Will no one stand up with Zaira Wasim against hijab trolls now?

Shuja-ul-HaqJan 20, 2017 | 16:44

Will no one stand up with Zaira Wasim against hijab trolls now?

The saying that "change comes" will be so quickly true in Zaira Wasim’s case baffles me. From being the "national pride" to being called regressive, it took just a few courageous Twitter replies by the Dangal girl.

The Kashmiri child star entered into a war of words with Union sports minister and BJP leader Vijay Goel on Twitter. The exchange began when Goel tweeted a painting that showed a girl in a hijab and also a girl in the foreground depicted as being trapped in a cage.


Somehow the minister thought of appropriating the painting with Zaira. "This painting tells a story similar to Zaira Wasim's," he wrote.

The 16-year-old Zaira replied with few courageous tweets exposing how the minister was type-casting the hijab and how she didn’t face anything such as entrapment.

And Zaira was making a relevant point. She has repeatedly said that her family and friends have supported her in the decision of going into films. She in fact has been hailed by most people in the Valley for her acting skills in Dangal.

Most of the trolling against her was aimed at her meeting J&K chief minister Mehbooba Mufti and other politicians, who the trolls felt were responsible for excesses during the 2016 unrest in the state.

In her replies to the minister, while trying to articulate these facts, she wrote: "Women in hijab are beautiful and free... Moreover, the story depicted through the painting is not even remotely relevant to mine."


With this the heavens seemed to have fallen. She is now being trolled with a barrage of tweets and this time not by Kashmiris. The trolls are questioning her understanding of the idea of hijab.

They are telling her that wearing a hijab is a bad thing and her opposition to the minister was regressive.

Now the question is, just a few days ago, Zaira was being hailed and sympathised with by most in the country for facing Kashmiri trolls.

Debates, shows, editorials and columns were written on how she was forced by "Islamist" minded trolls to tender an apology for hurting them.

Somehow most of those voices are silent when this little girl faced anonymous trolls for replying to a powerful minister on stereotyping women in hijab and wrongly correlating her story with something she doesn’t agree with. 

And the silence is giving birth to more questions. Is this kind of trolling for speaking her mind less criminal than what she faced a few days ago in Kashmir?

Also there was almost national outrage over her apology and saviours from across the spectrum were offering their help, but who will stand up with her in front of these new trolls now?


Last updated: January 20, 2017 | 16:44
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