Sania Mirza questioned for choosing Salman Khan to launch her book

Tennis star's choice to have the controversial Sultan actor launch her autobiography raises brows amongst feminists 

Photo: Shutterbugs Images

Mayur Lookhar

It was her autobiography and so it was Sania Mirza's prerogative to decide who she chooses to launch  her book, Aces Against Odds. For the Hyderabad launch, the world's number one player in doubles picked Shah Rukh Khan and for the Mumbai event, Mirza chose her other favourite Salman Khan.  In Delhi, Mirza called upon Parineeti Chopra to do the honours.

Not a soul moved when Mirza invited Shah Ruhk Khan, but it was inevitable that some sparks were bound to fly once she chose Salman for the Mumbai event. And it's come in the least expected manner. A female writer on FirstPost has expressed surprise at the choice of Mirza to have Salman Khan launch her book. 

For the record, Khan has been been hounded by the media, women welfare groups, and feminists at large for his insensitive rape analogy in an interview. Khan had compared his exhaustion while filming action scenes in Sultan to that of a raped woman. What upset people more was that Khan never issued an apology. A few weeks back, before his controversial comment, Khan had strongly defended his younger brother Sohail, who had verbally abused two female journalists, upon being asked when will his big brother get married? 

As if these two incidents were not enough, some feminists slammed Khan's film Sultan for a sexist portrayal of  Arfa (Anushka Sharma) who gives up her career for the sake of motherhood. While Sultan (Salman Khan) never spoke a word in asking his wife to give up her career, some female fans took it as a sexist act by Sultan. Poor Khan, surely wouldn't have expected to face the flak for a film script.

Now, Mirza has been dragged into a feminist debate with a writer from FirstPost puzzled by her choice to have Salman launch her book. However, the writer does have her reasons. 

In a recent interview to TV journalist Rajdeep Sardesai, Mirza had taken offence to the seasoned journalist's question which she deemed as sexist. 

 "Amidst all the celebrity hood, when is Sania going to settle down? Is it going to be in Dubai? Is it going to be in any other country? What about motherhood, building a family, I don't see all that in the book, it seems like you don't want to retire just yet to settle down," Sardesai asked a question to Mirza. 

The tennis star wasn’t amused and chided, "You sound disappointed. I'm not choosing motherhood over being number one in the world," she said, adding, "but I’ll answer your question anyway. 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 Wimbledon we win or number ones in the world we become, we don’t become settled. But eventually it will happen, not right now. And when it does happen I’ll be the first one to tell everybody when I plan to do that." 

Sardesai is said to have apologised to Mirza for the question.

Mirza was lauded by her female fans for giving a befitting reply to a supposed sexist question. The Hyderabadi girl came out as a champion of feminism.

Roll over to today, the very feminists who lauded her for giving a befitting reply to Sardesai, are now flummoxed to see her have Salman Khan launch her book.  

Neither Salman, nor Mirza may have expected this difficult volley to come their way. The tennis star is usually known for her forthright views, but there' s no word from her yet on social media. 

Let us say, Mirza can afford to let go of this volley. Be it the FirstPost or her legion of female fans, there's no drop in respect for India's premier tennis star.