India, Pakistan: Sania-Shoaib Mania Rolls On

The Shoaib Malik and Sania mirza wedding controversy has been an awakening for people on the both sides of the India, Pakistan border. With the media blitz, it seems people of both the countries are witnessing a desi version of “papparazzi” as TV channels, print media and other agencies have hounded, gleaned and extracted any bit of information possible about this impending wedding.

Past skeletons have crept up on Shoaib in the form of his “ex wife” Ayesha Siddiqui, whom he had to officially divorce to end the controversy. The allegations and the judicial case on him in India have now been taken back by the Siddiqui family for an alleged Rs. 150 million in alimony. The twists and turns of the story have been pure mayhem for media and obviously the bloggers are not far behind. The blogsphere in India and Pakistan have literally lit up with views and debates, some think its a sign of peace to come while others cite this marriage as a source for future acrimony.

Syed Zaki Ahmed at Pak spectator thinks that the marriage and the noise is good for businesses:

Now in this situation how could businessmen lag behind. Businessmen in Pakistan have joined the party as they are getting orders for hundreds of thousands of T-shirts featuring Shoaib and Sania ahead of their wedding that is expected to take place next week on 15 April.

They call me muslim blog comments on the rationale behind the decision Sania Mirza took to marry Shoaib Malik:

What can Indian Muslims learn from Sania’s very personal decision? It is this: never be apologetic about Pakistan. Do not be needlessly cynical about that country out of fear of being dubbed a traitor. You are not.

The Hindu right wing parties, from Bajrang Dal to Shiv Sena, did make a meal of Sania’s decision. Yet, the bouncy tennis sensation took the plunge. Why? Simply because, deep in her heart, love for a Pakistani and being Indian need not necessarily be a conflicting experience.

However, Capricious thinks the marriage is going to fail:

* Sania Mirza got all the fame, popularity, wealth and iconic status in a very young age. She became a darling of India, pampered and loved by all Indians and projected by Indian and world media. [..] She is a independent girl. Unlike majority of Muslim girls of the subcontinent, she doesn’t need a husband for the bread and butter. [..] The sense of providing livelihoods to the family is some thing on which man’s character, attitude and his authority develops. It gives the typical Pakistani Muslim mediocre mindset. This mindset always demands some thing extra and undue favor from the wives. Which will be absent in the marriage. The luxury of being “husband” could not be availed by Shoaib Malik.

Whilst every day brings new news like the Pakistani PM sending a special gift for the couple, the diatribe continues elsewhere. Sunni Ulema Board, a group of religious scholars, reportedly issued a ‘fatwa’ (religious edict) against Sania and Shoaib for mingling freely and living together before the marriage is solemnized. There has even been a term coined on twitter for this union with the hashtag #shoania

We have seen rumor mongering reports that the actual nikah (marriage registry) took place on the 9th of April. But nothing is over until Sania and Shoaib say it's over. It seems the media is feeding the mania and millions of people in both the country remain engrossed with all these.

Obviously this will continue till the 15th of April, as two very emotional nations watch a movie like story transforming itself in real life.

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