Mumtaz Khan becomes star of International Hockey Championship


The Indian Women’s Hockey team has made a steamed entry in the semi-final of the Junior World Cup. In South Africa, the Indian team defeated South Korea with 3-0 in the Quarter Finals in which Mumtaz Khan was honoured with The Player of the Match. She was the third-rounder player in this entire tournament and she has so far scored 6 goals. Her achievement breaks those stereotypes which say that Muslim talent is suppressed in India, as well as it is a big lesson for those people who want to keep Muslim girls imprisoned behind the walls of the home.

Mumtaz Khan, 19, is a newly emerging women hockey player from India. She has played around 40 matches at the international level. Mumtaz started her career with the Indian team in the Under-18 Asia Cup where her team won the bronze medal. After this, she repeated her brilliant performance in the Under-18 Youth Olympics and the Indian team managed to win the silver medal. However, Mumtaz’s dream is to win a medal for India in the Olympics.

Mumtaz, who belongs from Lucknow, the city of Nawabs, comes from a very simple family. Her father Hafeez Khan runs a vegetable shop. Wherever his wife Qaisar helps him. To maintain a large family of 8 people, both are able to earn only Rs 300 per day. Apart from Mumtaz in her family, she has five sisters and a younger brother. Due to the weak financial condition of the family, Mumtaz could study only till 12th and after that she got selected for hockey. However, the journey to Potchefstroom has never been easy for Mumtaz.

Father Hafiz Khan says, “Mumtaz has been passionate about hockey since childhood. She always topped in hockey and running competitions. Mumtaz’s hockey journey began in 2011 after participating in a running competition in Agra, where coach Neelam Siddiqui recognized her talent and sent her to KD Singh Babu Stadium in Lucknow for training. It was Siddiqui who taught Mumtaz the tricks of hockey after the trial.”

He does not consider this success of her daughter less than any Eid. He says that Eid has come early for us this year. Not only her family but the entire resident’s Lucknow are also proud of Mumtaz’s success.

On the other hand, Mumtaz’s mother Qaisar Jahan who was initially against Mumtaz’s play. She says that ‘I feel very proud that my daughter is playing for the country. We are getting a lot of respect because of her.

People often taunted me for having five daughters. But today my daughter has made me proud. She considers Mumtaz equal to 100 sons.

She says: “I always believed that she should have given some rest to her father by selling vegetables in her spare time. But, her determination and hard work proved us all wrong today.”

She says: “Even today people consider the family incomplete without a son, but daughters are a heavenly gift given by Allah which Mumtaz has proved.”

With the help of her hockey stick, Mumtaz has given a befitting reply to the old patriarchal attitude and proved that daughters are in no way less than sons. Even daughters can achieve all that one day which is expected of sons.

(The writer is a freelance journalist from Delhi)



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