Pakistanis are finding it difficult to come to terms with a woke Malala Yousafzai who had made a big song and dance about the redundancy of marriage recently in an interview with Vogue but has just got married. The recipient of the political and controversial Nobel Peace Prize laureate announced her nikah in the United Kingdom last evening.
Not only Pakistani Muslims but also many Indians cutting across religious lines have dug out the Vogue interview, published earlier this year, about her cynical remark on marriages. Urdu users asked why she had borne a malāl (grudge or a sorry sentiment) for marriages.
Malala surprised everyone with the news of her marriage to Pakistan Cricket Board’s manager Asser Malik yesterday. Announcing her wedding to Malik on Twitter, Malala wrote, “Today marks a precious day in my life. Asser and I tied the knot to be partners for life. We celebrated a small nikkah ceremony at home in Birmingham with our families”.
Politically correct and expected wishes poured in for Malala and her husband for their new innings. The ‘wokest’ among state heads, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Emirati princess Sheikha Hend bint Faisal, Priyanka Chopra (who curiously gets asthmatic attacks only on every Diwali due to firecrackers while posing with cigarettes on other occasions) and Apple CEO Tim Cook have congratulated the young couple.
The detractors followed. People quoted this part of Malala’s Vogue interview: “I still don’t understand why people have to get married. If you want to have a person in your life, why do you have to sign marriage papers, why can’t it just be a partnership?”
Twitter users cast a shadow of confusion over her decision. They suggested that Malala was backtracking on her views.
To a large section of the news media, the reactions came across as people’s “existential crisis”. As though Malala were a demigoddess whose ideological somersault could not be questioned, they reminded the Twitterati that Malala had been awarded the “prestigious” Nobel Prize at the age of 17 and that she had graduated from Oxford. The second claim is a stretch; nevertheless, the media branded the disagreeing Twitterati as suffering from “major FoMo” (anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere — often aroused by posts seen on social media).
Meanwhile, Twitter user Jasir Shahbaz advised all’s cousins of Malala to “stay low” to not be overshadowed by their sister’s “achievements” in life.
There were Twitter users who were concerned that, given the influencer PR-supported Malala is, she might have affected many lives with that Vogue interview while she has now herself reneged on her commitment to stay single.
People quipped with gay abandon.
The couple had caught the eyeballs earlier this year during Malala’s birthday on 12 July when her now-husband Asser Malik posted their picture on Twitter, albeit with a “necessary cameo”.