Thursday, May 12, 2005

Sex-crazed blogger is a Sania fake

Sania Mirza is in the news — but this time for the wrong reasons. The latest on India’s wunderkind is a blog appearing in her name on the Net. A cursory look would have you believe that Sania herself is in liberated mode and replying to fan mail about her looks, appeal and sexual preferences.

A more careful look and it is clear something’s amiss. A sick prankster is at work. The lewd comments, posted mostly by anonymous fans, are shocking. And this is putting it mildly.

“It is absolutely shocking,” said Nasima, Sania’s mother. She did not want to lend any credence to the blog by reacting further.

But Globosport, the company that manages Sania’s affairs, will take action. “The impression being given is that Sania herself is talking to her fans, which is wholly untrue,” said Anirban Das Blah, vice-president, Globosport, from Bangalore. “This is a case of misrepresentation and we are going to look into legal options.”

That won’t be easy. “The courts can pass an order to block the site in India,” said Pawan Duggal, a cyber lawyer. “But it will be hard to implement it even though Indian cyber laws (the IT Act) have extraterritorial jurisdiction.”

The blog isn’t an aberration. In February, after she won the WTA Hyderabad Open, Sania had had to ask for police cover as she was being mobbed across the city.

The latest incident has shocked many. Talking to HT from Los Angeles, tennis legend Vijay Amritraj said it was “ludicrous”. “People should focus on Sania’s tennis and her success, which is like one in a million,” he said. “It’s almost like Rocky.”

Blah said it was sad Sania was paying this price for being a celebrity. To make it clear that the tennis player has nothing to do with the blog, he said an official Sania fan site would come up soon.

“It will be a free site where Sania will be in touch with her fans and all activities relating to her tennis on a daily basis will be posted on it,” he said.

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