At the tender age of 11, Yousafzai started blogging under a pseudonym ("Diary of a Pakistani Schoolgirl", a blog for BBC Urdu), about human rights advocacy for education and for women in her native Swat Valley in northwest Pakistan, where the local Taliban made life miserable for just about everyone.
On the fateful afternoon of 9 October 2012, Yousafzai was seated in her school bus when a gunman asked for her by name, and brazenly fired 3 shots at point blank. One bullet entered the left side of Yousafzai's forehead, traversed through the length of her face, and embedded into her shoulder. She was rendered unconscious and was in critical condition for several days. When her condition improved sufficiently, she was flown to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, England, for intensive rehabilitation. The assassination attempt sparked a national and international outpouring of support for Yousafzai and made her "the most famous teenager in the world."
While our police are making life miserable for our own bloggers, it is unlikely they have martyrdom in mind. Bullets are expensive, and there's the pesky paperwork that needs to be filed. On the other hand, a Noble Prize winner from Singapore is mighty tempting.
The mainstream media are taking great pains to paint a softer picture of the Taliban tactics. We are told the goon squad called at the personal residence of one blogger to inform of an interview invite only "after she did not answer... telephone calls". And the interviewee was allowed change the officially appointed time to suit her busy calendar ".. and arrangements were made to accommodate her schedule." Best of all, she was provided with refreshments during the chit-chat. The snatch theft of her mobile phone and inexplicable confiscation of her notebook were not mentioned.
The unofficial version has it that the bang on the door came at midnight. The blogger arrived at the police station at 2pm on appointed day - the Friday Malala was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize - but was made to wait for half an hour before being grilled until 10pm. Presumably free Wifi was not available during the interminable wait. No food was given, and no permission was granted for a dinner break. They may have opened some window for free smoke, since the haze has been pretty bad these days.
It's the The Rashomon effect all over again, contradictory interpretations of the same event on a same day by different people. But you saw the video on the internet, you can make your own assessment about the phantom cancellation of an approved event. Jack Nicholson's Marine Colonel Jessup became a cultural icon for declaring on the witness stand that liberals “can't handle the truth.” Lots of other people can't either.