03 March, 2021

Skirt The Issue

Skirt The Issue
As readers of this column know only too well, I am an amiable sort of chap not given to fits of irritation or rage. However, in the past 10 days or so, I have been driven perilously close to both emotions courtesy the disgraceful media coverage of Sania Mirza's alleged heresy. This sublime 19-year-old is a national treasure, a living symbol of Indian Muslim womanhood who even at a tender age has managed to combine the best elements of modernity and tradition (she doesn't go to rave parties, she doesn't chill out, she doesn't adopt phoney Westernism). Yet, day in and day out we subject her to humiliation, punishment and stress. I am surprised she has not had a nervous breakdown. All for the sake of a few risque soundbites and a bogus controversy which hacks have visited before.

Instead of interrogating Sania on her weak second serve or poor backhand, we quiz her on intricate theological matters. Soon, we will be asking her to pronounce on the Rushdie fatwa, or whether archangel Gabriel was a Muslim or Jewish...

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