Sania Mirza was conferred with the Padma Shri last week. This has intrigued a series of controversies. Most of the people feel that her contribution in the Sport's World doesn't tantamount to the Prestigious Award. Some even feel that the Award was given to appease the Muslim Minority, she is just a hype created by the media and she will be soon joining Films or Acting in Saas/Bahu Serials.
First of all, the official definition of Award goes something like this--- Padma Shri is an award given by the Government of India generally to Indian citizens to recognize their distinguished contribution in any sphere of activity including Arts, Education, Industry, Literature, Science, Games, Sports etc. The people are comparing Sports with other fields. They question the idea of a person of some other field say Science spending his entire life researching for the welfare of the society and getting the same award as some Sportsperson who may still be na´ve at the international level. The point that most of us are missing is that India isn't a country known for their excellence in the field of Sports. Even in the Past, if we analyze the people who got Padma Shri for their contribution in the field of Sports, it is evident that most of them were not great achievers in the international Stage.
So, the person who is the recipient of the Award in the category of Sports may not be a well-known person in the international circuit but sometimes the reasoning goes beyond our insight.I also agree that it was little early for her to get the Award but still she being nominated for this year's Padma Shri is somewhat justified. However, it is true that if she were in some other country say a developing country like China, she would not have got the same recognition and felicitation as she got being in India. But in a Country like India which is devoid of Stars in the field of Sports(except Cricket of course), the Award sends across a signal of incentive, stimulation, promotion etc. I read somewhere that some of Muslim women are going to gym after Sania became star.Further, her Success at the Highest Level is encouraging more and more girls to join the field of sports and make a Career in it.
Even the Parents will be pleased to let their daughter enter the field of sports after seeing the exemplar career of Sania. Some people feels that Sania has achieved nothing but brought Glamour in the field of Tennis. What they can't see is that this has resulted in making the game more popular in India. Finally in a country like India, for a women to reach the highest level in the individual category in sports at such an early age itself deserves an Award.In short, there is some thinking behind her nomination for the Padma Sri.
I can see her winning the Padma Bhushan later on may be at the end of her career..
By: Piyush Mattoo