Aamir comes out in support of Dangal co-star Zaira Wasim after online trolling incident

Aamir comes out in support of Dangal co-star Zaira Wasim after online trolling incident
Aamir Khan and Zaira Wasim

Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan on Tuesday came out in support of his ‘Dangal’ co-star Zaira Wasim, who was recently trolled on social media after Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti called her a ‘Kashmiri role model’

Zaira, who was lauded for playing the role of the younger Geeta Phogat in the recently released film, had met Mufti last week. A picture from their meeting subsequently made its way online, drawing flak from some online trollers in Kashmir.

However Aamir, along with many others, came to the her defence.

The actor also urged trollers to leave her alone, after she issued an apology on Monday for “unintentionally hurting people’s sentiments” by meeting Mufti.

“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 or even consider me as a role model. I’m not proud of what I’m doing and I want everyone, especially the Youth, to know that there are real role models out there whether they be in this time or history. To even consider me as a role model would be disgracing them and their disgrace would be our disgrace,” Zaira had written in a Facebook post.

She later withdrew the apology after receiving support from well-wishers, including the film fraternity and politicians.

“I have read Zaira’s statement and I can understand and imagine what led to her making that statement,” Aamir said.

“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 all kids, not only in India but across the world. You certainly are a role model for me! May God bless you. Love Aamir,” he wrote.

The actor also emphasized on the fact that Zaira was just a 16-year-old.

“I appeal to everyone now to leave her alone and respect the fact that she is just a 16-year-old girl trying her best to deal with life,” he added.

Meanwhile, hashtags like “I am with Zaira” and “Kashmir stands with Zaira Wasim” became a trending topics on social media.

“Like Tajamul (a Kashmiri kickboxing champion) and Hashim (another Kashmiri martial art champion), Zaira was also subjected to such petty politics,” wrote Mohammed Faysal and Khizer Humsaferani in a joint blogpost on www.withkashmir.com.

“So whenever there’s a success story out of Kashmir, the government and the Indian media use that as an indication of normalcy. Thus politicising the hard work and dedication of these remarkable individuals,” they wrote in support of Zaira.

Author and academician Shahnaz Bashir said Kashmiris needed to be “proud of our indigenous talent and protect, love and preserve it”.

Opposition leader, Omar Abdullah, also tweeted in Zaira’s support. “A 16-year-old shouldn’t be forced to apologise & that too allegedly for meeting @MehboobaMufti. What are we coming to!!!!!” he tweeted.

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