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Anupam Kher believes Zaira Wasim forced to quit acting, Raveena Tandon regrets reaction

The veteran actor also said that Zaira's decision is a blow to women empowerment.

Our Correspondent

Speaking on young actress Zaira Wasim deciding to quit the film industry citing religious reasons, actor Anupam Kher has said he is sad that she had to take a decision like this.

“I think it's a tragedy that a 16-17-year-old girl has to take a decision like that. I do respect her sentiments, I do respect that it's her individual choice. But as a person, I feel sad that she had to take a decision like this about her flourishing career,” he said, while speaking at an event in Delhi.

Kher added that this is a blow to women empowerment. “On one hand, we talk about women empowerment and on the other hand we say that it’s not like that. Personally, I feel she should not have done that. But she is an independent girl and our country gives everybody the fundamental right to choose what they want to choose,” he said. 

The veteran also said that he believes Zaira has been compelled to take the decision. “But the fact that she has gone all out to sort of say that I am doing it for religion or something like that. A certain amount of tilt has gone into it. She is most welcome to take her decision. I felt sad when I read that. I felt that somewhere, she had to take that decision. It is not her decision,” he said. 

Zaira, through an Instagram post on 30 June, had annonced she was quitting films as she was "not truly happy with the line of work." She also stated that the work interfered with her faith and her relationship with her religion.

"While I continued to work in an environment that consistently interfered with my imaan, my relationship with my religion was threatened. As I continued to ignorantly pass through while I kept trying to convince myself that what I was doing is okay and isn’t really affecting me, I lost all the Barakah from my life. Barakat is a word whose meaning isn't just confined to happiness, quantity or blessing, it also focuses on the idea of stability, which is something I struggled with extensively," she wrote.

On 1 July, a few reports claimed that Zaira's manager Tuhin Mishra has alleged that the actress hadn’t written the post but her account was hacked. However, later in the day, Mishra denied making any such allegations. Speaking to the news agency ANI, he said, “We have never said that her account was hacked. We just said that we would definitely like to know what has happened. And the post was done [written] by her.”

Later Zaira too clarified that her account was not hacked. “This to clarify that none of my social media accounts were or are hacked and are being handled by me personally. Kindly refrain from believing or sharing claims that state otherwise! Thanks,” she tweeted.

The day Zaira made the announcement, Raveena Tandon criticized her on Twitter saying, “Doesn’t matter if two film olds are ungrateful to the industry that have given them all. Just wish they’d exit gracefully and keep their regressive views to themselves.”

However, after seeing a video shared by news channel Times Now alleging that Zaira was forced to take the decision, Tandon deleted her tweet saying, “If this is true and the reason for her to quit, if she was or is under pressure, then I do feel sad for the girl. Was she forced into writing the long statement by radicals out of fear? She was a role model to so many youngsters with dreams and inspirations that they could achieve.”


Giving an explanation to her tweet, Tandon added, “I wish her luck and strength. After seeing this, I now regret my first immediate tweet after reading her statement. Maybe she was forced to write what was unacceptable to people like me who love films, cinema, the industry, that I was born into. Deleting the tweet that now sounds harsh.”