"Dangal" actor Zaira Wasim's decision to quitfilms, on grounds that her work interfered in her faith, has put her in thecrosshairs of debate with Congress and NC politicos saying it was her personalchoice while a Shiv Sena leader described it as a disservice to her religion.
In a detailed post on her Facebook page on Sunday, the18-year-old Kashmiri-born actor said she had completed five years in theprofession and wanted to confess that she was not "truly happy with this identity",that is her line of work.
Among those who spoke out on her decision were Congressleader Milind Deora, National Conference vice president Omar Abdullah and ShivSena's Priyanka Chaturvedi.
"Phoneys suddenly lecturing on #ZairaWaseem &#NusratJahan. I have Hindu & Jain friends right here in SoBo who renouncedcushy careers for their gurus & faith. You can choose whether religiondetermines your career or love life. Unless minors, let others decide forthemselves," tweeted Congress leader Milind Deora.
He also made a reference to newly married and newly electedTrinamool Congress MP Nusrat Jahan who has been criticised by hardline Muslimclerics for wearing 'sindoor' and the 'mangalsutra' and refuses to toe theirline.
Abdullah said no one had the right to question Wasim'sdecision.
"Who are any of us to question @ZairaWasimmm's choices?It's her life to do with as she pleases. All I will do is wish her well &hope that what ever she does makes her happy," he said on Twitter.
Taking a different tack, Shiv Sena's Priyanka Chaturvedisaid in a series of posts that whileeveryone had the right to practise their faith, it "should not be usedsound intolerant to career choices, which it clearly isn't".
"This actually does a huge disservice to her religion& reinforces the narrative about Islam being intolerant.
"Hindi cinema has seen many success stories of peoplefrom the same faith, does her reason imply that all these stalwarts didn't know their religion? Some equate her decisionto that of Vinod Khanna, did he say his religion says that his choice of careerblocks his faith?", she said.
Wasim said in her post, which she later shared on othersocial media platforms, that she felt like she had struggled to become someoneelse for a very long time.
"As I had just started to explore and make sense of thethings to which I dedicated my time, efforts and emotions and tried to grabhold of a new lifestyle, it was only for me to realise that though I may fithere perfectly, I do not belong here.
"This field indeed brought a lot of love, support, andapplause my way, but what it also did was to lead me to a path of ignorance, asI silently and unconsciously transitioned out of 'imaan' (faith). While Icontinued to work in an environment that consistently interfered with my'imaan', my relationship with my religion was threatened," she said.