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Not proud of what I did: Dangal girl Zaira Wasim issues apology for meeting Mehbooba Mufti

The 16-year-old was trolled by fellow Kashmiris for meeting the Jammu & Kashmir chief minister.

Photo: Shutterbugs Images

Mayur Lookhar

It was meant to be her hour of glory, but poor Zaira Wasim found herself embroiled in a needless controversy with the Kashmiri youth being trolled for meeting Jammu & Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti. 

Wasim, who played the character of Geeta Phogat in Aamir Khan’s Dangal, had met Mufti on 14 January. 

Troubled by the criticism, the Dangal actor issued an apology to fellow Kashmiris for unintentionally hurting their sentiments. Wasim has since deleted the post, but excerpts from her long letter have made its way into various reports.

News website Firstpost.com pasted excerpts from Wasim’s now deleted Facebook post. "I know that many people have been offended and displeased by my recent actions or by the people I have recently met. 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."

Wasim added, "(However) 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. I'm sorry for what I did, but it was not a deliberate decision and I really hope people can forgive me."

Wasim was being hailed as a role model, but the teenager has now urged people not to follow in her footsteps. 

"I am being projected as a role model for the Kashmiri youth. I want to make it very clear that I do not want anyone to follow in my footsteps or even consider me 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 in our history," she wrote.

There's been unrest in Jammu & Kashmir for the last six months, following the death of Hizb-ul-Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani.

The teenager posted on facebook again expressing surprise at the hue and cry in the media over her apology. 

"Regarding my last post, I have no idea why this has become such a big issue. I just wanted to make sure that I did not hurt anyone's feelings and all of a sudden it has been turned into national news. Again and again I am telling people that I have not been forced into anything by anyone. This was post was not meant against anyone, just wanted to make sure that people were not hurt by what I was doing. From media to everyone else, please don't blow this out of proportion. Neither was I forced nor am I against anyone. Hopefully this post just stops this once and for all," Wasim wrote. 

Wasim will be seen in Aamir Khan Productions' Secret Superstar next. She plays a young Muslim singer who dons a burkha to pursue her passion in the film. 

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