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Malala Yousufzai, did not just leave Jon Stewart speechless with her “War with peace” message to the Talibs, everyone else was speechless too.   I was too stunned to react. For me that wasn’t a response that a 16 year gives. Malala sounded way too mature for  her 16 yrs. But then she’s not an ordinary teenager , she is Malala Yosufzai, the girl who is ready to go to any length for the cause dear to her.

It is no surprise then that majority of the world was highly disappointed when Malala missed out on the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize. The various social media platforms were flooded with messages ranging from disappointment to blaming the  Nobel Peace Prize Committee to exhibiting solidarity to her despite her not winning the  much coveted prize. There is however a small minority that is happy for Malala for not winning the Nobel.  Unfortunately this voice of dissent has gone unheard by the much louder and much more affirmative voice of the majority.

Do not get us wrong, we the minority are not against her.  We are with her like the rest of humanity.  As a teenager it is very easy to get wrapped up in your own world and behave like an island isolated from the rest of the world. Malala on the other hand, not only stood for her own  rights but for the rights of every child who was denied the basic right of education. A commendable act by any standard for a girl her age. We applaud her determination and bravery but there is a tiny voice telling us that despite all that she has done in the last few years and would continue to do, not getting awarded the Nobel was perhaps in her best interest.

When the Nobel Prize was established, it was with the objective of rewarding "those who, during the preceding year, shall have conferred the greatest benefit on mankind".  Would a Nobel to Malala at the start of her struggle not defeat the very objective for which it was established?   Nobel Peace prize in theory is awarded to visionaries, people who have had a history of struggle for the cause dear to them. The prize may have missed its mark a few times but leaders like Ang Su Kyi, Martin Luther King or Nelson Mandela have been the recipients of this.. For me, Malala is not the lone voice that has stood up against the tyranny and oppression of the Taliban. There have been thousands of women, the unsung heroes of our times that are struggling against the regime, are fighting to be free of the purdha system, to have the freedom to study, to teach, refusing to get married at an early age, basically to be themselves.  The majority may argue that many may fight for the same cause but only one becomes the  symbol for liberation and Nobel is not for an individual but for the  cause he/ she represents. Not disagreeing with this line of logic, it would also be true to state that all the “symbols” that have been mentioned, were path breaking leaders, not just activists. Malala is a strong voice; a voice that is not afraid of the death threats looming large over her but hers is also a voice that needs to gather experience, to have a vision and to transcend the personal experience that has made her who she is. Malala has to prove that she is not defined by the bullet that hit her and her two friends, the bullet that made her famous.

Another reason of which I am happy that Malala did not receive the Nobel, at least not just yet, is the whole theory of “Western Guilt and Justification”.  For Western media and the western political system Malala is not the symbol of liberation but a symbol of everything that’s wrong in that part of the world. The attack on her and her two other friends (By the way where are these two girls Shazia Ramzan and Kainat Riyaz) was not an extra ordinary event for the women living under the fear of the Taliban. Why then was Malala (Only Malala and not her other two friends) rushed to the U.K? If not to emotionally appeal to the people and especially their critics that what they did in Afghanistan, in Iraq, in Iran and many other countries was justified, because if they didn’t, many such innocent , young girls would keep getting shot. It was their one chance to portray themselves as saviours  of humanity, to wipe the slate clean, of  all the criticism they have received for their interventions as self-certified messiah of peace and democracy.  I am afraid that Malala is treated as a tool by the Western media to further their own ulterior motives.

Let us let Malala be who she is. A 16 year old teenager who wants to study and fight for the right to education for every child who is denied this right.  Making a poster child out of her for Right to Education would only lead to a situation wherein she is attending conferences, making speeches and giving talks rather than concentrating upon what she is  fighting for--- education.  What an irony it would be if the youngest champion for the cause of education is entangled in the labyrinth of politically motivated events at the cost of her own education.

Malala does not need to win  a  Nobel for her efforts to be recognized. She has already won hearts across the globe with her fearless attitude, her thinking which is way beyond her age and her empathy for her peers. She is  an inspiration, a role model for many. Her struggle is mere start of many such struggles that she would be waging in her life..  History is waiting to be written by her. Let the Nobel be given to her in recognition of the history, but only  when it is created. Till then , let this young girl discover herself and live life the way she wants to. 


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