Dangal’s Zaira Wasim found herself in the middle of a controversy when she posted an open letter on Twitter yesterday in which she apologized for meeting with Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti. As the 16-year-old girl struggled to squash the frenzy around her posts, Bollywood, including her Dangal co-star Aamir Khan, remained silent. But it looks like finally, someone is standing up for her. Javed Akhtar came out in support of the actress yesterday evening, tweeting, “Those who shout AZADI from the roof tops, don’t give an iota of AZADI to others. Poor Zaira Waseem had to apologies for her success. Shame!”
Those who shout AZADI from the roof tops don’t give an iota of AZADI to others .Poor Zaira Waseem had to apologies for her success Shame !!
— Javed Akhtar (@Javedakhtarjadu) January 16, 2017
— geeta phogat (@geeta_phogat) January 16, 2017
Zaira has since deleted her posts in a bid to end the frenzy. The real Dangal sisters, Geeta Phogat and Babita Kumari, too lent their support to the young star. Geeta took to Twitter yesterday to share a photo of herself with Zaira, writing, “#ZairaWasim we are proud of you dear don’t worry and stand strong.” Babita told ANI, “We also reached here by facing many hardships. I want to tell Zaira Wasim she shouldn’t be scared. The nation is with her.”
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While many Twitter users defended the actress, many others remained confused about what had caused Zaira’s sudden outburst in the first place. Zaira and her family received flak not only for meeting Mufti, but even for the actress’ work in Dangal. According to a report in Indian Express, the star’s role was labelled as ‘un-Islamic’ by some, which added to the pressure which the young actress was facing. Zaira, in fact, added in her apology that she should not be held as an icon for Kashmiri youth and nor was she proud of what she was doing.