I am Malala is the autobiography of Malala, one of the bravest and virtuous person of the century. She is the champion of the campaign for education to one and all and was also awarded with the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize in 2014. It was an honour to read the story of this fearless woman who instills a feeling of courage and pride.
Like many even I came to know about Malala after she has been shot in the head by Talibans in October 2012. It was the heights of barbarism by Talibs and incompetence of the Pakistan government. Her story reveals the naked truth about the Taliban and Pakistan government. And if you believe me she didn’t care to mince words. She wrote what she felt.
Malala loves her country and fellow citizens and fondly remembers Swat and its natural beauty throughout the book. In order to prove her loyalty towards her country, she didn’t overlook the weird and outdated customs and norms of her society, radicalism and fundamentalist extremism. She was blunt in pointing out corruption and hypocrisy of the Pakistan government.
She also recalls in details how slowly and gradually Taliban took control on the minds of people, then on the territory and before people could realize Swat came under the despotic rule of Taliban’s who in the name of Islam were killed and moral policing around. All this while Pakistan government was a mere indifferent spectator.
Apart from the Taliban, she also writes about Pakistan’s role in America’s fight against terrorism. What Malala wrote is similar to popular belief that the Taliban is the creation of Pakistan supported financially by America. When America declared war against Talibans in Afghanistan after the 9/11 attack in World Trade Center, Pakistan was a reluctant supporter.
Her memoir also give details of the condition and position of women in Pakistan right from the birth of the nation. Well, it was not very good and like in India, in Pakistan also a baby girl was not celebrated. The position of the women become worse to intolerable under the control of Taliban who even went on to close the girl schools in Swat and all the unthinkable restrictions were put on women in Swat.
It was heart rendering to read the entire episode of Talib shooting her, hospitalisation, operation, air lifting her to Birmingham and her gradual recovery. She had been vivid in describing and wrote in simple language about the process of treatment and what was she feeling throughout her stay in hospital.
She was against the radicalization of Islam and always gave a liberal interpretation of Islam, which is all about love and peace. According to her Islam abhors killing in the name of religion and stands for equality to all. I was really touched when she quotes her father saying,” My religion cannot be that weak to not bear any book against it”. It was said when Salman Rushdie radically interpreted Islam in his book The Satanic Verses.
Malala had been thankful to God and Parents throughout the book. In fact the book seems to be a tribute to her father. Her opinions and thinking is inspired by his thinking and no doubt Malala’s father is an incredible man. I was having a creepy feeling while reading the book that such a progressive thinking man’s life was always in danger because it was not incoherent with the selfish interest of few extreme violent radicals.
Like in her speeches, in her autobiography as well, Malala was vocal about female education. She was very correct when she said that the value of education was only understood when they were deprived of it. Her story is an inspiration for all the women specially we Indian Women whose condition are much better than the counterparts in neighboring countries like Pakistan and Afghanistan, where women suffer intolerable treatment from the hands of man, family, society and country as a whole.
The book is written in easy going language so everyone could easily understand. The book has been written in the similar tone in which Malala has given her speeches and interview.
One Malala is not enough to eradicate illiteracy from the developing and underdeveloped countries. There is a need of one Malala in every family who make sure every child in her family is receiving education. But crusade has been started by Malala and her father and people will keep joining in the journey.
Malala’s story is indeed inspiring. In fact, I sincerely believe children of our country should read this book who just throw away opportunities which are luxury for someone who has been deprived of it.