Sania Mirza‘s contribution to Indian sports is unparalleled. There are accomplishments to her name that were unimaginable for Indians for the longest time, and for that, she deserves all the credit she gets and more. What she also deserves credit for, is setting the right example when it comes to standing up for oneself. Sania has never been the one to take insult or let trolls get away with offensive behaviour.
As the legend retires, we look at the instances when she did the same.
1. Journalist Rajdeep Sardesai had an incredibly embarrassing moment when he asked Sania Mirza when she is planning to get settled with respect to motherhood. Sania responded to this by asking him why does winning Grand Slams and being the number 1 tennis player in the world not count as “settling down”?
That’s the question I face all the time as a woman, that all women have to face – the first is marriage and then it’s motherhood. Unfortunately, that’s when we’re settled, and no matter how many Wimbledons we win or number ones in the world we become, we don’t become settled. But eventually, it will happen, not right now.
2. When Sania was just 18, a fatwa was issued against her because she chose to wear T-shirts and skirts while playing. To this, Sania responded by wearing T-shirts that carried quotes like: ‘well-behaved girls rarely make history’ and ‘you can either agree with me – or be wrong’.
She further attacked misogyny by saying:
How I dress is a very personal thing. As long as I am winning, people shouldn’t care whether my skirt is six inches long or six feet long. It is scary that every time I wear a T-shirt, it becomes a talking point for the next three days.
3. Sania is a Muslim woman, married to a man from Pakistan, which means that she constantly has to prove her love for India because that’s the kind of country this has become. Here, an internet troll is trying to do the same as Sania expresses grief over the rape of an 8-year-old girl in Kathua.
The man asked Sania:
With all respect madam which country are you talking abt.Last time I checked u had married into Pakistan. You no longer are a Indian. And if u must tweet thn also tweet for the innocents killed by Pak terror outfits..— Kichu കിച്ചു 🇮🇳🇮🇱🇦🇪 משהו كيتشو (@Kichu_Chirps) April 12, 2018
To which she said:
First of all nobody marries ‘into’ anywhere .. you marry a person! Secondly NO LOW LIFE like you will tell me which country I belong to.. I play for India,I am Indian and always will be.. nd maybe if u look beyond religion and country one day you may just also stand for humanity! https://t.co/0rF9SwG7WT— Sania Mirza (@MirzaSania) April 12, 2018
That her nationality is questioned is heartbreaking in itself, and the fact that it would happen when she is demanding justice for a little girl who was violated and killed is just unimaginable.
4. In 2018, another troll asked her if her Independence Day is on the 14th of August or 15th. This is what Sania had to say about it.
Jee nahi.. mera aur mere country ka Independence Day kal hai, aur mere husband aur unnki country ka aaj!! Hope your confusion is cleared !!Waise aapka kab hai?? Since you seem very confused .. https://t.co/JAmyorH0dV— Sania Mirza (@MirzaSania) August 14, 2018
5. In 2016, Sania Mirza tweeted about completing 80 weeks as world number one in doubles. Except, she didn’t mention ‘doubles’, because it was obvious. Not to Sanjay Manjrekar. The cricket commentator commented by pointing out this ‘error’ and Sania had the perfect response for it.
This was Sania’s tweet:
Today I complete 80 consecutive weeks as the number 1 player in d world👆its been an amazing journey and just inspires me to work harder @WTA pic.twitter.com/BsHoeU0YAT— Sania Mirza (@MirzaSania) October 18, 2016
And this was Manjrekar’s response:
To which the tennis star responded by saying, “Since I don’t play singles anymore isn’t it obvious/common sense? My bad, common sense is not that common after all”.
6. When she shut down everyone single person (mostly men, as pointed out by her) with an unsolicited opinion on her pregnancy.
Word of advice for ppl(specially since the majority seem to be men) who think being pregnant means you have to go into hibernation for 9 months,sit at home and for some reason be ‘ashamed in this haalat’..So when women are pregnant they don’t have a disease or become untouchable-— Sania Mirza (@MirzaSania) October 12, 2018
Or become a corpse!!! They are still ‘NORMAL’ human beings and are still allowed to live a normal life!! so pls take your heads out of your a** and think where exactly you came from too..your mother’s womb!! #ittakesallkindstomakethisworld #dumidiots too !!— Sania Mirza (@MirzaSania) October 12, 2018