Hyderabad: It’s been over a month since she was called, “Pakistan’s daughter-in-law” by a politician in Hyderabad, but the incident is fresh in Sania Mirza’s memory. And shortly after her third Grand Slam mixed doubles title on Friday winning the US Open crown with Brazilian partner Bruno Soares Sania declared herself a “proud Indian”.
“Just before I left, there was a lot happening at home. It was tough. But, yeah. Still a proud Indian, I guess, five weeks later,” said Mirza
Mirza, 27, was left teary eyed on TV after BJP leader K. Laxman cruelly described her as “someone lacking the credentials” to become the brand ambassador of the state of Telangana a day after Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao decided to bestow the title on the tennis champ.
“She was born in Maharashtra and settled in Hyderabad only later and she’s is a non-local,” he had said in comments that sparked a nationwide uproar. On Saturday, however, several celebrities congratulated her for the mixed doubles win and messages of support continued to pour in for the star all day.
“Way to go girl!!! Well done & you made us proud again,” wrote actor Shah Rukh Khan on Twitter. J&K Chief Minister Omar Abdullah went one step ahead with his tweet. “Sania Mirza deserves to become Brand Ambassador for Andhra Pradesh also,” he wrote.
Actress Sophie Choudry added, “The girl who according to some isn’t Indian anymore just won the US Open Mixed Doubles… as an Indian! Woohoo.” Sania had made a strong stand against Laxman’s comments with an elaborate statement explaining her rich Hyderabad heritage.
“My forefathers have lived in Hyderabad for more than a century. My grandfather, Mohammed Zaffer Mirza started his career as an Engineer in Nizam’s Railways in Hyderabad in 1948 and died in his ancestral home in Hyderabad,” she had said.