‘Our voices have been silenced’: Zaira Wasim reveals Kashmir’s ‘reality’ hidden beneath a rosy picture

Former Bollywood actress Zaira Wasim, who rose to fame with her debut in Aamir Khan’s Dangal, took to her Instagram after internet services were resumed in Kashmir. Zaira expressed that her hometown ‘continues to suffer’. She began by writing, “Kashmir continues to suffer and see- saw between hope and frustration। There’s a false and uneasy semblance of calmness in place of escalating despair and sorrow.”

Wasim continued by asking questions as to why the voices of her people have been dumbed down. “Why do we have to live in world where our lives and wills are controlled, dictated and bent? Why is it so easy to have our voices silenced? Why is it so easy to curtail our freedom of expression? Why aren’t we ever allowed to voice our opinions, let alone our disprovals to decisions that are made contrary to our wishes? Why is it that instead of trying to see the cause of our view, our view is just condemned ruthfully? What is so easy to curb our voices so severely? Why can we not live simple lives without always having to wrestle and remind the world of our existence. Why is that life of a Kashmiri is just about experiencing a lifetime of crisis, blockade and disturbance so abundantly that it has taken away the recognition of normalcy and harmony from the hearts and minds?”

Zaira also mentioned that that the media is trying to hide the reality of Kashmir beneath a rosy picture, and urged everyone to ask questions. “Do not believe the unfair representation of the facts and details or the rosy hue that the media has cast on the reality of the situation. Ask questions, re-examine the biased assumptions. Ask questions. For our voices have been silenced- and for how long....none of us really know!”

For the past six months the Indian government has shut down internet services in Jammu and Kashmir. Touted as the longest shutdown in the world, it began on the night of August 4, when the Article 370 was revoked.

In June 2019, the Dangal actress had announced her "disassociation" from the field of acting, stating that she was not happy with the line of work as it interfered with her faith and religion. Her last stint was in The Sky is Pink alongside Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Farhan Akhtar.