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Goel hits out at critics, says those opposing his hijab tweet are supporting extremists

Saturday January 21, 2017 7:40 PM, ANI

Vijay Goel

Kutch (Gujarat):
A day after being embroiled into controversy over his tweet for Dangal star Zaira Wasim, Union Minister for Sports and Youth Affairs Vijay Goel said that the people who are against his tweet are indirectly supporting the orthodox society and extremists.

The minister further said that his comments on the micro-blogging website was to support Zaira, who has been facing flak after meeting Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti.

"This is beyond my understanding as why is she against my tweet. Earlier, Mohammad Sami faced the ire of some extremists for posting picture with his wife and now Zaira Wasim was being targeted for meeting Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti. I came to know that people are even protesting outside Zaira's house in Srinagar," Goel told ANI.

"This shows that people want to keep their daughters inside the house and hide their talent. I just wanted to tell those orthodox people that society is changing and our daughters and sisters should get the opportunity to show their talent in arts, sports and other sectors and we should also encourage them," he added.

The Sports Minister further asked people, who are expressing ire over his tweet as are they in support of the extremists who are protesting outside Zaira's house.

Zaira and Goel yesterday engaged into a Twitter spat after the latter tweeted a picture from the 'India Art Fest' at Thyagraj Stadium comparing it with former.

The picture showed a painting of a woman in a hijab, which reminded him of the story of 'girls like Zaira'.

The Minister captioned the image, which also featured the woman trapped in a cage, as, "This painting tells a story similar to @zairawasim. Pinjara tod kar humari betiyaan badhne lagi hai aage. More power to our daughters!"

However, the young girl from Jammu and Kashmir was not appreciative of the observations and put forward her thoughts boldly and clearly.

While the 16-year-old actress' first tweet was later deleted, the second and third were still available on her timeline.

One of her tweets read, "Moreover, the story depicted through this painting is not even remotely relevant to mine."

Meanwhile, Goel, making his point clear, insisted Zaira that she had misunderstood what he was attempting to say.

"You have interpreted wrong. I appreciated your work and stated that evil and patriarchal notions must be discouraged," the Minister wrote.

"I'm afraid you still haven't understood. But I wish you all the very best and appreciate your work. Hope to meet & interact too," read his other tweet.

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