Sania Mirza controversy: Both TRS & BJP played shameless politics

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First an MP from Telangana said the youngest state of the Union is not an Indian territory and was forcibly occupied by New Delhi like Jammu and Kashmir. Thereafter, when the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) government of Telangana decided to appoint ace tennis player Sania Mirza the state's brand ambassador, the BJP made its reservation known on the issue. A BJP leader from Telangana said she had no credentials to become the state's brand ambassador since she was married to a Pakistani cricketer.

Politics of a low taste

The entire story speaks volume about a low-grade game of political opportunism and counter-moves. The MP from Telangana, who is the daughter of state Chief Minister KC Rao, sowed the seeds of poison by remarking that Telangana was never a part of India. Has she already forgotten the favour that New Delhi did it by announcing the state as a separate political entity? These kinds of statements harm the nation's integrity not only by affecting its federal spirit but also the relations between the Telugu-speaking people, something our honourable politicians did not care for while bifurcating Andhra Pradesh for a few more votes.

The TRS leadership gave the right-wing BJP the space to act non-sense

The TRS leadership's second offensive came when it chose to make Sania Mirza the state's brand ambassador. Sania Mirza is definitely a player of international reputation but there are sporting personalities in Hyderabad who have succeeded more on the international stage.

The first name that comes to our mind is Saina Nehwal. An Olympic medal holder, Nehwal certainly overshadows Mirza as a sporting icon in India at the moment. Former cricketer VVS Laxman is another sporting icon from the state who has done the nation proud at the highest level. Why wasn't he chosen either as the state's ambassador?

Nothing better than wooing Muslims?

One can not be blamed for accusing the Rao government of appeasing the minority sections by felicitating Sania Mirza even if there are sporting icons with better feats in the state. The BJP even slammed the TRS government of granting just Rs 25 lakh to children of the weaker sections who conquered Mount Everest while giving Mirza a sum of Rs 1 crore! The TRS leadership has tried to kill two birds with one stone by backing Mirza.

On the one hand, it appeased the minority sections to tackle the BJP while on the other, it wooed the fraternity of prominent personalities to counter Chandrababu Naidu's Telugu Desam Party.

Brazen minorityism has led to reaction from majoritarian forces

It is because of this biased politics of the so-called secular forces that right-wing parties like the BJP have gained prominence in Indian politics. The TRS leadership gave two loose deliveries to the right-wing BJP by making the anti-India remark and by wooing the minorities and the saffron party made full use of the given opportunity. It did overstep by terming the tennis star as an outsider and questioning her credentials because she is married to a Pakistani cricketer.

Humiliating a national icon is condemnable

This narrow stand of nationalism has not only humiliated Sania Mirza as a pride of Indian sports but also has put Prime Minister Narendra Modi's efforts to renew relations with Pakistan in jeopardy.

If a common politician of India can not rise above narrow nationalist sentiments, then how can the top leadership of the party dream of knitting together a South Asian solidarity? It is also time to think about that. Couldn't the BJP leader who criticised Sania say that she is a pride of both India and Pakistan? He can not and the answer lies in our 60-odd years of history.

Married woman an outsider? Male chauvinism at its best

The statement also shows the BJP in a bad light as far as honouring a married woman is concerned. Terming a woman an outsider only because she is married exhibits a poor example of male chauvinism. The BJP was embarrassed 24 hours ago by the massive backlash over the 'force-feeding' of a fasting Muslim. Shouldn't its top leadership be careful about reining in its cadres from saying and doing silly things in public?

The secular-communal debate has left the entire nation red-faced. Can we care for a better tomorrow?

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