Welcome home, Malala. You deserve every bit of warmth and happiness. Keep inspiring people and continue your relentless drive for girls’ education. Enjoy your stay, engage with people and have fun. Steer clear of the politically polarised environment and don’t engage in discussion with vicious conspiracy theorists and hate mongers. It just gives them currency. These people are the antithesis of everything you stand for — focus on the good you are doing and steer clear of the toxic lot. I have a hypothesis about this. Their latent extremism, so to speak, comes to the surface whenever these people see, hear or read a fellow compatriot who is refreshingly original (and not steadily stale), thinking, unrelenting, nonconformist, and noncompliant to their preconceived ideas and misjudgements. This fossilised and illiberal mindset of several in the so-called educated middle classes, and the upper-crust is a symptom of a larger malaise (decline) of society. It’s the result of petty opportunism, parochial attitudes, culturally and aesthetically detached pathologies, intellectually lumpenised existence, fundamentalism, and rapacious right-leaning ethos cultivated over many decades.A lethal mix which makes them find someone or something to hate or find some conspiracy theory to trumpet. It’s a sort of defence mechanism to cover their own inadequacies and failings. Published in Daily Times, March 31st2018.