Who is Malala?
Who is Malala? A terrorist, an American, an agent or a simple girl.
Honestly speaking I don’t have the exact answer to this question. Let’s start with my favorite story from Steven Covey’s book “7 Habits of Highly Effective People”. He quoted about his personal experience that once he was sitting on the subway station and a man entered with his children. The man shut his eyes oblivious to the situation.
While his kids were making a lot of noise. They were fighting and snatching papers from people. The writer got irritated and said, “Sir, your children are disturbing a lot of people wonder if you couldn’t control them a little more?”.
The man replied “Oh, you’re right. I guess I should do something about it. We just came from the hospital where their mother died about an hour ago. I don’t know what to think, and I guess they don’t know how to handle it either.”
Steven explained beautifully how his perception changed when the man told him about it. He started to show empathy toward those children and a paradigm shift occurred. That’s how our perception change when we know what someone has been through.
Same happened to me. The paradigm shift occurred. My perception changed about Malala when I came to know her.
I read Gul Makai recently the blog which the little Malala use to write regarding what she was facing. I was stunned when I was reading her blogs. When I placed myself at her position, I was feeling the pain. My heart was bewailing with tears.
How a girl has gone through so much in her childhood. She is one year younger to me. When I was enjoying traveling and living in places where I was secure. She was living in an area where she was fighting a battle every day. She was fighting for life, for education, for freedom. When we were playing carefree, she was thinking about what is going to happen to her school. What will happen to her family?
Gul Makai Diary is a reflection of her fears, her life and what she has been through.
We consider her an agent who has received payment for all this. Even if she has been created, she has given a lot. She has earned the life she is living. She was not born with a silver spoon. I know we perceive that the struggle period for her was little. But in that small time, she has suffered so much that we cannot even imagine.
Her doom was fixed. There was no savior.
People say she is against the army. Even in Gul Makai, she is not considering army a savior. But what are you expecting from a girl who is living in a place where she is so exposed to weapons and barbaric criminals. Where she was listening to the ammunition sounds every moment. She heard these voices when we were listening to the nursery rhymes.
For Malala army was not a savior. How can a little girl like her can consider army her hero? She was fearful of the army men who were standing for her protection. That made her school the most wanted place for the culprits. As she wrote in Gul Makai that when army men were present in her school for her protection, she was frightened by their presence. She knew that now the Taliban will make more attempts to destroy her school as they are against the army.
A child needs freedom and not armor. Accepting the fact that somebody is watching you all the time is not easy. In Gul Makai Malala quoted a beautiful story that when she was going to Islamabad with her family for vacation. She was expecting the Taliban to do her checking, but instead of them, army men inspected the family. Now imagine yourself being scrutinized? When you are a child, you will not consider it something done for your immunity. You will naturally hate it.
When I went to Neelum Valley two years back with my friends, there were stops on our way where army men were checking us and our id cards. I was 20 at that time, but I hated it. It was known to me that they are scanning our bags and checking us for security purposes, but that was very uncomfortable. I wanted to have leeway. I have always disliked borders. Because they stop you, I can understand what the poor girl was feeling while living life like this. Living in a place where you cannot go alone, where you can’t wear something of your choice and where there is always somebody present to watch you.
For a child who is living a life like her, an army person can be as scary as a Taliban because both are the cause of the destruction of freedom. Even if this is for the protection, she was too young to understand. When she was shot, she opened her eyes in a western hospital. For her, they are the heroes. And it is understandable for a girl at her position. If she is not happy with the forces that’s perfectly okay. She is not portraying a bad image of Pakistan this is something she has not liked, and that’s because of her personal experience.
How Malala became a celebrity?
Who is Priya Varrier, Tahir Shah, Chaye Walla and many others like them? Are they agents of any suspicious agency?
Why a girl winks and gets famous? Why a man sings pathetically and becomes famous? And why a person who is handsome and makes Chaye gain fame? Was she the pulchritudinous woman who winked or the first one to wink on this planet? Whether there was no singer in the world, who was more pathetic than Tahir shah? Or was the Chaye Walla the only handsome man in Pakistan who made tea?
They were all accidental celebrities. Luck happened to them. It doesn’t show that they were the most incredible people on the Earth who did a spellbinding thing for what they got famous.
Why don’t we consider Malala like this?
