Not so long ago, Shiv Sena activists egged on by their supreme leader and the party mouthpiece were urging Shah Rukh Khan to go to Pakistan, after the actor supported the participation of Pakistani players in the IPL.
It is a different matter that the odor of opportunism pervaded the whole affair. Shah Rukh, whose franchise had along with the others refrained from picking up any Pakistani players in the latest round of auctions, got considerable face time on national television thanks to his pronouncement, and managed on each occasion to bring up his about to be released film. And the Sena — which operates on the belief that even bad publicity is better than oblivion — managed to grab a few headlines, before the issue got defused.
In a measure of how irrelevant the Sena increasingly believes itself to be, it has now latched on to another promising bandwagon for a few more headlines. And this time the comments emanating from the party are mind-bogglingly WTF:
Sena objects to Sania’s marriage, says in its mouth piece, Saamna that she should marry an Indian in order to retain nationality & represent India.
“After marriage she will be going to her in-laws, how will she then play for India? It’s being irreverent to this country and its laws” said Sena.
“After marriage Sania will become a Pakistani citizen. How can she have Pakistani citizenship and play for India? Has this country become a tennis ball to Sania that she plays with it however she pleases?,” said Sena.
Sena further said that in any case chief of Pakistan Tennis Federation Dilawar Abbas has welcomed you (Sania). He has already expressed his desire to see you play for Pakistan, but if you are so keen to play for India, you ought to have chosen an Indian instead of a Pakistani as your life partner.
“Morally she (Sania) has no right to get into this wedlock in the cost or expense of another individual. On one hand, Sania Mirza stands for ‘Save the Girl Child’ campaign and on the another hand she is showing absolutely no respect, no care , no attitude for another girl, women or lady of this country” said Shiv Sena legal head Rahul Narvekar.
“Is Sania Mirza’s achievement in isolation of the nation? If nation has supported her , it is her duty to have sentiments, values and emotions for the people of this country” added Narvekar.
On Twitter, many have mocked the party for its double-speak, pointing out that it cannot in one breath continue to claim that Sonia Gandhi, despite marrying an Indian and accepting Indian citizenship, is an Italian, while also claiming that Sania loses her right to represent India just because she has married a Pakistani.
Logical argument, that — but when, in recent times, has logic permeated anything the Sena has said, and done?