September 02, 2007

Sania Mirza - Tennis Player does India Proud.

Sania Mirza reached the third round of the US Open where she lost to the world sixth seed Chakvetadze of Russia, but not before she proved her mettle both as a classy tennis player ranked 26th in the world and as a gutsy woman who will not dwindle under social pressures.

Ms. Mirza is undoubtedly one of a kind, in that she is the first female Indian to have made it in the first 50 of the WTA rankings and also the only Muslim woman to represent a country in international tennis. This sprightly young star who believes, "You have to find a way to win,"comes from Hyderabad, a city with a Muslim population large enough to make Urdu a second language in that Indian city. Sania enjoys immense celebrity status in India, more so in Hyderabad where she grew up and now resides. She has personal security guards that move with her anywhere she goes, and this is perhaps why she loves NY so much where this 20 year old can still shop incognito.

Over the last few years, Sania Mirza has been the focus of the Indian community, and it's partly because she openly professes: "Not everyone is perfect and just because I wear a miniskirt or just because I'm wearing pants or whatever it is doesn't make me a bad Muslim,...As long as I believe in God and I have my faith, I think that's good.". There were those in the community who censured her for her outspokenness, her dress code, and her participation in world tennis, but then there were also those who staunchly supported Sania as a great role model for Indian Muslim girls, who reportedly are still under represented in sports around the country. Ms. Mirza has faced accolades and brickbats like you can't imagine, but she still sports the same impish grin along with the 'I don't care' swagger that mark her for who she is : a female athlete ready to compete globally.

All credit is due to young Mirza for having stood her ground through some testing times in a world so clearly divided along religious lines, but something is also to be said about the country and its citizens that bore and bred a Sania Mirza. The fact that she has come thus far in the tennis world implies an inherent support for her and what she does from within the family, the community, and the country. Ms. Mirza's family, the Indian Muslim community, and Indians in general; you are truly deserving of credit for a job well done!

Well done Sania! Well done India!


Raza Rumi said...

she is quite amazing - thanks for the post :)

Dr. Deb said...

Totally great when a woman can defy odds and boundaries!

Anonymous said...

the mirza story was given this fighter woman angle by the media primarily.. yeah we do have clerics who stun even the conservative muslims with their mindless fatwas. but as a community most of the indians (and many of the muslims for that matter) do not care.

mirza is in the news for 3 reasons
1) she is a muslim
2) she is from india which is a predominantly patriarchal society
3) she always makes a 3rd round exit in every tournament she plays

but Id we do have stronger women in the country who really do perform! Sania is not really the face of that community just because she hasn't really struggled the way some of them (like P.T. Usha) did. But those kinds were never in news because they never fitted into the camera lenses. or the sport they represented could not bring in enough TRP for the news channels. I bet many of has no idea who the women captain of Indian Hockey Team is. I bet no one has an idea who our lady grandmaster is. I bet many of the indians know only one lady from the women's cricket team (anjum chopra, that again because she looks good and picked up by the media). Sania is that glamour girl who also plays tennis. I am not undermining the efforts but she is just one of those momentary stars indian sport has produced.. the stroy has much more depth to it.

EXSENO said...

I say good for her. I'm sure that she is an inspiration to others.

crumbs said...

wow. feels nice to hear my country talked bout in this light :)

Sania no doubt is a rather gutsy lady, but there is a lot of truth in lash's comment.

Even with Sania it's sometimes quite sickening the way the media portrays her, the way her pictures are circulated on the net, the way some guys are fans, not coz she playes well, but xoz she looks good. Makes one wonder if she is in the news because of her mettle, ot because she is another "thing" that looks good on TV.

It has taken loads of perseverance for this yound lady to get where she is. And I think some people need to put that into perspective.

D said...

III....I'm sorry but you've taken a very myopic view....

First of all being a Muslim need not necessarily mean that all Muslim women in India are subjguated to the weird fancies of the lesser known and mainly totally defunct mullhas. There are scores of women, I know of in the corporate world and other fields besides sport, including bollywood who have done justice to their talent. For the educated in a way you can't just cateogrise them on basis of religion or caste. It is very complexed. For example you won't see any poor muslim/hindu getting the girl child aborted but it's prevalent in the riches of both religion.

Sania's claim to fame is not that she is a muslim Indian who has done well for her in tennis, it's more because she is the only woman in India who has been able to attain such height.

As about her security, am not saying that she doesn't faces a threat from the Islamic militants. But there is a greater fear that she'll be mobbed by her fans.

I totally disagree when you raise your hat for sania and her parents only becoz they're Muslims. NO. You've to understand the great Indian middle class wants to succeed and when it comes to make a name they all want to be on the same platform and no one will mind to get a 'quota' for themselves either on lines of religion or caste.

Guess..I got into extremes so on a lighter note Sania is a hot babe for many young Indians. And, a kind of idol for many young females. Some dream of her, some dream to be like her. Irrespective of religion.

D said...

I disagree with the Title of the post as well... I guess you can do away with the word 'Muslim'....sorry bt this is how I feel.

Id it is said...

d , lash,
Thankk you for your feed back; it was very informative.

I followed your advice on the title... and more, hehe. Your comment made me rethink my post.

starry nights said...

I have been following her for some time, and she has grown into an amazing tennis player. I think all women should be proud of her.

AVIANA said...

Thanks for the info about her!

She deserves all the respect and much success! :)

Sania Mirza Pictures said...

Definitely every Indian should be proud of her.