Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting M Venkaiah Naidu has joined the bandwagon of people who have come out in support of 16-year old Zaira Wasim, who recently portrayed a young Geeta Phogat in the blockbuster 'Dangal', after she was trolled on social media for posting a picture with Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti. Ms Wasim, who issued an apology over the incident, has also been supported by her 'Dangal' co-star Aamir Khan and other film industry stallwarts including Anupam Kher, Javed Akhtar, Sonu Nigam as well as political leaders such as Omar Abdullah and sportspeople like Gautam Gambhir.
Speaking at an event at the Indian Institute of Mass Communication in the national capital, Mr Naidu said, "Why did she have to tender an apology for meeting the Chief Minister of her own state? Why is everyone silent now?"
He added, "Zaira's episode shows how pseudo-liberals react to different situations, adopt different standards. What wrong has been committed by this young, talented artist from Jammu and Kashmir?"
Earlier, actor Aamir Khan, who co-starred with Ms Wasim in the wrestling bio-pic tweeted that she was his role model. Wrestler Geeta Phogat, who was portrayed by Ms Wasim in the movie, also extended her support.
In a Facebook post, Zaira Wasim had extended an apology to "people offended or displeased by recent actions or the people recently met."
"I hope people can also understand there are certain circumstances that emerge which one cannot control and I hope people still remember that I'm just a 16-year-old girl and I hope you treat me accordingly," the post, which has now been deleted, added.
(with inputs from Agencies)