While the news has evoked frenzied celebrations in Pakistan where crowds turned in huge numbers outside Shoaib Malik’s house, lighting crackers and dancing to the drum beats, in India the general mood is far from rosy.
The Shiv Sena has not taken the development lightly and has cast serious aspersions on the duo’s compatibility, considering the personal turmoil which has grappled Sania Mirza and Shoaib Malik in the recent past.
A report published in Sena’s mouth piece Saamna remarked, “India’s Sania Mirza has ditched her countryman Sohrab Mirza in order to Marry and settle down with Pakistan’s Shoaib Malik.”
Strong reactions have also been pouring in from the netizens across the globe.
Reacting to the developing story, Rajiv from New Delhi commented on Zeenews.com, “India, is the second most populated nation and she (Sania Mirza) has to go and marry a Pakistani! Pathetic! No wonder she isn’t making any progress in her tennis rankings.”
Bharat from Noida, though, had a different opinion on the matter, “Hi, Congratulations to Sania and Shoaib. I really don't understand the hue and cry made on this matter. This is there personal decision and they should be supported for that. This marriage should be seen as a stepping stone for a better Indo Pak relationship. This also doesn’t mean that there are no good bachelors in India or bachelorette in Pakistan. This is just about two individuals liking each other. I wish both of them good luck and may there diminishing carriers take a U turn,” he commented.
Sam from Mumbai appealed to look at the matter not from the prism of India-Pak ties. “I am Indian Muslim and proud of being an Indian. I work out of India where I meet and do business with many nationality (people); there are even Pakistanis with whom we deal. If relationship between India and Pakistan is not good, (it) does not mean that I should stop talking to them or stop business… so it is b***** to say that to talk to Pakistanis or falling in love with them makes you anti – national. That’s one personal choice and when time comes, we all have to defend our motherland together,” he declared.
The decision of Indian tennis star Sania Mirza to tie the knot with Shoaib Malik has baffled people in her hometown Hydrabad and triggered a debate on her move in view of the controversy involving the Pakistani cricketer. Sania Mirza is perhaps the first Indian sporting celebrity to marry a Pakistani who is also a sports star in his country. The news of the marriage has attracted intense attention here.
"Sania and Shoaib will make a handsome couple. I wish her all the best," said S. Rashmi, a student.
The opinion was divided on whether the alliance would help strengthen people-to-people ties. "Marriage of the two celebrities would make no difference to Indo-Pak relations as they would have no influence on the powers that decide the foreign policies," said M.A. Amir, a software professional.
Though Sania's family in their statement said she would settle down in Dubai after the marriage and would continue to represent India in coming events, her relatives were tight-lipped on whether she would remain an Indian or accept Pakistani citizenship after a few years. "I don't think she will ever accept Pakistani citizenship given the strained relations between the two countries," feels Fauzan Hashmi, a student.
Sania's critics feel she has committed a "double fault" by breaking off the engagement with her childhood friend and then choosing a Pakistani, who allegedly cheated a girl from her own city after marrying her.
"Sania has made Hyderabad and India proud through her achievements but she should not have landed herself in a controversy by choosing a man who is accused of cheating a girl," said Sana Khan, a housewife.
Sania Mirza is free to marry anybody she chooses. But once married, will she remain in India? Will she continue to be an Indian citizen? Will she be interested in playing? These are some of the questions that have to be answered before we look for a government response. If she remains an Indian citizen, and wishes to play, then she may represent India, nobody can stop her from doing so.
Controversies surrounded Sania and they in fact overshadowed her tennis career. Muslim clergy had taken strong exception to her dress on court and her reported remarks on pre-marital sex. She, however, denied making the remarks.
How Did the Sania Mirza - Shoaib Malik Romance Begin
We Are Delighted With Her Choice say Sania Mirza's Parents
Shoaib Malik's Former Mother-in-Law, Says Sania News in Shocking
Sania Mirza to Marry Shoaib Malik in April