Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: Tennis ace Sania Mirza’s life has been encumbered with controversies ever since she started playing tennis. From being slammed by Muslim clerics for wearing un-Islamic clothes to the recent remark like "daughter-in-law" of Pakistan, Mirza has always surrounded with controversies on-and-off the field.
Here is a list of controversies surrounding her life:
Row over short skirt
Early in her career for short tennis clothes, she had drawn criticism from some Muslim religious groups. A Muslim scholar had issued a ruling, saying that women`s tennis attire is not suited to Islam. Though, later, Jamiat-ulema-e-Hind rejected rumours about disrupting her game saying that they do not stop anyone from playing.
Sania ‘disrespects’ tri-colour
In January 2008, a case was filed against Sania in a court for allegedly disrespecting the national flag. The case was filed in the Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) court under Section 2 of the Prevention of Insult to the National Honour Act of 1971 by a local resident. The complainant alleged that Mirza had disrespected the national Tricolour by putting her feet towards the flag during a function whose reports were carried in newspapers.
Sania’s security withdrawn
Later that year, Hyderabad city commissioner of police had issued notices to Sania and others asking them to make necessary payments for the security obtained from City Security Wing (CSW). Sania was given a gunman each in two shifts. Her security was withdrawn after she "failed" to pay security charges. Sania Mirza`s father, however, denied reports that the family had refused to pay for the tennis player’s security and said the delay was a result of miscommunication with the government.
Sania Mirza belongs to BPL family
Mirza may be a millionaire but her face appeared on a ration card belonging to a below poverty line (BPL) family in Andhra Pradesh. The white ration card, which makes a family eligible to get rice at a highly-subsidised price of Rs 2-a-kg and social security benefits health insurance and a permanent housing, was issued to one Laxmi of Vizianagaram district with a photograph of Sania.
Youth held for threatening Sania
In July 2008, a youth was arrested for allegedly making threatening calls to Sania and creating nuisance at her residence demanding that she cancels her engagement to Sohrab Mirza. Mohammed Ashraf (28), a civil engineering student, who claimed to be in love with the 22-year-old tennis player, was allegedly sending messages and making threatening calls to her mobile phone asking her to cancel her engagement. Ashraf went to Sania`s house at Banjara Hills and allegedly entered an argument with her father asking him to cancel her engagement as that he was in love with her. Later, Ashraf was booked under various sections of IPC and was being produced before a court.
Sania Mirza`s engagement called off
Sania’s engagement, with a childhood friend, Mohammed Sohrab Mirza, was called off citing incompatibility. The tennis star`s father, Imran, who also coaches and manages her career, confirmed annulling of the relationship. Sania too refused to give the exact reasons, just confirming the news."We were friends for half a decade, but found ourselves incompatible during our engagement period. I wish Sohrab the best in life," she said.
Mirza accused AITA
After both Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna refused to play alongside Leander Paes in the men`s doubles event at the 2012 Olympics, Paes demanded to play with Sania Mirza in the mixed doubles. After which Mirza was furious and accused the All India Tennis Association (AITA) of using her as `bait` to keep Paes happy; as she originally wanted to play with Bhupathi.
``Daughter-in-law" of Pakistan
And now in a controversial remark, Telangana BJP leader K Laxman on 23 July 2013, called tennis star Sania Mirza as "daughter-in-law" of Pakistan and questioned her credentials to be the brand ambassador of Telangana. The TRS government had of late decided to appoint the tennis star as brand ambassador of the newly carved-out state.