04/02/2020 6:02 PM AEDT | Updated 04/02/2020 6:56 PM AEDT

Zaira Wasim: Why Is Kashmiri Life About Experiencing A Lifetime Of Crisis, Blockade?

These are Wasim’s first public comments on social media since the central government’s abrogation of Article 370 on August 5, 2019.

Shonali Bose/Facebook
Zaira Wasim on Kashmir

The Sky Is Pink’ actor Zaira Wasim on Monday night wrote a long post on Instagram on the restrictions in Kashmir and the conditions in which its residents live.

Wasim, who quit acting in Bollywood last year, wrote: 

“Kashmiris continue to exist and suffer in a world where it is so easy to place restrictions on our liberty. 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?”

These are Wasim’s first public comments on social media since the central government’s abrogation of Article 370 on August 5, 2019, and the splitting of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir into two Union territories. The Centre put in place a communication blackout and detained large numbers of the region’s political leaders.

On the intervening night of August 4-5, 2019, when the shutdown began in Jammu and Kashmir, Wasim had tweeted, “This too shall pass! #Kashmir”

Six months later, on Monday night, Wasim wrote:

On Instagram, Wasim asked people not to 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!” she added.

Wasim’s decision to stop acting had kicked off a political slugfest last year.

Her last film, The Sky is Pink, starring Priyanka Chopra and Farhaan Akhtar, released in October 2019.

The film’s director Shonali Bose had spoken out against the restrictions in Kashmir in a Facebook post titled #NotMyIndia. Bose called the abrogation of Article 370 “unconstitutional” and the communications blackout “draconian”.