Zaira Wasim

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Zaira Wasim
Zaira Wasim snapped on sets of Rajeev Masand’s show (04) (cropped).jpg
Wasim in 2017
Born (2000-10-23) 23 October 2000 (age 18)
OccupationFormer actress
Years active2015—2019[1]
AwardsNational Film Award
National Child Award for Exceptional Achievement

Zaira Wasim (born 23 October 2000)[2] is a former Indian actress who worked in Hindi films. The recipient of numerous accolades, including a Filmfare Award and a National Film Award, Wasim was honoured with the National Child Award for Exceptional Achievement by Ram Nath Kovind, the President of India, at a ceremony in New Delhi in 2017.[3]

Wasim made her film debut with the role of wrestler Geeta Phogat in the biographical sports film Dangal (2016), which emerged as the highest-grossing Indian film, grossing more than ₹2,000 crore ($300 million) worldwide. She then starred as an aspiring singer in the musical drama Secret Superstar (2017), which became the highest-grossing Indian film with a female protagonist. Her performances in both films earned her critical acclaim as well as several awards, including the National Film Award for Best Supporting Actress for the former and the Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actress for the latter. Both films were produced by Aamir Khan Productions. Her final film release was The Sky Is Pink (2019). In June 2019, Wasim announced she would be leaving her acting career as a voluntary choice due to her religion.

Personal life[edit]

Zaira Wasim was born to a Muslim family in Kashmir to Zahid and Zarqa Wasim. Her father works as an Executive Manager in J&K Bank, Srinagar and her mother is a teacher. She completed tenth grade from St. Paul's International Academy in Sonwar, Srinagar for which she scored 92 per cent in her Board examinations.[4][5]

Career[edit]

In June 2015, Wasim was signed by director Nitesh Tiwari to make her film debut with the biographical sports film Dangal (2016). Principal photography of the film began in September 2015 and she finished her part in December the same year. The film, which narrated the story of pehlwani amateur wrestler Mahavir Singh Phogat (Aamir Khan) who trains his two daughters Geeta (Wasim) and Babita (Suhani Bhatnagar) to become India's first world class female wrestlers, received positive reviews from critics and emerged as the highest-grossing Indian film of all time, earning more than ₹20 billion ($300 million) worldwide. For her performance, Wasim received positive comments as well as several awards, including the National Film Award for Best Supporting Actress and a nomination for the Filmfare Award for Best Female Debut.

The following year, Wasim found her breakthrough role in Advait Chandan's directorial debut Secret Superstar (2017), a musical drama about the story of Insia Malik (Wasim), a 15-year-old teenager who aspires to be a singer. Co-starring with Aamir Khan, Meher Vij, and Raj Arjun, Wasim garnered critical acclaim for her performance and the film eventually emerged as her second consecutive release to earn over 9 billion (US$130 million) worldwide, becoming the third highest-grossing Indian film (after Dangal and the 2015 film Bajrangi Bhaijaan) and the highest-grossing Indian film featuring a female protagonist. In addition to several other accolades for the film, Wasim won the Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actress and received her first nomination for the Filmfare Best Actress Award. In November 2017, politician Ram Nath Kovind, the President of India, honoured her with the National Child Award for Exceptional Achievement, for her performances in both Dangal and Secret Superstar.

As of March 2019, Wasim has completed shooting for her next film The Sky Is Pink, the biopic of motivational speaker Aisha Chaudhary, a 19-year-old girl who died due to the disease of pulmonary fibrosis. Co-starring Priyanka Chopra and Farhan Akhtar, the film is set to theatrically release in India on 11 October 2019.

