As soon as Malala set foot on her native soil after a long hiatus of five years, a pandemonium ensued on Social Media. Amidst welcoming trends from celebrities and progressive people of Pakistan, a more conspicuous trend of “I AM NOT MALALA” was visible from obscurantists on twitter. An array of accusations was noticeably witnessed incriminating the little girl with scandalous crimes like treason and furthering agenda of western powers.
One is bewildered to see blatant reproach and reflect what Malala has done wrong. Heroes of war against Terror like Aitzaz and martyred angels of APS are venerated and celebrated by even the rancorous critics of Government policies on this war.
Having mentioned that, one is bound to witness the glaring difference in responses for aforementioned heroes and Malala Yousafzai. It gives the impression that her only crime is surviving the deadly attack on her. After all, we are a nation of dead heroes. We are more in the romance with heroes from past – which is a good thing but reversing present heroes is more imperative to make a nation of heroes. Fatima Jinnah, Prof Abdul Salam and now Malala are examples how we shunned heroes in their hay days on one pretext or other.
It must not be Malala but bigotry, chauvinism, and extremism that warrant our hatred. People always search for soft targets to cover their weaknesses and failures. And what softer target there could be than a young girl in a misogynic society of ours. Let’s just merit all accusations on Malala Yusufzai for their veracity:
• She’s accused of exposing the perennial problem of extremism existing in Pakistan. Discomfiture caused by that nudged us in the right direction. Because of self-inflicted embarrassment, state of Pakistan took the difficult steps like promulgating NAP for purging society of evil menaces like terrorism and Militancy.
- It is argued that because of her people of other countries discern Pakistanis have favorable opinion of Militants. That can’t be rebuffed. Many surveys in the past indicated a clear majority of people in Pakistan had a soft corner for Taliban. In recent times, people lent their support to Hafiz Saeed after Punjab government put him under house arrest.
- Malala is a beacon of light for young girls residing in backward and conservative areas. She vowed to do revolutionary work for the education of girls. This is a hard pill to digest for apologists of militants and conservatives alike.
Malala proved herself a ray of hope at the end of a dark tunnel for women empowerment in Pakistan. Instead of trying to block this glimmer, it must be given way and strengthened to bring positive changes in our society.