Hyderabad: Indian tennis star Sania Mirza on Friday got emotional during a television interview after the ‘daughter-in-law of Pakistan’ comment. Sania, who hails from Hyderabad, said patriotism means everything to her.
“It is unfair that I have to prove my being Indian,” Sania said in an interview to NDTV 24×7.
It was extremely hurtful. It is unfair that I have to keep justifying and have to assert on my Indianness, whether it has sumthing to do wid my gender, that to me was the most hurtful thing, said Sania Mirza.
Sania further stated that If someone is going to question my Indianess, I am not going to let that happen. After living my whole life in this country and for giving my whole thing to this country, people question what have I done for Telangana.
Hurt by ‘daughter-in-law of Pakistan’ comment, Sania said, “Why do I need to keep proving that I am from this country? Is that because I am married to someone in other country or is that because I am a woman? I am too stubborn for this country and will remain Indian until the end of my life. I am proud to be Indian.
“We live in an extremely male chauvinist society and we have to deal with this as a woman. Any other criticism doesn’t really affect me. I have lived in hyderabad all my life and my forefathers have lived in hyderabad all their life. I am proud to be from hyd and Telangana”, said India’s tennis ace.
Sania added that her family is dragged into this all the time and this is unfair.
“I got medals for India after I got married. I am not going to let someone question my roots. It is really sad and I don’t know if this happens in any other country, said Sania during her interview.
Earlier, Sania on Thursday hit out at politicians for raising objections to her being appointed as Telangana’s brand ambassador, saying that her family had been staying in Hyderabad for more than a century and to call her an outsider was condemnable.
Sania was named the brand ambassador of the newly-created state on Tuesday, a move that triggered a political furore. The opposition BJP started the controversy by saying that Sania does not deserve the honour as she is the “daughter-in-law of Pakistan” after her marriage to cricketer Shoaib Malik.
“It hurts me that so much precious time of prominent politicians and the media is being wasted on a petty issue of my being appointed the Brand Ambassador of my State of Telangana. I sincerely believe that this precious time should be spent on solving the more urgent issues of our State and country,” Sania said in a statement.
Asserting her Hyderabadi roots, Sania said her ancestors had contributed to the city and her marriage to Malik does not take away the fact that she remains an Indian citizen. “I am married to Mr. Shoaib Malik, who is from Pakistan. I am an Indian, who will remain an Indian until the end of my life,” the 27-year-old insisted.
“I was born in Mumbai as my mother needed to be at a specialist hospital since she was seriously unwell at the time of my birth. I came home to Hyderabad when I was 3 weeks old.
“My forefathers have lived in Hyderabad for more than a century. My grandfather, Mr. 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 said.
Sania also spoke about her great grandfather Mohd. Ahmed Mirza, insisting that he “was also born and raised in Hyderabad. He was the Chief Engineer, Water Works, Hyderabad and was responsible for constructing the famous Gandipet dam.”
“My great, great grandfather, Mr. Aziz Mirza was the Home Secretary under the Nizam in Hyderabad and worked tirelessly for relief works during the historic Musi River floods of 1908.”
Sania said it was hurtful to hear comments which sought to brand her as an outsider.
“So, my family belongs to Hyderabad for more than a century and I strongly condemn any attempts by any person, whosoever, to brand me an outsider. I hope this clears all doubts and issues,” she said.
Telangana BJP leader K Laxman had flayed the TRS government’s decision to appoint Sania as brand ambassador, questioning her credentials for the honour.
The tennis player had never participated in agitation for a separate state of Telangana, said Laxman who is leader of BJP in Telangana legislative assembly.
Handing over a grant of Rs 1 crore here on Tuesday, Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao appointed Sania as brand ambassador of Telangana and described her as a daughter of Hyderabad.