which I really wanted people to know. May Allah bless us and guide us.”

Also, in December 2017, Zaira shared a harrowing incident of being sexually harassed on a flight by a middle-aged man. In a self-shot Instagram live chat Zaira was seen breaking down.  “It was all chill till I felt somebody brushing against my back while I was half asleep. I ignored it the first time. Blamed the turbulence for it. Until I woke me up to this pleasant sight of his beautiful foot rubbing my back and neck,” she said.

Vistara Airlines later shared a statement in support of Zaira and added that they would investigate the matter further. However, some people on Twitter began to victim blame Zaira, saying that it was a 'fake drama' that was being used for 'attention.'

In May last year Zaira had shared another long post about her battle with depression. “It has almost been four and a half years since I’ve been diagnosed with depression and anxiety and today I’m finally ready to understand my illness and embrace the version of myself which I’ve always wanted to accept, without being ashamed and embarrassed and having the fear of being judged for it,” she wrote.

Zaira was last seen playing Insiya Malik in Secret Superstar (2017) for which she received the Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actress. She currently has The Sky is Pink, a biopic on the life of motivational speaker Aisha Chaudhary alongside Priyanka Chopra and Farhan Akhtar up for release. 

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