Akhila was a hindu girl in Kerala. She converted to Islam while staying away from her family during her college studies. Her name post her conversion was Hadiya. Hadiya fell in love with a muslim boy and married him. Hadiya’s (Akhila’s) parents lodged a police complaint and moved Keral High Court. Court had no problem with Akhila’s conversion, but court annulled the marriage. Hadiya moved supreme court claiming she was made to stay at her parents place against her will.
Amid protests and petitions by right wing groups, Supreme Court of India had asked NIA, (National Investigating Agency), to investigate terror angle to Hadiya’s love story. NIA had suggested that there is a pattern to convesions. Meanwhile, Court has commented that one can marry a criminal, if he /she does it as an adult. Court has also asked Hadiya to present herself and narrate her side of the story.
Right wing hindu groups had claimed that Akhila was converted as per design called Love Jihad. According to Love Jihad theory, non muslim women are persuaded to convert to islam and marry muslim men. All this towards creation of a global islamic state. On a recent debate on NDTV, the concept of love jihad was ridiculed and trashed as offensive by anchor, Nidhi Razdan, and activists like Farah Naqvi and Sadia Dehlavi. Indeed, argument put forward by Farah Naqvi was much more rational and cogent, where she argued case of Hadiya was that of choice made by an adult woman, and her parents and courts have no business interfering in the matter.
Later, I came across another TV program on India Today TV channel hosted by Rajdeep Sardesai. I would tend to believe what was shown, because Rajdeep Sardesai is generally not a supporter of the Hindu right. Sting operation carried out by journalists of India Today group, confirmed assertion of Hindu right that a design exists to convert non muslims into islamic faith. An organisation called PFI (Peoples Front of India), aided by petro dollar, was engaged in such an activity. On India Today sting, it was shown that operatives were openly claiming conversion is one of their agenda. The activists claimed that their intention is to set up a global islamic state. It is also alleged that women are converted and taken to war zones of middle east to serve ISIS fighters. In this context, can we connect the dots between Hadiya’s conversion and her marriage to a muslim man? The man had expressed his intention to take Hadiya to middle east. Kerala High Court was not amused upon hearing the news of marriage. Many believe Hadiya case is one such case. NIA believes there is a distinct pattern in such conversions.
This brings to bigger question. Can society, and state decide whom an individual chooses as life partner? I think it is obnoxious and intrusive for anyone to interfere in another persons private life. If state has solid proof of criminality, they must do everything to stop the same. But state cannot decide who should marry whom. At the same time, one must consider if a person is marrying for love, why should one partner has to abandon his / her faith and convert? I think, both marriage and religious belief should be held private and sacrosanct as an individual’s personal choice. It seems there may be some truth to the assertions of Hindu right about designs of islamists.
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