Unfazed by the controversy over her ‘credentials’ to be Telangana’s ambassador, tennis star Sania Mirza said it hurts her that so much precious time of prominent politicians and media is being wasted on a petty issue.
A day after the BJP criticised Telangana for appointing Mirza as its brand ambassador and giving her a grant, saying she is a non-local and “daughter-in-law” of Pakistan, the tennis star said though she is married to Shoaib Malik, who is from Pakistan, yet she is an Indian and will remain an Indian until the end of her life.
Asserting her Hyderabadi roots, Sania said her ancestors had contributed to the city and her marriage to Malik does not take away the fact that she remains an Indian citizen.
She also condemned any attempts by any person to brand her as an outsider.
In a statement, Mirza said: “I was born in Mumbai as my mother needed to be at a specialist hospital since she was seriously unwell at the time of my birth. I came home to Hyderabad when I was 3 weeks old.”
“My forefathers have lived in Hyderabad for more than a century. My grandfather, Mr Mohammed Zaffer Mirza started his career as an Engineer in Nizam’s Railways in Hyderabad in 1948 and died in his ancestral home in Hyderabad,” she said.
Sania also spoke about her great grandfather Mohd Ahmed Mirza, insisting that he “was also born and raised in Hyderabad. He was the Chief Engineer, Water Works, Hyderabad and was responsible for constructing the famous Gandipet dam.”
“My great, great grandfather, Mr Aziz Mirza was the Home Secretary under the Nizam in Hyderabad and worked tirelessly for relief works during the historic Musi River floods of 1908.” Sania said.
“So, my family belongs to Hyderabad for more than a century and I strongly condemn any attempts by any person, whosoever, to brand me an outsider. I hope this clears all doubts and issues,” she concluded.
Earlier in the day, Mirza prayed for “people who cannot be happy for others”.
Mirza, on microblogging website Twitter, tweeted: I pray for people who cannot be happy for others and who cannot let go of the pain and hatred inside them..May Allah bless u all
K Laxman, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader in the Telangana Assembly, in Wednesday alleged the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) did this to appease minorities in view of the coming elections to the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation.