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HomeEditorial“Till now I did not get freedom” - Hadiya

“Till now I did not get freedom” – Hadiya

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Look at the irony, in the largest democracy, an Indian adult citizen asking for her own freedom and permission to make her choices. She is just asking for her fundamental rights. Kerala woman Hadiya, admitted to a college in Tamil Nadu after being freed from her parent’s custody on the orders of the Supreme Court, says she doesn’t have the freedom to meet her husband Shafin Jahan. Her parents have told the Supreme Court that she was brainwashed and forced to convert to Islam by a man who wants to recruit her for terror.

This is essentially an issue between a parent who refuses to recognise the decisions of his adult daughter and a daughter who refuses to see what her parents expect from her. Now, she is at the centre of the ‘Love Jihad’ controversy, appeared before the Supreme Court. She still maintained that she wants to be with her husband Shafin Jahan and had married him out of her own will and not compulsion. Her parents are keeping her hostage for years but now she wants her freedom to leave them and be with her soul mate.

God knows why so much fuss on this marriage, just because Kerala is a place where leftists and right-wingers always had blood sucking rivalry, they hate each other so much so that they resort to killing each other. By all means, BJP is trying to come to power in the state and communal card is their biggest weapon even since. Media, judiciary authorities and governments each and every one running after one topic to prove how a girl is nabbed and forced to change her religion, gave so many plugs. This is a clear case of inter-religion marriage, and the bride’s parents are unable to digest it, so trying to give it communal/terrorist angle.

BJP is trying to invoke nationalism and attempting to score brownie points and divert attention of Indians from their failures in last 3.5 years! Both Delhi and Kerala Police are providing security to Hadiya. She has also been asked to not speak to the media. Delhi’s Kerala House has turned into a fortress after the new guest checked in. An entire floor has been blocked for Hadiya, and 2-3 rooms have been booked for her and her family to stay. Delhi Police are also on alert for additional security.

Hope now this case is no more a case of love jihad, the “victim” herself has testified. Why are we wasting time on such issues, is one lady making a big story and big impact to India? Ignore and move to some major issues of India such as farmers, employment. It’s a shame to waste time of 1.25 billion Indians, that could be more productive and progressive. What kind of country we are living in where a grownup adult has to go through so many traumas. Since BJP came to power the religious issues are soared.

Before taking a flight to Delhi, Hadiya shouted to reporters at the Kochi airport, “I have not been forcefully converted… I have not been forcefully married to Shafin Jahan. I married him out of my own will and I want to live with my husband.” Her father KM Asokan has argued in court that she “does not have an independent mind” and is brainwashed and heavily indoctrinated, which indicates that her testimony cannot be relied upon.

Born as Akhila Ashokan, Hadiya was in college when she met Shafin Jahan, 26, who had returned from Oman, through an Islamist matrimonial website. The National Investigation Agency alleges that Shafin has links to a terror group. Hadiya’s father contested the marriage and alleged that Shafin Jahan was trying to recruit her for terror and take her to Syria. On his petition, the marriage was cancelled in May by the Kerala High Court, which ordered Hadiya to return to her family. Since then, she has been living at her father’s home in Kottayam and has been allowed no contact with outsiders without her father’s approval.

Shafin Jahan challenged the annulment in the Supreme Court, which said it wants to hear her version. Last month, the top court had said Hadiya’s consent, as an adult is “prime”. Shafin Jahan says that Hadiya stayed with him for only 48 hours before her father went to the police. He has filed a complaint with the police, claiming her parents have been trying to convert her back to Hinduism. Earlier this month, a team of the National Commission of Women visited Hadiya in her father’s house and declared her “happy and safe”. The team’s visit followed activist Rahul Easwar sharing a video in which she accused her father of physically abusing her. The National Investigation Agency, the country’s top anti-terror body, recently questioned Hadiya’s husband for six hours. The agency is inquiring into 89 marriages in Kerala.

Hadiya appeared before the Supreme Court and presented her side of the argument on her alleged forced conversion to Islam. Supreme Court told the court that she wants her ‘freedom’. She wanted to go with her husband Shafin Jahan. SC directed college and university concerned to re-admit Hadiya and grant her hostel facility. The apex court also appointed dean of Salem-based homoeopathic college as Hadiya’s guardian, and granted him liberty to approach it in case of any problem. The Supreme Court also ordered the college administration to treat Hadiya like any other student and as per hostel rules, but remained silent on whether Shafin Jehan or her parents would be allowed to meet her while she completes her studies. The next hearing in the case will be held in the third week of January. Until then, we all have to wait; but one good thing happened that the girl is allowed to get out of hostage.

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Vaidehi Taman
Vaidehi Taman
Vaidehi Taman an Accredited Journalist from Maharashtra is bestowed with three Honourary Doctorate in Journalism. Vaidehi has been an active journalist for the past 21 years, and is also the founding editor of an English daily tabloid – Afternoon Voice, a Marathi web portal – Mumbai Manoos, and The Democracy digital video news portal is her brain child. Vaidehi has three books in her name, "Sikhism vs Sickism", "Life Beyond Complications" and "Vedanti". She is an EC Council Certified Ethical Hacker, OSCP offensive securities, Certified Security Analyst and Licensed Penetration Tester that caters to her freelance jobs.
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