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India, Pakistan: A Celebrity Marriage Tests The Relation Between Two Countries

The relations between India and Pakistan have been characterized by rivalry and suspicion and every now and then you will hear new stories testing the relationship.

Sania Mirza (24), is a renowned Indian tennis player from Hyderabad and Shoaib Malik (28), is a Pakistani cricket player and former captain of the Pakistan team.

Shoaib Malik and Sania Mirza. Image Courtesy 'Deadpan Thoughts'

Shoaib Malik and Sania Mirza. Image Courtesy ‘Deadpan Thoughts’

The news of their upcoming marriage (April 15, 2010) is a hot topic in Indian and Pakistani media and the political arena and the bloggers are buzzing about it as well.

Indian bloggers have been skeptical and somewhat critic about this bond. Greatbong at Random Thoughts of A Demented Mind broke the news with his trademark humor:

The happy couple came today in front of cameras and informed the world of their desire to settle down in Dubai together, indeed a place that has given us many ambassadors of India-Pakistan unity like the Big D. While Shoaib Malik’s fans rejoiced (all three of them) and Sania’s admirers reluctantly deleted her “taken in action” pictures from their head drives, relationship experts warned Sania to be careful with her service and foot-placement since she would now be subject to ejection if she triple-faults.

Almost all celebrity affairs are not out of controversy and media dug out that Shoaib married an Indian girl in 2002 and later dumped her. According to Shoaib's kins, he had fallen madly in love with the girl named Ayesha from Hyderabad, whose pictures were sent to him and later found that the girl was not the same. However, Ayesha’s family came out with a proof of marriage alleging that Shoaib married her over phone but dumped her later because of her weight problems. Sania dismissed this controversy by sending a twitter message that she and her family have known the truth all along.

Amit Verma at Indian Uncut is not impressed by Shoaib's actions:

Go figure. This dude claims that he fell in live with a girl, and wanted to marry her, on the basis of a photograph. And then the actual girl turned out to be someone else. The thing is, if you fall for a freakin’ photograph, the actual girl is always going to be someone else.

However, there are supporters for Sania Mirza too. Raj from India hopes that India and Pakistan can take a lesson from the love of two sportsperson. The blogger says:

It’s the people from two nations who can bring the change.

But the news of the marriage has created a ripple in Indian politics. The 84 year old Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray wrote in an editorial in his party’s mouthpiece Saamna: “Henceforth, Sania will not remain an Indian. Had her heart been Indian, it wouldn’t have beaten for a Pakistani. If she wished to play for India, she should have chosen an Indian life partner.”

Prem Panicker at Smoke Signals slams Shiv Sena for its double-speak:

“On Twitter, many have mocked the party for its double-speak, pointing out that it cannot in one breath continue to claim that Sonia Gandhi, despite marrying an Indian and accepting Indian citizenship, is an Italian, while also claiming that Sania loses her right to represent India just because she has married a Pakistani.”

Amidst protest Shiv Sena reversed their statement on the issue on Saturday, terming it her “personal matter”.

Renowned journalist and blogger M. J. Akbar notes in his blog:

Sania still believes that she can continue to be a citizen of India. This is correct in theory; the practice might be another story. India and Pakistan do not permit dual citizenship. Pakistan law demands that if a citizen’s spouse wants to live in the country, he or she must become a Pakistani citizen.

Krishna Chaitanya informs that:

Tennis Association of Pakistan wants to claim Sania and the Indian Association is not ready to lose their prodigy.

Meanwhile Pakistani netizens are also discussing the topic.

Sikander Fayyaz Khan from Dulha Bhadera, Pakistan says:

The news was like both the Eids combined, many times over, for Pakistanis but disappointed Indians to say the least. [..] Facebook, Orkut, twitter and every other social networking site was flooded with congratulatory messages of Pakistanis to each other. India's Sania was all of a sudden ‘Bhabhi ji’. People actually gathered outside Shoaib Malik's residence to celebrate, and not just that, in some cities people even danced on the roads on the beats of dhol. In India, on the other hand, there was a gloom. The announcement didn't go down well with most people.

