If there was a Nobel for Hypocrisy, Malala Yousufzai would be the clear winner, no matter how hard she might try to deny
October 9, 2012: History was being scripted in Mingora, a small town in Swat district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province in Pakistan. A masked gunman purportedly belonging to the Taliban shot three girls returning home after attending an examination. Nobody knows much about what happened to two of the three girls shot by the gunman. In fact, most of the world didn’t even care to check if the other two are alive or not. The world was busy writing history or rather “her story”, the story of Malala Yousafzai.
A little bit of reading tells us Malala (meaning Grief Stricken) was named after the famous 19th century Pashtun poet and warrior lady Malalai Noorzai of Maiwand. She was a fan of Mohammed Ali Jinnah and Benazir Bhutto. She was inspired by the thoughts of her father Ziauddin Yousafzai. Young Malala was blogging for BBC, when she was 12 years old. She wrote about “Life in Taliban-dominated Swat.” She became an activist, gave interviews to New York Times and became a brand ambassador for girl child education. In 2012, she was nominated for International Children’s Peace Prize by Desmond Tutu. And then she was shot.
“Malala, Malala, Malala,” the whole world was resonating with just one name in millions of prayers. She recovered miraculously and was shifted from Rawalpindi to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, the UK. Since then, she has lived in England, co-authored a best seller “I am Malala”, won a Nobel Peace Prize in 2014, gave a lecture in the Canadian Parliament, received honorary citizenship of Canada and her Malala Fund has received millions of dollars in donations. Almost seven years after she was shot deep inside Pakistan and living in United Kingdom, Malala still remains a citizen of Pakistan and that is where our story begins. The story of Malala, the Nobel Standard in Patriotism.
Just 22 years old today, Malala has almost become the ‘Mother Theresa’ of the Liberal world. She gives political sermons, doles out free advice to the West and condemns her neighbour India for failing to conform to her commandments. Her first big political sermon struck the world like the bullet that had hit her head. “Don’t isolate Pakistan. That will lead to further fundamentalism.” She had placed almost all the responsibility for terrorism in Pakistan squarely on the shoulders of the world community
She advised people to visit Pakistan. Sri Lanka, South Africa and New Zealand Cricket teams were advised to visit Pakistan and play Cricket there. She was magnanimous to declare Pakistan as a safe place for all the people. Neither Malala nor her family has ever stepped on Pakistan soil after being shifted to Birmingham on an air-ambulance in 2012. That is an inconvenient fact in the fairytale of a Nobel laureate.
Malala has strong opinions on everything, especially Cricket and India. When India lost a 2019 Cricket World Cup group match to England, Malala condemned the scheming Indians for conspiring to oust Pakistan from the World Cup. She was convinced that India had deliberately tanked the match to ensure Pakistan didn’t qualify for the semifinals. Minor facts like Indian team still had not made sure of a semifinal spot for themselves at that point become insignificant when a Nobel laureate speaks.
Malala has moved on from Cricket to Kashmir. In spite of suspension of internet and telecommunication services in Kashmir since the abrogation of Article 370, Malala managed to talk to three Kashmiri girls. Yes, three Kashmiri girls and they have told her horrible stories of oppression. A girl told Malala that she missed her examinations on August 12, 2019 because of Indian Army’s restrictions. Unfortunately the girl didn’t tell Malala which examination she missed on that Eid Holiday. Again, when a Nobel laureate speaks, facts should not be allowed to obstruct propaganda.
The “Kashmiri girls” told Malala that they are depressed and unsure of their future. “We want to study but the atmosphere here is horrible. We don’t know what will happen to our future. We are depressed.” These are the words of Kashmiri girls and Malala has become their voice on Twitter. All the while, the Liberals in India are counting the number of days since communications were suspended in Kashmir.
