Photo: UK Mirror

Somebody said, “Wow, Malala is so lucky. She didn’t have to do anything. She just got shot and became famous!” This sentiment is shared by many. Now, I don’t know her personally, nor do I believe in hero worship but I kinda feel like defending the teenager here. I don’t know if she deserved Nobel Peace Prize or not…but I am not sure if we should dismiss her fame so casually.

First of all, Malala was into activism MUCH before she got shot. She used to blog for BBC anonymously. You might say that anonymity is playing safe but many girls refused to do this because it was highly risky (her identity was eventually revealed).

She won Pakistan’s National Youth Peace Prize even before the famous incident. She was involved in promotion of girls’ education. Her father was an activist and even got death threats MUCH before the incident.

Here’s why her fame is not bullshit: Imagine living a life where you cannot even go to school (I know school sucks, but I’m talking about basic rights here). Imagine hearing gunshots near your house and living in fear. But you still get up and have the courage to go to school. Because your passion is more than your fear. Because you believe it is better to die than let your dreams die. People like me and those who sit in the comfort of their homes take things for granted. It is not a big deal for us to go outside and have a walk but there are places in this world where you cannot do that.

Yes, there were MANY other girls besides Malala who went to school despite Taliban. They are heroes too. But the nature of fame is such that only few are celebrated..that’s what happens in every field.

Rather than dismissing her fame, let’s reimagine it: maybe, she is more like a symbol. All famous people represent our dreams and fears. She is a symbol of courage. She represents all those girls around the world who are standing up for themselves. Of course, the REAL Malala would be flawed, like you and me. She is just another human being with a good and a bad side. She is not perfect. There is no need to worship her. There’s no need to completely dismiss her fame either.

P.S. I might be wrong about the events and information about her life. But I hope the focus is on the essence of the message.

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7 thoughts on “In defense of Malala Yousafzai

  1. Are people seriously doubting her!? I was not aware of this (which is probably a good idea because this has made me SO mad) Malala was my age when she stood up for what she believed in and in all honesty I don’t think me or anyone in my year would have the courage to be that selfless. She is such a strong, brave woman and a symbol of how badly we need feminism in 2015. Thank you for defending her!

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    1. Yes, sometimes I get mad too not because I worship Malala but because they are so casual about the entire incident. I mean, how many of these will be bold if someone puts a gun on their heads? But it’s okay I guess…they are entitled to their opinion too.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ah I’m one of those people,you’re talking about. Yes, she was brave. But so are many other women. Yes she got shot and was living in fear. But so are many other people. But I don’t think she deserved the attention she got. All she had to do in that situation was stand up and say “yes, I’m Malala.” Nothing else. But I see your point and I do respect your opinion. But. Did she deserve a Nobel prize for getting shot? I’m sure there are other activists in the same place who’ve done more.

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    1. I am not against what you said…in fact, I myself have written that there are many unknown girls who are in similar conditions.

      It is people who gave Malala the fame, right? Did she ask people to worship her? Or did she ask for a Nobel Prize? Then why are people blaming her for something that *others* have given her? I cannot stop a person from admiring me, right?

      If people *truly* believe that Malala’s fame was accidental, then why don’t they judge her by some other yardstick (for example: what does she do with the fame?) If the incident was an accident then the fame cannot be her fault! If it’s not accidental then are her haters saying that she had some sort of plan to become famous?

      I’m not a die hard fan of Malala…just trying to understand all points of view.

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      1. Have you read chanakya’s chant? I’m a believer of guilty till proven innocent. But I’m not blaming her. After all she’s a child. What I’m saying is that I don’t particularly care for or respect her. (When I say respect her I mean for what she is respected for. I.E. The Nobel prize and getting shot. I do respect her as I respect everyone else)
        She’s someone who went through a hardship. Good for her that she came out of it well. Good for her that her friends and family cared. That the world cared. People,needed a hero and she was the one. That’s all I believe. My opinion. I’m not saying anyone should agree with me of course.

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      2. No I haven’t read Chanakya’s Chant..I have a copy though. Let me know if it’s good..will read it.

        Honestly speaking, I don’t believe in having extreme opinions about celebrities whom I don’t know personally (in fact, judgments about those whom we know personally could be wrong too)..so you could be right, I could be right…or we both could be wrong. We can never know the truth. In the end, it’s just a personal choice. I’m glad we disagreed in a civilized manner

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      3. Oh I’m not judging her at all. I’m judging the others around her because they’ve romanticised the whole thing instead of talking about e real horror of it. I don’t know if there has been any improvement for these people. If there had wouldn’t there have been a big hullabaloo about it? I only judge people based on their spelling of their there and they’re. Lol.
        It’s a great book if you’re into Indian fiction. But then I’m a big fan of Ashwin Sanghi so I may be prejudiced. Let me know if you like it.

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