People say she got fame for no reason what about the other girls who were present in Swat, those girls who were there when the incident happened and who lived the same life as Malala. But the answer is that they were not writing Blogs for BBC Urdu. Malala was the one who was telling the world through her blogs how is life in Swat. BBC or America was interested in her life instead of the other victims because she was representing the suffering of the Sawatians. She was raising her voice against the cruelty of the Taliban. She was the one who was risking her life, so she deserves the reward for the bloodbath in which she survived.
Previously I was also anti-Malala as I have mentioned earlier that my perception about her changed and there was a paradigm shift. Once I asked my professor about Malala and why she was given Nobel Peace Prize.
He had a soft heart for the brave girl of Swat. I asked him, why you consider Malala a deserving person for the Nobel Prize? He asked me why you don’t?
I said I don’t know. Maybe that’s controversial what I know about Malala. So, to me, she is a mysterious woman who can be wrong. He said it’s not because of that it’s because you cannot relate with her. You cannot imagine how someone can achieve it at such a young age. Because when you were 15, you might be having your teenage dreams. But she was fighting at that age. And because we cannot relate it with ourselves, we cannot believe that somebody has done it. And that’s why we hate her. He asked me to read Gul Makai.
When I thought about it, I felt yes he is right maybe. But I was confused, and my perception remained the same. Now when recently I read Gul Makai my understanding about Malala changed. I thought that yes he was right.
Her life was a tragic one, and she stood for herself and girls like her like a leader. That made her a celebrity.
My friend was posted in Swat when Malala came to Pakistan after so many years. So, I texted him before writing this blog. I asked him what was the perception of people of Swat regarding Malala when she came back? He told me something that was sad. He said, “People were not happy at all. They hate her a lot and just because we were providing her security, they chanted slogans against army too”. The hatred we see on social media for Malala from all over the country is also existing in Swat. Maybe they are not digesting the fact that how can a young girl who was one of us had done it.
People don’t consider Malala, a deserving person for the Nobel Peace Prize
Some compare her with Edhi. Such people accuse why she was given Nobel Peace prize and why it was not given to Edhi. But for me, it’s like comparing Chaye Wala and another person who is more handsome as compare to him and then saying why he is famous and why the other one is not? Accidents happen like this, and they create celebrities. It is the reality that’s how life goes. Edhi should also be given a Prize for the remarkable work he did, but that does not mean that award should be taken from Malala and then given to Edhi. It’s not necessary that one person has to lose for the other person to win.
People consider her as a person who is used against Pakistan
I asked many people about Malala. Every time I heard such words that Malala was used.
She has been made a symbol of peace against Pakistan, or she is an agent. I asked people but why Pakistan? It is a tiny country why powerful foreign countries care a lot about Pakistan. Everyone told me that Pakistan is essential for them. I asked people why you don’t consider her an accidental celebrity. They said, “because she was not an accidental celebrity; she was made.”
I don’t know what is real and what is not. But I will not hate Malala. I will not say she was made. She is a girl who had once dreamed of the life she is living. Most importantly she is a Pakistani. If she is getting an education outside the country or is not living in Pakistan, I will not blame her.
Because I was not there to support her when she was in need. And I am a Pakistani, and I am Pakistan. Were you there? Did you help her? You are a Pakistani, and you are Pakistan too. So, we have no right to question her.
We should not hate Malala
Whoever she is an agent, a symbol a whatever we should not hate her. Because she is a girl she is Pakistani, and she is like you and me. For me, she is a hero who has survived the massacre. And now she is doing wonders internationally. She is doing so much for girls outside the country which we are not doing. She is representing Pakistan; own her.
Let’s mutate the story of Malala like this that there was a girl who lived in the valleys. Beasts tried to kill her and took her freedom. When the Savior came to save her from the barbaric monsters, she considered the saviors her enemy. Because they came in the dress of the villains to camouflage their identity, so she thought of them as the culpable people. And before she knows the reality, she was pushed by the vicious men out of her valley. Now the valley is cleared by those heroes who were once considered as the bad saviors by the young girl. The perception of the girl has changed about her saviors; now how can we blame the girl for the opinion she once holds regarding the heroes? How can we complain that why she is living in a place where she can get a better education as compared to the valley? And how can we consider her a noxious girl when she is transforming the barren areas of the world by sowing the seeds of education in them?
Even if you don’t understand who is Malala or you consider her as someone who is being created by someone. Hate the creators don’t hate her.
I wish by reading my blog a paradigm shift occurs in your life. It would help if you also read Gul Makai for making it happen.