Zaira Wasim played the role of young Geeta Phogat, India’s first female wrestler to win Commonwealth Games gold medal in award-winning 2016 film Dangal. The 16-year-old Kashmiri girl is unceremoniously dragged into a controversy by faceless fringe-minded fanatics on the social media. WHY? The teenager had met Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and J&K CM called her “a Kashmiri role model”. After facing major backlash, the Dangal star, Zaira Wasim posted an apology and explanation over her ‘recent actions’. But Zaira Wasim need not be sorry or fear anyone as Indian wrestling champions, Geeta Phogat and Babita Kumari back the Dangal girl. The real-life Dangal girls are out there to support Zaira Wasim! ALSO READ: Aamir Khan reacts to Dangal girl Zaira Wasim Facebook post controversy, calls her his ‘role model’ – read what he said.
The Dangal actor’s meeting with Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti made her the target of trolls on the social media. Zaira fearing further trolling and backlash on posted a note (later deleted) on Facebook, apologising for her actions. On several occasions throughout the note, Zaira Wasim is asking for forgiveness, being sorry and apologising unconditionally for hurting sentiments. She does not see herself to be any role model and in fact, says it would be DISGRACE if she is seen as any role model. A 16-year-old is forced to say sorry for being a ‘role model’, and in fact she thinks it would be a ‘disgrace’ if she does indeed be seen as a role. Seeing her fear, we have definitely failed as a society! ALSO READ: Dangal girl Zaira Wasim receives support from Anupam Kher, Barkha Dutt, Omar Abdullah, Javed Akhtar after Facebook post goes viral.
Seeing the uncalled for negativity against Zaira Wasim, India’s sporting icons, Geeta and Babita took to Twitter to support the hapless teen. The 28-year-old Commonwealth Games 2010 Gold medalist Geeta Phogat wrote: #ZairaWasim we are proud of you dear don’t worry and stand strong”. Her younger sister and Commonwealth Games 2014 gold medal winning champ, Babita Kumari Phogat also came out in support of the young girl. She posted: “Zaira Wasim you r deal.No pressure should b enough to make u feel apologetic about ur achievements.Go ahead, chase ur dreams, inspire!!”
Speaking to the ANI news, Geeta and Babita further lend out their support to Zaira Wasim. Geeta said, “Dhaakad ladkiyon ka role kiya hai usne toh usko darne or sharminda hone ki koi zarurat nahi hai (she has played the role of Dhakkad girl, so she need to be scared or embarrassed)”. Babita Kumari too added, “We also reached here by facing many hardships;want to tel Zaira Wasim she shouldn’t be scared the nation is with her”. Zaira had played the role of young Geeta in Aamir Khan-starrer Dangal. She was definitely the head-turner with her impressive acting skills and soon became an inspiration for the young girls out there.
Earlier, Zaira Wasim’s on-screen father and Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan also voiced in support of Kashmiri teenager. The 51-year-old actor said he is with her, and posted a message for her on Facebook. The actor wrote, “I have read Zaira’s statement, and I can understand and imagine what lead her to make that statement. Zaira, I want you to know that we are all with you. The beauty is that bright, young, talented, hardworking, respectful, caring and courageous kids like you are a role model for kids not only in India, but across the world. You certainly are a role model for me! May god bless you. Love. Aamir.” He added a P.S.: “I appeal to everyone to now leave her alone and respect the fact that she is just a 16 yr old girl trying her best to deal with life.”