Being brave when it matters

11 Oct

Fear is a dangerous thing. It can create panic and obscure our purpose and journey. It can make us hesitant in doing the right thing to do. Few people in this world show valor at the time when it really matters, because the path of valor requires sacrifice. Because it is one thing to hurl threats against an enemy from afar, while looking at an armed and powerful enemy in the eye and standing your ground is another. It is this very reason that history only remembers those heroes who chose to fight for what they believed in regardless of the size of their enemy.

When a nation is fighting a war it rallies around its heroes. They are the ones who inspire others. They have influence beyond material output as they ignite passion among others and the will to resist. Malala Yousafzai is that warrior hero. She is the one who has eloquently used the most powerful weapon there is, to make grown men fear her, her vision, her philosophy and her resistance. If ever a book is written by the phrase ‘Pen is mightier than sword’, than her face should be on it. Some sections have pointed out that young children have died in Pakistan and indeed they keep on dying rather frequently in Baluchistan, FATA and other areas effected most by terrorism, so why such special focus on her? For such people I would say ‘Open your eyes. It is not every day that you can find a hero that has the potential to inspire thousands of others’

Unfortunately for her, she is the hero of a war which is least likely to be owned up by its own people who are supposed to defend themselves. She is the hero of a nation which has sunk its head in the sand and has not, even after these many years not made up its mind whether to even acknowledge the enemy. Can she grow beyond herself to change all that?

For her part, she has mostly done her job. When grown up leaders were questioning whether terrorist attacks on schools do actually exist or is it all some media propaganda, (you all know who you are) she was 11 year old girl facing all the situation herself and decided to speak up against all that herself through her pen and through her voice. One assumes she would have tried to do so by hand as well if she was old enough. Her story would make many grownups feel like a useless lot. I for one surely feel that way.

She showed valor when it all mattered. She was in the thick of the situation and yet she spoke up. Not from her drawing rooms in farm houses of Islamabad and Lahore. Even after the cowards threatened her she remained brave. There is nothing further that we can demand of her. Well perhaps we could ask her to kick our leaders in the nuts whenever she recovers. Perhaps that would help them realize that they may have them still. Will that throw in some senses? They sure do need a reminder. None have clearly spoken against the enemy even half bravely as her. Even Imran Khan clearly admitted it citing safety for his own workers as a concern. Many circles have criticized him for his statement, I would say at least he had this much courage to say these words, while there has been complete silence from other leaders and our National Assembly which has issued a mere redundant and bogus condemnation. If today also, we do not recognize this as our war than when will we?

The reasons given by TTP spokesman make one thing clear. This IS an ideological war and not reactionary. The terrorists are people who have their own mindset over how they want to see Pakistan through their closed mind. Anything other than that is against them and is a threat for them. No matter if she happens to be a 14 year old girl.

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