Religion is an extremely volatile topic these days, the only time when it is seen in a positive light is when somebody is renouncing it for the so-called modern ways. 

The recent news of Bollywood actor (although not for long) Zaira Wasim quitting the industry because it was apparently interfering with her religion has started a mass debate online. 

Wasim rose to fame with her role as Geeta Phogat in the Aamir Khan starring film Dangal and then her character in Secret Superstar was also appreciated for breaking the stereotyped bonds laid on girls in patriarchal societies. 

However, with her latest post on Instagram, which read around 6 pages long, explaining how she is ‘disassociating from Bollywood’ as it is interfering with her faith and religion and ‘imaan’ has sparked a discussion online with some reacting positively to her post while others bashing her and saying that this decision is regressive. 

I saw a few tweets from people that are otherwise progressive and educated who were reacting negatively to this new:

Pratik Sinha is the co-Founder of Alt News, a popular media house that is known for presenting the facts, debunking fake news or wrong information. 

His statement that religion is some kind of a noose instead of something personal to a being is surprising to see.

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Aarti Tikoo Singh is a senior assistant editor at Times of India and so her making the observation that Wasim was stigmatizing actors as a whole was not something I expected. 

As a reader, it did not seem to me as if Wasim was demonising the industry, more just that she as an individual was not comfortable there. 

And it is not like Bollywood is a saintly place where nothing bad ever happens. 

While a light-hearted jibe at the post, Abijit Ganguly, a stand-up comedian, who is usually on point with his jokes, seems to have missed it here. 

ThePrint India is a very reputed media house known for putting out well written and intelligent pieces. 

That is why the strange statement by Rama Lakshmi, who is an editor there and was previously a Correspondent to The Washington Post is bizarre to me. 

Sonia Singh, an anchor at NDTV news channel, is softer than the others in her tweet.

While I didn’t fully agree with the content of Wasim’s post and how she kept repeating that the God is the only true guide, I also know that it is not my life. 

As an adult and a free citizen of this country, she is allowed to take such decisions and who knows, maybe at this point she is not feeling in control of her surrounding and thus is gripping to the one thing that allows her to feel calm. 

I disagree with this current ideology that in order to be modern and progressive, you need to leave behind all traditional values and religious faith. 

If you do follow such values or lifestyle or are a bit overly religious, you are suddenly seen as backward and regressive and shed in a negative light. 

A person can be traditional and progressive at the same time, that is a luxury the modern society allows us. 

In today’s time I can speak out about how I am not an overly religious person, and that is a choice I made based on what I feel comfortable with. 

Anupam Kher too commented on this whole issue and said that, “My first reaction was. If she has taken this decision in the name of religion then maybe this is not her decision. Maybe she is forced to take that decision, that was my first thought. But it is her life, if she wants to take that decision, I respect her decision. I think we should leave her alone.”

Which I also agree with as we don’t really know what is going on with her life and what actually made her take this decision in the first place. 

Maybe it was forced, maybe she had to bend to the rules of her religion, or maybe it was just something that this 18 year old kid thought was the best thing to do in her life right now. 

Image Credits: Google Images

Sources: India Today, NDTV, Hindustan Times

Find the blogger @chirali_08

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