Owing to enormous pressure from fans and other eminent personalities, Sania Mirza has decided to call off her wedding with Pak cricketer Shoaib Malik. In fact, reports also say that right-wing activists who protested outside her residence, on the day her marriage news broke-out, have issued a threat and called her anti-national. Not just right-wingers, but Islamic fundamentalists who had earlier issued a fatwa on her for playing tennis in skimpy skirts, have renewed the threat on her for breaking an arranged marriage with her previous fiance Sohrab and finding love elsewhere in Shoaib Malik. Sania was depressed by such fierce reaction from all quarters, and she made this decision. And I hope I have been successful in fooling you because its 1st April today. Happy Fool’s Day.
Now that I have got the fool’s day out of my bag and drawn your interest, let me discuss the issue in a more serious manner. Sania’s announcement came as a surprise/shock to many of us. And I find it rather unfortunate that she has decided to tie a knot with a Pakistani. No, its not like cross-country marriages don’t happen. Reena Roy married Pak cricketer Mohsin Khan, Neena Gupta bore Viv Richards’ daughter, Jemima married Imran Khan, Rajiv Gandhi brought home Sonia; but this marriage is different.
I have always believed that although all of us are patriots, the true patriots are the ones who represent India elsewhere. So, a true patriot for me would be the defence guys, the armed forces, the navy men and air-force people who guard our country. Next come the sport-stars who represent the country, like Leander Paes, Sachin Tendulkar, Geet Sethi and then of course the gifted people from arts and crafts like Meenakshi Sheshadri and Ustad Amjad Ali Khan etc. Coming from this viewpoint, Sania’s decision to marry a Pak player is disappointing. She has represented India and played for the country, and all of a sudden she compromises on her patriotism to find love in a terror-stricken land of Pakistan. We must not forget that Kasab is still under trial for waging a war against India.
Then how could she consider marrying a Pakistani, I am surprised! I think she and Shoaib realize what they are getting into, and have already decided to shift base to Dubai because Pak is not a safe country to live in; this in itself is such an irony.
Coming to their sporting career, neither Sania nor Shoaib are relevant in their sports. Shoaib was a copy-cat of Saqlain Mushtaq to begin with and he seemed to have no prospects until his bat started doing the talking; but that was a thing of the past. As of today, he has been issued a ban for a year, lost his captaincy and will be seen playing inconsequential matches to keep the kitchen stove burning. But this is the least of my grouses. What I detest about Shoaib is his unabashed Islamic behavior at the presentation ceremony of T20 World Cup final when Pak lost to India. Shoaib went on to apologize to all “muslims of the world” for not having won the cup. How dare this unholy b@$tard try to make Pak the whole-and-sole representative of “all muslims”. He does not even know that India has more muslim population than Pakistan. He does not know that muslims in India have achieved greatness in all fields, be it science & technology [APJ Kalam], be it business[Azim Premji], be it movies [all Khans], be it music [Zakir Hussain, AR Rahman], be it sports [Azhar, Sania herself], be it politics or any other field. I was actually amazed that not many people took exception to this statement from Shoaib. This reflects not only Pak’s insecurities but also their narrow-mindedness.
Coming to Sania, she is a spent-force in Indian tennis and has done nothing after reaching top-30 ranking which was 5 or more years ago; she has not made it to QF or SF of any Grand Slam Singles title. Her many injuries have only reduced her career longevity.
By the way, I just forgot to bring up their past which is again mired in controversy. Shoaib is supposed to have been married to a Hyderabadi girl Ayesha Siddiqui. There is still a case pending against Shoaib and he has not been cleared off the charges yet. In fact, Sania was invited by Siddiquis and she was there in Ayesha’s house and so were the entire Pak cricket team when Shoaib was hosted by his then in-laws in 2005. And yet, now we see her in engagement with Shoaib, such are the works of destiny. Sania too was engaged to her childhood friend Sohrab for more than 6 months, but the engagement was broken. So, we have two people with a thorny past trying to make a rosy future. I wish them all the very best, god bless.