National Award-winning actor Zaira Wasim on Sunday announced her "disassociation" from the field of acting, saying she was not happy with the line of work as it interfered with her faith and religion.

In a detailed post on her Facebook page, which she later shared across all social media platforms, the Kashmiri-born Dangal fame star said, "Though I may fit here perfectly, I do not belong here."

The actor, who made her big Bollywood debut opposite superstar Aamir Khan in 2016, said she questioned the deepest sources of her ideas of success, meaning and the purpose of her life.

Wasim said the journey has been "exhausting, to battle the soul for so long" and life was too short yet too long to be at war with oneself.

About announcing the decision on social media, the actor said she was openly doing so not to paint a holier picture of herself, but "this is the least one can do to start afresh".

Bollywood actress Raveena Tandon on Sunday took an indirect jibe at Zaira Wasim. Without directly naming Zaira in her tweet, Raveena said, "Doesn’t matter if two film olds are ungrateful to the industry that have given them all. Just wish they’d exit gracefully and keep their regressive views to themselves."

Raveena later explained that she agreed quitting Bollywood was Zaira's personal choice but she should not be "demeaning" the Indian film industry for everyone else. Raveen wrote: "I standby and love my industry, all the opportunities it gives to everyone. Exit is your choice, reason, by all means. Just do not demean it for everyone else. The industry where all work shoulder to shoulder, no differences, caste, religion or where you come from. #Respect #indianfilms." (sic)

Veteran actor Anupam Kher shared his views saying,  "If she took this decision in the name of religion then maybe it wasn't her decision, maybe she was forced to do it but that is her life, if she wants to take that decision I respect her, we should leave her alone but I was saddened by it."

Politicians like Congress leader Milind Deora, National Conference vice president Omar Abdullah and Shiv Sena's Priyanka Chaturvedi too spoke out on the issue.

"Phoneys suddenly lecturing on #ZairaWaseem & #NusratJahan. I have Hindu & Jain friends right here in SoBo who renounced cushy careers for their gurus & faith. You can choose whether religion determines your career or love life. Unless minors, let others decide for themselves," tweeted Congress leader Milind Deora. He also made a reference to newly married and newly elected Trinamool Congress MP Nusrat Jahan who has been criticised by hardline Muslim clerics for wearing 'sindoor' and the 'mangalsutra'.

Omar Abdullah said no one had the right to question Wasim's decision. "Who are any of us to question @ZairaWasimmm's choices? It's her life to do with as she pleases. All I will do is wish her well & hope that what ever she does makes her happy," he said on Twitter.

With a different take, Shiv Sena’s Priyanka Chaturvedi said in a series of posts that while everyone has the right to practise their faith, it “should not be used to sound intolerant to career choices, which it clearly isn’t”. 

“This actually does a huge disservice to her religion & reinforces the narrative about Islam being intolerant.

“Hindi cinema has seen many success stories of people from the same faith. Does her reason imply that all these stalwarts didn’t know their religion? Some equate her decision to that of Vinod Khanna, did he say his religion says that his choice of career blocks his faith?” she questioned.

Samajwadi Party MP, ST Hassan spoke to ANI sharing his views on Zaira Wasim's decision, "Politics should not be done on it. Since I'm a Muslim, I can say that skin show is not permitted in Islam or to display anything that might be sexually appealing."
Faridoon Shahryar, a journalist based in Mumbai, tweeted, "Dear #ZairaWasim I respect your decision of quitting movies. I don't agree with the reasons that you've given. I think you're an incredible actress and you can do so much more with your career. I genuinely hope you'd rethink and continue to pursue Acting...Best wishes!!" (SIC)

Wasim will next be seen in The Sky is Pink, which also stars Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Farhan Akhtar. The film completed shooting in March.