A tale of two women

Why the world rallies behind one and ignores the other.
A tale of two women
File Photo

Malala Yusufzai is a short hand for courage. Hers is a tale of pain, struggle, triumph and all that could be added to laud her. If the West is projecting the girl as a peace brand against (what they call) `Muslim terror', that shouldn't make us ignore the truth she stands for. The truth one part of which is chilling and the other inspiring. What pains is how the same `upholders of peace' continue to murder humanity with utter disregard for human values. Islam being used or misused as a medium of terror is a separate chapter which we need to explain more than they need to account for.  

Put Malala on pause and meet Aafia. Aafia Siddiqui – a Pakistani neuroscientist, mother of three sons, who was punished first, tried later. Read how her trial and conviction was finished fast to sentence her sooner the better. All other independent investigations reveal a story conclusively different from the one the one America scripted against her. Her story is equally shocking or perhaps more shocking than Malala's. Her account will move even beasts to tears. Malala survived a terror which has no face. Aafia's terrorists are `respectable'. They have a face which is `humanistic, democratic and peace-loving'. The way she was picked up, jailed, abused and enforced to a third degree torture is beyond description. Aafia story, unlike Malala story, does not fit in the `peace paradigm' marketed across the globe. Between the two models of survival why the world rallies behind one and ignores the other? Sure, the nature of both the cases is practically different but was Aafia given a fair trail?  Musharraf gifted Aafia to America partly to save his country and partly to retain his `good guy' image. March 30, 2003 she was handed to FBI along-with her children and August 5, 2008 she was presented in The New York court and since then Aafia is rotting in the jail. Except some occasional murmurs in civil rights circles nothing is heard about her. No matter whether the evidence against her was sufficient or insufficient, she has been subjected to the most inhuman treatment. (No one knows whether she is dead or breathing). The human rights, more-so women rights activists who lose sleep if lesbians are denied their right to enjoy have no time to raise voice against this brutalisation of humanity which Aafia is an example of. No one bothers to protest for her rights even as a prisoner. Recall Raymond Allen Davis, a US Army soldier, who was accused of killing two persons in Lahore. Since he enjoyed (what in the lexicon of power is called) `diplomatic immunity', so even this `double murder' accusation was not enough to try him – and if proved guilty bring him to the book. Paying blood money to the killed finished the story for Davis. But sentencing Aafia for 86 years imprisonment and torture is a case unchallengeable and non-negotiable. 

Keep Aafia in mind and read Malala again. Garlanding a girl for promoting peace makes the meanest, the cheapest and the most despicable form of hypocrisy and blind power. Such language of force needs no translation. It's brute, naked and violent. `We do what we want to do'. 


Two more tales of terror. When Taliban kills children at Peshawar, world shakes. When America bombs children at Kunduz madrasa, world watches.

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