Let us recount. Here is a girl who grew up in Pakistan till she was 15, before she received a bullet in her head. Her country has seen a serious dwindling of population of minority Hindus, Sikhs and Christians. In 2006, Pakistan had just 2.5% Hindus, most of them concentrated in the Sindh province with practically negligible presence in rest of Pakistan. Things have only become worse ever since..
Reports of kidnapping and forced conversion of Hindu girls to Islam hit headlines every week from Pakistan. Girls as young as 12 or 13 are kidnapped, converted and married to much older men. But what is more tragic is these reported cases are believed to be only the tip of the iceberg. A larger number of such cases go unreported due to fear, lack of protection for the minorities and absolute disregard for human rights.
Bigoted mobs attacked a Hindu Principal, accusing him of blasphemy and vandalised a temple in Ghotki town of Sindh province this week. There were widespread attacks on Hindus. Blasphemy accusation was made by a minor student and the attackers didn't even bother to check the veracity of the accusations. At the time of Independence, there were over 1000 large and small temples in Pakistan. Today, the number is a staggering testimony to the tolerance exhibited by Malala's own country. There were only 20 temples in Pakistan on August 14, 2019 and one of them was destroyed on September 15, 2019.
Let us move eastwards from Pakistan to Kashmir. Over 4 Lakh Hindus, mostly the Pandits, the original inhabitants of Kashmir were killed, looted, raped and thrown out of their homes in the early 1990s. Their temples and homes were razed down to ground. The men were ordered to leave their women behind and leave the valley. For close to three decades, Kashmiri Hindus have lived as refugees in their own country, the only country they had. Article 370 was the foundation on which such a massive genocide and ethnic cleansing was perpetrated by the Islamists backed by Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence (ISI).
All of a sudden Malala Yousafzai became concerned about the rights of Kashmiri people, the Kashmiri girls and the minorities India. More Indians had celebrated and congratulated Malala's Nobel Peace Prize than Pakistanis. While her own country congratulated her in rather grudgingly, India provided her with single largest support base, including on Twitter.
Malala Yousafzai has never said a single word about the plight of minority Christians, Hindus and Sikhs in Pakistan. She has not tweeted even once about the INnumerable atrocities by Pakistan Army in Baluchistan and PoJK
The “her story” of Malala Yousafzai is incomplete without her unbridled patriotism. She was haunted, hunted, shot and banished from Pakistan. There are people still waiting to assassinate her if she returns to Pakistan. But Malala Yousafzai is a Muslim first, Pakistani next and a human being last. She has repeatedly proved, her heart beats only for Islam and Pakistan.
In ten years as activist, seven years of living away from Pakistan and five years since Nobel Peace Prize, Malala Yousafzai has never said a single word about the plight of minority Christians, Hindus and Sikhs in Pakistan. She has not tweeted even once about the limitless atrocities by Pakistan Army in Baluchistan and Pakistan Occupied Kashmir. The kidnapping, forced conversion and child marriages of Hindu girls has never been on the agenda of Malala Yousafzai.
So what do we conclude of Malala Yousafzai? A large number of Indians call her a hypocrite and a Trojan horse of the Islamists. People say, her human rights concerns are never concerned about Non-Muslims. Many people believe the whole “Education Activist shot by bigots turned Nobel laureate” was scripted by her father in association with Islamists.
Whatever be her credentials, let the truth be told, again and again. The world hasn’t seen a more famous teenager. The world also hasn’t seen a greater patriot than Malala Yousafzai. In spite of million problems in her homeland, in spite of almost getting killed there, she loves Pakistan and hates India from the bottom of her heart. No two opinions on that.
There perhaps is a lesson for the Tukde Tukde gangs of JNU and other liberals of India, who have made a life out of abusing India on every opportunity. They’ve got everything in India yet they hate India. Malala got absolutely nothing in Pakistan except a bullet in her head but she has boundless love for Pakistan. Malala Yousafzai is a Gold Standard, nah a Nobel Standard in Patriotism.
(The writer is a columnist and writes mostly on Politics, Cricket and Cinema)