Friends of the actor told “The Hindu” that trolling on social networking sites started immediately after she decided to join films in 2015, when she was in Class 9.
Reacting to trolls on social media, 16-year-old Dangal actor Zaira Wasim, posted an “apology” on Facebook for joining films and meeting with J&K Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, only to delete it later.
Ms. Wasim, in her post, claimed she was “not forced to apologise by anyone.” A glimpse into the volley of abuses and messages that were posted on her page shows the pressure she was under for being in the limelight.
“It wasn’t taught by our prophet. Where is your spirit of Islam?”, “One erred lady will one day spoil the Islamic aura of the whole valley” and “Has Ms. Mehbooba met someone who has memorized Quran?” were the kind of messages posted on her Facebook page.
However, scores of Valley netizens posted messages supporting Ms. Wasim with the hashtag ‘IamWithZairaWasim❤’.
Friends of the actor, who played the younger version of wrestler Geeta Phogat in the Aamir Khan-starrer Dangal, told The Hindu that trolling on the social networking sites started immediately after she decided to join films in 2015, when she was in Class 9. This forced Ms. Zaira to lie low all this while.
“The trolls grew louder and bolder this time as Ms. Wasim met Ms. Mufti on Saturday in Jammu, where she had gone to participate in an event,” they said.
In her FB ‘apology’ post, apparently aimed at putting to rest the ongoing trolling, Ms. Zaira wrote: “I want to apologise to all those people who I’ve unintentionally hurt and want them to know that I understand their sentiments, especially considering what has happened (in Kashmir) over the past six months (sic).”
Ms. Mehbooba, whose picture with Ms. Zaira was released by the State Information department, called her a “role model” and an “inspiration” in Jammu.
“… I am being projected as a role model for Kashmiri youth. I want to make it very clear that I do not want anyone to follow in my footsteps. I’m not proud of what I’m doing,” wrote Ms. Zaira, apparently in disgust. “I hope people can also understand there are certain circumstances that emerge which one cannot control. I hope people still remember that I’m a just a 16-year-old girl and treat me accordingly,” she added.
Former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah reacted on Twitter, “I’ve a problem with @MehboobaMufti trying to usurp other people’s success to cover up her own failures but why punish/troll people she meets?”
Lending her support, wrestler Babita Phogat said, “We also reached here by facing many hardships; want to tell Zaira Wasim she shouldn’t be scared. The nation is with her”.