Controversies[edit]

In 2016, publicity photos of Zaira Wasim surfaced showing her with trimmed hair for her role in the film Dangal. This resulted in her being trolled online for having been "un-Islamic" by acting in a film. In January 2017, a local news organization published the news and photos of her meeting with Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti. This resulted in further criticism and Wasim receiving death threats[6] because Mufti had described Wasim as a "Kashmiri role model". In response, Zaira issued an apology on her Facebook and Instagram account which she deleted shortly after. But not before the message was picked up and publicized by news media which added further fuel to the controversy. Subsequently, several Indian celebrities have voiced their support for Wasim, denouncing her critics.[7][8]

In January 2017, Indian sports minister Vijay Goel tweeted a message "Our daughters are breaking out of their cages and moving forward", accompanied by a photo of him standing before a painting depicting two women – one in a hijab and another cowering in a cage. Zaira responded to Goel requesting him not to connect her to "such a discourteous depiction" and that women in hijab were "beautiful and free". Goel responded saying that she had misinterpreted his tweet, he appreciated Wasim's work and meant to discourage "evil and patriarchal notions".[9]

In December 2017, Wasim alleged that she had been harassed mid-air on an Air Vistara flight UK981 between Delhi and Mumbai. She posted a series of messages on her Instagram profile alleging that a man sitting behind her on the flight had caressed her neck while she was asleep. She also wrote that she had tried to record what the man was doing, but failed due to dim lights. The airline issued an apology on the issue and released a statement saying that a detailed investigation would be conducted. The accused, Vikas Sachdeva of Chandivli in Mumbai was subsequently arrested and charged under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO), given Wasim was a legal minor. The accused's wife claimed her husband had been resting when his leg accidentally touched Wasim and that he had apologized before getting off the plane at the Mumbai airport, which the actress had acknowledged. The suspect has been placed in judicial custody pending a court hearing.[10][11] There has been support for the accused in the form of a signature-campaign by his neighbours and on social pages with pages like ‘Justice for Vikas Sachdeva’.[12] Wasim subsequently became a target of internet trolling, which has been criticized by the Mumbai Police, stating in a tweet, "It is the Constitutional Right of every victim to report sexual abuse and it is our duty to take cognizance, investigate & facilitate justice. Kindly refrain from being judgmental and #Respect the Right of a Victim of a Sexual Assault".[13] In a statement included with the tweet, the Mumbai Police also stated, "Our action against the accused is backed by sufficient evidence against him and it has been under the scrutiny by the court of law."[14]

Filmography[edit]

Title Year Role Director Notes
Dangal 2016 Geeta Phogat Nitesh Tiwari
Secret Superstar 2017 Insiya Malik Advait Chandan
The Sky Is Pink 2019 Aisha Chaudhary Shonali Bose

Awards and nominations[edit]

