Saturday, January 19, 2008

Is Sania Mirza Quitting Tennis?

Is Sania Mirza Quitting Tennis?


She clarified that though a passing thought had crossed her mind, she won’t quit. And no fighter would quit that easily. Like those paparazzi of the west, the harassment to the Indian stars is coming in the name of the court cases and fatwa’s. Often by people who wish to be notorious at some one’s cost.

Sania Mirza, the young Indian Tennis Star, currently at 31st spot in the women’s rankings set her goal to reach the 25 member club in women’s tennis. She might even cross the 23rd ranking of Ramanathan Krishnan – the highest ever by an Indian in the tennis world.

Her status as a Star is growing in India in anticipation of good performance in Australian Open and then in the upcoming Olympics. The Indian have stars aplenty in the celluloid world but none in the real world. Sania ignited the fire of the dreams of the many star starved Indians.

As she grows in stature, her tormentors also grow in number.

This time it was the controversy surrounding a photograph taken at the Hopman Cup mixed team event in Perth, played at the beginning of the year, that appeared to show Sania's bare feet resting near the national flag.

And that was an insult to the National Flag.

The photograph showed that she was resting her foot facing the flag. Have a look at the photo! The angle at which the photo was shot might have messed up the things. But beware, you should have taken care not to stretch and relax in a public place like that!

That’s the message!

In India, from the day a girl started walking on her foot, she would be taught how to walk, how to sit, how to dress and so many ‘how to’ things… no limits to the 'how to’. And definitely she had crossed the ‘how to’ limits! The mean male mentality just need a reason to pull her up and put into her conscience how to sit in a public place. A flag in front merrily helped that cause.

That man who filed a case was not the only one of the teachers queuing up the line to give her advice on moral values.

Last month, the imam of a mosque filed a case against her for entering the mosque premises for the shooting of an ad promoting the heritage site of Char Minar in Hyderabad. And the crime in this case was that she had entered the mosque premises – not the mosque, without seeking prior permission. If ‘not seeking permission for shooting’ alone was the cause for the management getting upset, then they should have filed a case against the ad agency. Here too, they focused on her. Certainly, the mosque would not have looked for any publicity stunt as in the flag case filed by an individual. The real issue behind the drama was that a woman should not have entered the premises of the mosque. That’s what upset the mosque people. They had openly admonished her that she, being a Muslim, should have known that a woman should not enter. Being a Muslim!

Are women not supposed to enter the mosque premises? No. They can very well visit the mosque and pray – now, in Kerala, women are praying in mosques and increasingly more and more women are entering the mosques. But Hyderabad is the city of Owaisi and he is a practicing Muslim as he had announced in NDTV on a national debate concerning Taslima Nasreen. May be Hyderabatians will take more time to realise the truth.

It was the same Hyderabatian’s earlier declared a fatwa against the way she dresses while playing tennis. This had raised a gammut of doubts about the capability of those imams issuing the fatwa’s! Who authorised them to issue the fatwa’s? Any one had fanciful ideas can immediately issue fatwa’s as per their whims and fancies? These fatwa’s are surely crossing the limits of ‘scholarly opinions’ to ‘judiciary implementation’. There needs to be a governing body regulating these fatwa mongers.

Islam says ‘Elect a leader and abide by them’

And that applied to India too. Muslims are participating in the election processes, and electing a leader to rule whether they like him / her or not and hence the rule as practiced by the leader should be applied to them as well. They should not look for their own territory less kingdom and try to rule by fatwa’s. Muslims interests are well looked after by the Muslim Personal Law and there is no need for individual imams throwing up their own brand of ‘kingdom’.

Luckily for Sania Mirza, the Muslims ridiculed the organisation which had issued the fatwa on her dress and condemnation across the country put the ‘idiots’ in their place. She had properly dressed every time when away from the tennis field. And while playing she was wearing the outfits as demanded by the game. ‘Under demanding conditions, even the prohibited shall be allowed for survival…’ That would be true for the case of the sport which throws up the most demanding conditions.

To be a woman and to be a Muslim is very unfortunate in India. Control over them came in many ways and forms. The guardians of the God and their male chauvinists counterparts irrespective of their religious affiliations are plenty in India. It’s only the mass base support would save individuals like Sania.

Let us support her.

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Watch the video clipping of Jallikkattu here