When the world is gripped with sorrow and the nation is crumbling under the petty politics of regional leaders, the news of Sadia Tariq’s outstanding performance comes as a new ray of hope. Before we move forward and highlight the journey of this 15 yr old champion from our valley, I would like to present an analogy on the direction in which our nation is moving and the direction it should embrace.

At the beginning of this year, in the state of Karnataka, an incident was registered when some Muslim girls of a junior college trying to enter its premises wearing a hijab were denied entry on the grounds that it was a violation of the college’s uniform code. Over a short span the issue was so sensationalized by the local media that it spread to other schools and colleges across the state. It soon became a religious issue with Hindu students staging a ideologically opposite protests by wearing saffron scarves. Thus on 5 February, the Karnataka government intervened and issued an order to wear uniforms compulsorily where college uniform code exist and no exception can be made for the wearing the hijab or saffron scarves. Several educational institutions implimented this order and denied entry to any Muslim girls wearing the hijab to college premises.

I dont want to get into the nitty gritties of the issue but the most damning question which remains unanswered, demands to highlight this topic is – “What does our nation want?” When we preach a secular and democratic governance to the world, this blow comes at a time when the world is leading towards WWIII. We need to show absolute unity and peaceful coexistence and prevent our adversaries from taking undue advantage and slander the image of our Country.

As much as we are responsible I feel the media is also equally responsible for blowing it out of proportion. Media should have projected the image of Sadia Tariq and her achievements to show capabilities of our Muslim sisters. There are thousands of cases of Muslim girls in the society in the Kashmir Valley who are still deprived of basic fundamental rights. This hijab ban turmoil is just going to alienate the hopes of these innocent children. The nation thus at the behest of these situations is the one who suffers the most. Thus, this prevents girls like Sadia from bringing laurels to our motherland.

Sadia is the daughter of India Today Cameraman from Srinagar, Tariq Lone. The    15-year-old Sadia Tariq hails from Central Kashmir’s Bemina Srinagar area and is currently studying in 10th Standard in Presentation Convent School, Rajbagh Srinagar. She has also been awarded Gold Medal in Junior National Wushu championships two times consecutively. The technical committee for the Moscow Stars Wushu championship ie. the Wushu Association of India has shortlisted 38 players which included 23 junior and 15 senior players. Sadia was the only Wushu player from J&K who took part in the championship amongst the Indian contingent of 38 players Wushu players from across India. 

The golden girl of Kashmir turned into an international Champion by bagging gold medal in the final bout by defeating her opponent from Russia. She played a total of three fights in the Championship and defeated all her opponents from Kazakhstan, Czech Republic and Russia.

It’s high time for us now. We need to take concrete steps to help flourish our hidden talents of our children in the Valley. It is as good as untapped resource of potential, commitments, zeal and most importantly a source of bright future of our Kashmir. We must decide on the most efficient way of investing our time and efforts in thousands of Sadias or waste our time in endless politically driven agenda which aim at disruption of our stability.

Capt Aditya Tathe

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