Children should not be put on a stage to talk about issues they do not fully comprehend. They can't be used. Even if they think they are in control, they are not.
I never again spoke from a script written by someone else. I never believed any narrative again.
Fast-forward 9 years and I make a speech in the heart of Islamic university of Kashmir in Srinagar. It's a national debating thing. Most teams are from other Islamic universities of India. My speech is totally against the majority opinion. Complete silence falls in the hall. I am taking on radicalization and challenging every one of the 5,000-7,000 students presentmost, if not all of them, Muslim. I am a Hindu telling them they are wrong.
Later that day when the results are announced I do not win anything.
The jury completely ignored me. And then the hall erupted. The students got on their feet and shouted, "Shame! Shame!" There was a complete ruckus. It took me and the jurors some time to understand what that was all about. Instead of lynching me, students were asking for me to be recognized.
A half-hour of complete confusion and chaos ensued. And then the head of the jury announced a "special prize" equivalent of the first prize for me.
I could do that. I was 19. I knew what I was doing. Greta Thunberg should finish school and then return to the stage as an adult. Meanwhile, her parents should be held to account for this.