Dangal actress Zaira Wasim found herself in troubled waters when she was criticized for meeting Jammu and Kashmir’s chief minister Mehbooba Mufti. Following this, she wrote a Facebook post asking the Kashmiris not to look upto her as a role model. Wasim was lauded for her fearless post and standing up against the trolls.
The Minister of youth affairs and sports Vijay Goel tweeted a photograph of a caged woman in hijab and with the caption:
“This painting tells a story similar to @zairawasim, our daughters are breaking the cages of oppression. More power to our daughters!”.
Vijay Goel, as it is quite apparent from his tweet, was voicing his support for Wasim- a daughter who broke the shakles of patriarchy and at such a young age, dared to take a strong stance against the trolls. Wasim however, expressed her displeasure at a tweet which was meant to appreciate her. She attacked Goel in a series of tweets where she said:
“Women in hijab are beautiful and free.” She also added: “Sir, with due respect to you, I feel I must disagree. I request you not to connect me to such a discourteous depiction.”
Following is the tweet that caused a stir on Twitter this morning:
Wasim took offence because she felt that the image showed a woman in ‘hijab’ and implied that the women in hijab are caged and have never experienced true freedom. Wasim’s interpretation of the tweet is not only far-fatched and exagerrated, it doesn’t make sense given the context in which the tweet was written.
For one, Goel was appreciating Wasim for standing up against the trolls. His tweet was meant to appreciate women like Wasim who stand their ground and do not succumb to the criticism, no matter how strong it might be. Wasim however, interpreted a depiction that was meant to appreciate her as one which condescends the women in hijab and called it “discourteous”.
The image is open to interpretation and one can see it the way one wants. One is free to interpret things but one cannot let go of the context completely. The context of the tweet was Zaira Wasim’s courageous and praiseworthy stand against the trolls.
Goel didn’t compare Wasim directly with the women in Hijab. The women in Hijab wasn’t even in the cage to begin with! If the context of the image had been anything ranging from modern feminism or say, ‘women in Hijab’, then Wasim’s statements would have been relevant.
What made the situation worse was when Goel issued a statement to clarify that he didn’t mean to offend Wasim and that depiction wasn’t meant to portray the women who wear ‘hijab’ in bad light and Wasim refused to comment on it.
Wasim’s critique is not only far-fetched but it also seems like the young actress is reading too much into a depiction that was meant to praise her. In fact, the whole incident gives off a shady vibe and it seems as if Wasim is creating controversy where there is none to stay in the limelight.
We hope Zaira Wasim will speak about things that matter instead of lashing out at tweets that mean no harm.