Filmmaker Anubhav Sinha, whose latest film Article 15 is on caste discrimination, says people need to just let actress Zaira Wasim be if she has chosen to quit the film industry.
Zaira made an announcement of her “disassociation” with acting, saying: “While I continued to work in an environment that consistently interfered with my Imaan, my relationship with my religion was threatened.”
It led to a mixed bag of comments from the film world.
Sinha says it is her choice after all.
“Even I have Muslim friends who keep themselves away from clicking pictures because he says that that goes against Islam. I know young Hindu boys who one fine day decided to leave the materialistic world and go in search of God. It is their choice and there is no wrong in it.
“Yes, if she (Zaira) is forced by somebody to do so, then it is a different point of discussion. But I am not aware of that. So, I cannot comment on it.”
Zaira debuted in Bollywood in 2016 with Dangal and also received a lot of praise for her performance in the film Secret Superstar where she played the role of a burka-clad Muslim singer who becomes a YouTube sensation due to her beautiful voice.
Sinha said: “She was in the limelight for the films that she worked and now she has decided to go away, why can’t we let her be? Why can’t we let her practice her choice? It is their form of spiritualism.”
To some, her decision to opt out of showbiz seems regressive.
But Sinha asked: “What is progressive? Are all the inventions being made benefitting mankind? Few people practice different choices in every generation and I think (we should just) let them be. I think we very quickly tag this topic as a ‘Muslim phenomenon’. Every religion is patriarchal because those religions are made by men. They made them suit them,” explained the filmmaker, who helmed Mulk, which delved upon religious discrimination.