Universität Bonn

Abteilung für Südasienstudien

All about Sports? The Portrayal of Indian Tennis Player Sania Mirza in South Asian Media

Research conducted by Patricia Helbig

With her outstanding achievements on the tennis court, the Indian tennis player Sania Mirza made headlines worldwide and earned her place in the first rank of the country’s sportspersons. However, she has also often been in the focus of various controversies that came along with extensive media attention. These include her clothing style on the court, her marriage to a Pakistani cricket player, hostilities from conservative Muslims as well as attacks from Hindu nationalists questioning her loyalty to India given her religious affiliation as a Muslim. On the other hand, the media portray her as a loving wife and mother capable of managing her career and her family life at the same time as well as a fashion icon other Indian women can look up to.

The aim of my doctoral research is to examine the coverage of Sania Mirza and her portrayal in various South Asian media. It concentrates especially on the different controversies surrounding her and analyses the way the media report on her as well as the public image that is hence created. Another important question addresses the relation between the coverage of her athletic achievements and her private life. Moreover, it studies whether Indian and Pakistani media report on her in a different way due to the growing Hindu nationalism in India and Pakistan’s self-conception as Muslim state. This research is primarily a philological study that is mainly based on online newspaper articles in English, Hindi and Urdu but also takes clips from tv shows and news reports into account.

Wird geladen