UP’s Sania Mirza Set to Soar High Amid Gloom for Muslims 

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Sania Mirza is the second girl, and first Muslim, in the country who has been selected to be a fighter pilot. The first is Avni Chaturvedi, Sania’s role model.

Syed Ali Mujtaba

MUSLIMS in India always get bad press and they find themselves in the news for all the wrong reasons. But the news of an 18-year-old girl from Mirzapur in Uttar Pradesh, Sania Mirza, who is all set to become India’s first Muslim girl fighter pilot in the Indian Air Force (IAF), must serve as an eye opener for the biased media.

This positive story from the Muslim community is also a virtual slap on the state Chief Minister Yogi Aditayanath’s face whose “Abbajan” comment had pained the Muslim community a lot.

Anyway, the daughter of a TV mechanic from Jasovar village in the Dehat Kotwali police station area of Mirzapur district, Sania Mirza would become a fighter pilot in the Indian Air Force after she secured 149th rank in the National Defence Academy (NDA) exam.

“There were only two seats reserved for women in the fighter pilot wing. I failed to grab a seat on the first attempt. However, I managed to bag a seat on the second attempt,” Sania was quoted by media outlets as saying.

Her message to the aspirants is that it is incorrect to assume only applicants with strong English communication abilities can crack such prestigious exams. “I went to a Hindi-medium school and have become a role model for all Hindi-medium students,” she said.

Sania is the second girl in the country who has been selected to be a fighter pilot. The first is Avni Chaturvedi, Sania’s role model.

“I was very much inspired by Flight Lt. Avani Chaturvedi and seeing her I decided to join NDA. I hope the younger generation will someday get inspired by me,” she said, adding that her dream of serving the country has come true.

Avani Chaturvedi is the first Indian woman to fly a fighter aircraft.

Sania’s mother Tabassum Mirza said: “Our daughter has made us and the entire village proud. She has inspired every girl in the village to aspire for the skies.”

There were 400 seats available in the National Defence Academy 2022 examination, which included both male and female candidates. Nineteen seats were reserved for women and two for fighter pilots. Sania will join NDA Khadakwasla in Pune on December 27. After completing the course she will join IAF and would become the first Muslim female fighter pilot in India.

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Syed Ali Mujtaba is a journalist based in Chennai. He can be contacted at syedalimujtaba2007@gmail.com. The views expressed here are author’s personal.

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