Malala – A fire within

On my way from school to home I heard a man saying ‘I will kill you’. I hastened my pace and after a while I looked back if the man was still coming behind me. But to my utter relief he was talking on his mobile and must have been threatening someone else over the phone.”  -Malala Yousafzai, 3 January 2009 BBC blog entry

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She’s 15 years old and a simple Muslim girl who wants to study. She wants to go to school, play with her classmates and become a doctor. She loves her uniform, school bag, geometry box and feels sad when they are not used. Her brothers always play with paper pistols and helicopters, never do their homework and don’t want to attend school. Malala wants to study. But sometimes, dreams remain dreams.

Ruthless they are indeed, the Taliban who just knows how to shoot the innocent. In around 2007 when the Taliban entered Mingora in Swat District, Pakistan, they started an edict to ban girls’ education and militants had destroyed around 150 schools in 2008 alone (even they restricted women to go market and banned shopping).

On October 9th 2012, while returning from school, Malala’s bus was forcibly stopped and Taliban gunmen screamed “Which one of you is Malala? Speak up, otherwise I will shoot you all,” She stood up front of them, boldly replying “I am Malala”. In a brutal assassination attempt, Malala got shot in the head and neck. She got airlifted to the military hospital in Peshawar for the treatment and then to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham. She has a good chance of recovery. People are praying for her health all over the world. But why this cruelty?

Just because she wants to study and post her feelings on the BBC blog about her hard life in the regime of the Taliban? Because she expresses the ugly truth of reality witnessed in the SWAT valley and is alone women’s rights activist in the whole Mingora? Is it wrong to fight for the equality of women? Is it wrong for a woman to study?

The incident invoked fire in the hearts of women worldwide. Women all over the Pakistan are protesting against the barbarism of the Taliban. “I am Malala” is on their tongues. Malala is a true piece of valor which keeps inspiring us to fight for the injustice. She is a hope for Pakistan and the world. Now Malala is lying on the hospital bed in Birmingham which treats wounded soldiers, Malala has indeed been a soldier. We too have Malala within us, unkindled though. We have to fire it up and fight.

I think of it often and imagine the scene clearly. Even if they come to kill me, I will tell them what they are trying to do is wrong, that education is our basic right.” –Malala Yousafzai (envisioning a confrontation with the Taliban).

 

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