A fifteen year old girl , Malala Yusafzai hailing from Mingora in Swat Valley of North Eastern Pakistan stood like a rock for establishing her right to education. Groomed by her father Ziauddin Yousafzai, a progressive poet running a school, from her little age. Yousafzai is the name of the tribal federation who inhabit that area from time immemorial.
Malala was very particular in pursuing her study and wanted to become a doctor by profession. Due to the oppressive dogmatic prescriptions, she was made to change her goal and aspired to become a politician to ensure education for all the women in muslim community. What hinders women from getting educated? It is ‘religion’.
Religion still remains as an obstacle to the thought process of humans. In many parts of the world, religious fundamentalism continues as stumbling block for the overall development, particularly education.
The religious fundamentalist group Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) openly proscribes education to muslim women . Muslim women should not go to schools; they should not be allowed to go out; they should not watch TV programmes. What an uncivilized approach advocated by the religious fundamentalist group!
The progressive minded father of Malala encouraged her to write to BBC Urdu which made her popular in the cause of women education. It started when she was hardly 11 years. Then she was made to address at Press Club in Peshawar for the cause of women education. “How dare the Taliban take away my basic right to education ?”- thus roared Malala.
The Talban outfit closed all the girl’s school in her area and even in co-education school , girl students were not allowed to attend. The Pakistan Government machinery is also refraining to act against the retrograde steps emphasized by the Taliban. In October 2012, Malala along with other girls were allowed to appear only for the examination and while returning from the school, Malala was attacked with gun-shot by Taliban by identifying among the girls’ gathering, who Malala was .
The Taliban considered ‘ Yousafzai ’ as the symbol of infidels and obscenity. The Taliban attack made the life of Malala miserable, physically. She almost went near death bed. From the level of coma stage , now she is able to stand on her foot with preliminary treatment in Pakistan and then in Germany and ultimately in United Kingdom and she has been recovering.
A lot of awakening has been created on knowing the attack made on Malala by the religious fundamentalist group. In fact a Movement by name, ‘I am Malala’ has been commenced with the support of UNICEF for the cause of education especially women education.
The courage and commitment shown by the young girl, Malala and the encouragement given by her father is laudable. Our societies need more and more Malalas because of their clarity and boldness to defeat the evils effects of anti-social Talibanisation.
Islamic girls are given social injunction by the religious fundamentalists. The fundamentalists are none other but fanatics of religious opiation. They are our modern edition of ‘Manudharmists’ – Brahmins of Sanata religion – i.e. Brahminical religion.
Manu Dharma denies the right of education to the toilers and tillers however much they belong to this soil. Manu Dharma clearly proclaims that learning (education) is the prime privilege of the Brahmins, who are born from the ‘God of Creation’ i.e. Brahma, One of the trinities.
If any low caste person say, fourth caste Shudra or fifth caste Panchama or Woman tries to learn or study, their tongue must be cut and molten lead must be poured in their ears! These are the cruel prescriptions founded in Manu Smiruti .How cruel is human social injunction which has been prevailing for thousands and thousands of years, unquestioned.
It was Periyar’s Self-Respect Movement a non political social movement which questioned it and opened the doors of the education to the depressed and the down-trodden who were denied these educational opportunities The counterparts of indigenous Brahminical force are the Talibans who want to put the clock back and make us go back to the primitive ancient uncivilized stages.
Malala was bold enough to face the wrath of those reactions of anti-human clique of the out-dated anti- women mentor attitudes if not aberration!
We salute the undaunted young champion of women’s education, Malala!
We, the humanists appreciate and applaud her attempt to fight against religious fundamentalism. Very rightly the progressive, pro-human, and empathetic nations have come forward to rush up all medical help and save her life.
Unless and until we raise our voice against the blind preaching of fundamentalists , our society will not have the right to call it civilized .