NEW DELHI—Youngest Nobel Prize winner Malala Yusafzai has called for protection of minorities whether it be Pakistan or India and the right to protest.
She made the statement in her virtual address to Jaipur Literary Festival (JLF)-2021 on February 28. Though Malala is known to have embarrassed Indian government by her comments when the Government of India abrogated Article 370 and withdrew special status of erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir, she was invited to JLF by left-leaning historian William Dalrymple, Festival Director of JLF-2021.
While calling for protection of minorities, she said that the issue was not related to religion but to “exploitation of power”. She urged that the issue needed to be taken seriously.
Stating that the minorities were at risk all over the globe and their rights were not given to them, she said, “Be it Hindus and Christians in Pakistan, Muslims, Dalits and other minorities in India… Palestinians, Rohingya refugees. It is not religion, it is the exploitation of power, it is just elites vs the poor and minorities”.
“Minorities need protection globally from every country. They need a voice, need protection, and it is a reminder to governments, to human rights organisations to take this very seriously,” news agency PTI quoted the youngest Nobel Peace Prize winner having said at the function.
She said that it was her dream to see India and Pakistan to be “true good friends”.
Criticising the internet shutdown and arrest of “peacefully protesting” activists in India, she said, it was “worrying”.
A Pakistani, Malala was shot at by Taliban in Pakistan in October 2012 for advocating girls’ education in her country.
Among 300 big names who spoke at this year’s festival included American linguist Noam Chomsky, 2020 Booker Prize winner Douglas Stuart, Nobel Laureates Joseph Stiglitz, Microsoft Corporation co-founder Bill Gates, and actor-author Priyanka Chopra.