National Film Awards
Year Nominated work Category Result Ref.
2017 Dangal Best Supporting Actress Won [15][16]
Filmfare Awards
Year Nominated work Category Result Ref.
2017 Dangal Best Female Debut Nominated
2018 Secret Superstar Best Actress Nominated [17]
Best Actress (Critics) Won [18]
Star Screen Awards
Year Nominated work Category Result Ref.
2017 Dangal Most Promising Newcomer (Female) Won [19][20]
Secret Superstar
Zee Cine Awards
Year Nominated work Category Result Ref.
2018 Secret Superstar Best Actor – Female (Jury's Choice) Nominated [21]
Best Actor – Female (Viewer's Choice) Nominated
National Child Awards
Year Nominated work Category Result Ref.
2017 Dangal Exceptional Achievement Won [22][3]
Secret Superstar
News 18 Movie Awards
Year Nominated work Category Result Ref.
2017 Dangal Best Supporting Actress Won [23]
2018 Secret Superstar Best Actress Nominated [24]
Big Zee Entertainment Awards
Year Nominated work Category Result Ref.
2017 Dangal Best Child Artist Won [25]
Lux Golden Rose Awards
Year Nominated work Category Result Ref.
2017 Secret Superstar Emerging Beauty of The Year Won [26][27]
International Indian Film Academy Awards
Year Nominated work Category Result Ref.
2018 Secret Superstar Best Actress Nominated [28]
Indian Film Festival of Melbourne
Year Nominated work Category Result Ref.
2018 Secret Superstar Best Actress Pending [29]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Zaira Wasim announces 'disassociation' from films". Retrieved 30 June 2019.
  2. ^ Limited, InLinks Communication. "Zaira Wasim awarded the National Child Award for Exceptional Achievement 2017 - Jammu Links News". www.jammulinksnews.com. Retrieved 25 February 2018.
  3. ^ a b "Secret Superstar actor Zaira Wasim receives exceptional achievement award from President Kovind". Hindustan Times. 16 November 2018.
  4. ^ "Kiran Rao thanks Kashmir school for backing 'Dangal' actress". 9 December 2015.
  5. ^ "'I wish my parents would praise me but they don't'".
  6. ^ "'Islamic State will kill you': Masked men threaten Dangal actress Zaira Wasim in Srinagar | Latest News & Updates at Daily News & Analysis". dna. 20 January 2017. Retrieved 25 October 2017.
  7. ^ "'Dangal' Girl Zaira Wasim Deletes Controversial Open Letter". The Quint. Retrieved 25 October 2017.
  8. ^ "Zaira Wasim: Bollywood celebs come out in support of Dangal girl". hindustantimes.com. 17 January 2017. Retrieved 18 October 2017.
  9. ^ "Dangal star Zaira Wasim spars with sports min Vijay Goel for his hijab tweet". hindustantimes.com. 20 January 2017. Retrieved 18 October 2017.
  10. ^ "Dangal actress Zaira Wasim alleges molestation onboard Vistara flight". The Economic Times. 10 December 2017. Retrieved 18 December 2017.
  11. ^ "Zaira Wasim molestation row: Accused's judicial custody extended to December 22". The Economic Times. 13 December 2017. Retrieved 18 December 2017.
  12. ^ "support pours in for molestation accused". The Hindu.
  13. ^ "Mumbai Police Dismiss Trolls And Stand With Zaira Wasim With This Supportive Tweet". India Times. 20 December 2017.
  14. ^ "Minor actor molestation case: Mumbai Police says sufficient evidence against accused, requests restraint in discussions". Daily News and Analysis. 16 December 2017.
  15. ^ "64th National Film Awards" (PDF) (Press release). Directorate of Film Festivals. Retrieved 4 August 2017.
  16. ^ "64th National Film Awards: Zaira Wasim wins Best Supporting Actress for Dangal". Retrieved 11 October 2017.
  17. ^ "Nominations for the 63rd Jio Filmfare Awards 2018". filmfare.com. Retrieved 18 January 2018.
  18. ^ "Critics Best Actor in Leading Role Female 2017 Nominees | Filmfare Awards". filmfare.com. Retrieved 20 January 2018.
  19. ^ "Zaira Wasim - Most Promising Newcomer". Twitter.
  20. ^ "Star Screen Awards 2018". Hotstar.
  21. ^ "2018 Archives - Zee Cine Awards". Zee Cine Awards. Retrieved 31 December 2017.
  22. ^ "Kumari Zaira Wasim: Awarded the NationalChildAwards for Exceptional Achievement 2017". Twitter.
  23. ^ "Movie Awards 2017: News18 Movie Awards 2017 Nominees, Latest New". News18. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  24. ^ "Reel Movie On Screen Awards 2018 | Best Film, Actor, Actress, Director and More". News18. Retrieved 27 February 2018.
  25. ^ Reporter (31 July 2017). "Winners of Big Zee Entertainment Awards 2017". Total Reporter. Retrieved 11 October 2017.
  26. ^ "Lux Golden Rose Awards - Zaira Wasim". Twitter.
  27. ^ "Lux Golden Rose Awards". The Indian Express. 11 December 2017.
  28. ^ "IIFA Awards 2018 Winners". IIFA.
  29. ^ "Indian Film Festival Melbourne". www.iffm.com.au. Retrieved 13 July 2018.

External links[edit]