Waqarabro at Rising blog comments that Shoaib must divorce Ayesha properly, noting:

Many prominent cricketers have had committed such ridiculous acts and exploited life of many women.

Hina Safdar at Chowrangi congratulates the couple and comments:

Thanks to the media for the exaggeration and extra fanatical coverage of the story, the very personal moment of their life has been turned into a cross border reality show.

Will the marriage of Shoaib and Sania be a step forward to peace and understanding between India and Pakistan? Whatever the reactions are love will win and it indicates that Indians and Pakistanis cannot keep each other away irrespective of how hard they try.

5 comments

  • Jamshaid Khan Barki

    Yes, atleast I expected the same what did Shev Cina express on the Sania decision. We Pakistanis are well aware of the Shev Cina attitude and thats why don’t bother Bal Thakeray. Every one knows that, barking dogs seldom bite.

  • Here are some of the probable invitees in Shoaib-Sania marriage.

    Md.Azharuddin- Famous wristy cricketer from Hyderabad.His efforts against betting with Late Hansie Cronje and Salim Malik has helped the three nation’s police work together. He is now continuing his services to the people of Moradabad from where he is a M.P. Shoaib being a pakistani admires the examples set by the legandary cricketer.

    Javed Miandad- Famous paki cricketer whose samdhiji is a well known social worker from india(after all he has helped India in reducing population by his bomb planting leadership skills)now he is in a deputation at pakistan getting indepth training from the innocent ISI.

    Shahrukh Khan- His love and concern for the neighbouring country cricket team is widely acclaimed by the leaders of the two country.After all he is messiah for the Shoaibs,yousufs and younus.Everyone knows his name is Khan and he is not a terrorist.

    Dilip Kumar(Yousuf Bhai)- His Nishan e pakistan award reflects his love towards the peace loving neighbour.His presence in Vaalima will add more spice in the keema, especially prepared for his toothless mouth which only utters urdu. Kaun Kambakht hindi bolne ki zurrat karta hai hum to bas urdu bolte hain……..

    M.F.Hussain- Presence of indian born Qatari Picasso is also neccesary afterall he will gift a portray of Sania painted in the same manner as he has painted Goddess Saraswati and Bharatmata.His artistic freedom and his liberal imagination will lead to a great painting of Sania.Shoaib will be happy to find his bride in a Kate Winslet style international flavour.

    the list continues with Mahesh Bhatt,Arundhati Roy,Teesta Sitalvad etc.

  • Jamshaid Khan Barki

    As you sow, so shall you reap. Every body knows why sub-continent is unrest. Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal and Pakistan, all are suffering from Indian terrorists. RAW a famous Indian secret agency that is also involved in uranium smuggling (5 kg uranium caught by Indian Nave Police in Mumbai on 8th Dec, 2009) is a root to every terrorist activity in the region. Thank God, Pakistan has the ability not only to defend but also to counter attack on any devil of the region. World knows who preach the Mahabharat Ideology and who fight the war against the terrorism not only for her own peace but also for the peace of the whole world.

    • babu

      Dear Mr Barki,

      aporos your comment “Thank God, Pakistan has the ability not only to defend but also to counter attack on any devil of the region.”

      i think Pakistan defended itself well when India dismembered Pakistan into two in 1971, and invaded deep inside Pakistan in northern sector also.
      Pakistan’s general Mr. Niyazee along with more than 2 Lac Pakistani solder’s surrendered to General Arora in Dhaka.
      Mr Mujib & Indira thus cutting the umbilical cord of Pakistan. East Pakistan became Bangladesh which is economically more viable & better managed country. (please refer Bangladesh’s GDP growth, literacy rate, S&P and moody economic ratings etc. all are much much better than that of Pakistan. )

  • […] Utata wa harusi ya Shoaib Malik na Sania Mirza imewaamsha watu wa pande zote mbili za mpaka wa India na Pakistani. Huku kukiwa na mlipuko katika vyombo vya habari, inaonekana kuwa watu wan chi zote mbili wanashuhudia toleo la kiHindi la “papparazzi” kwani idhaa za Televisheni, magazeti na asasi nyingine vimewaandama, vimekusanya na kutoa kila chembe ya habari inayowezekana kuhusu harusi hii inayotarajiwa. […]

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