Does the self-described "bait" tennis player Sania Mirza realise how much of a disservice she does to herself in particular and women in general?
Does she really envisage herself in that nauseating and sexist term? And, what is even sicker is that we make such fools of ourselves in India? If Azharuddin is caught for match fixing, he plays the Muslim card forgetting that he was captain of India; if Bangaru Laxman, the then president of BJP, indicted for accepting a bribe promptly pulls out the trusty Dalit card and now Mirza, with her formidable accomplishments, demeans herself by playing the woman card.
There are only 30 odd days left for the Olympics. Isn't it time that all of us in this country started playing the merit card?
It pains me as a woman to see gender being used to play victim. And, as a feminist, I am appalled that any woman can describe herself as”bait". Why bother with misogyny when we do such a fine job of knocking
Bopanna, a professional like Mirza, who has also paid a price in the epic Bhupathi-Paes meltdown, did not run screaming hysterically - am I just a toy boy? Maybe because he views himself as a professional athlete first.
And, in all this, genuine casualty are merit and excellence. With less than a month to go, 38 year old men are fighting like kindergarten kids over lunch. Should 38-year-olds even represent the country in a demanding and exacting sport like tennis? Or are they behaving like kids so that we forget their age?
As a nation we are content with wallowing in mediocrity. Striving and excelling scares us. Mostly, because it takes effort, and not tantrums and connections.
But, Mirza you played tennis on merit, so please quit playing the woman card.
And with efforts for these Olympics descending in to a farce, somewhere a certain Suresh Kalmadi still clinging to the chair of the IOA, fresh from jail, must be smiling.
(The views expressed by the author are personal)