Should Society Dictate Personal Choice

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.

References

1. From Akhila to Hadiya: What exactly is the Kerala ‘Love Jihad’ case all …

2. Is ‘Love Jihad’ just a political campaign

3. Operation Jihad Mafia: Kerala’s conversion factories unmasked : India …

4. Kerala Love Jihad: India Today Exposes Zainaba And Popular Front …

13 thoughts on “Should Society Dictate Personal Choice

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  1. Love Jihad..a political gimmick I would say. A person has the right to choose who he or she should marry. It is a personal choice, though I do wonder why one would convert ? Why can’t both the people involved respect the other’s religion ? I feel when you love someone you accept them the way they are and there should be no need to change them..

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    1. I agree marriage is personal choice. But it may be premature to reject love jehad. Please look at sting operation video. I think two people if marrying for love, their religion should not matter.

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  2. A very good read …It is interesting to know that people can coin words like “love Jihad”. Jihad has several meaning, while the more populist ones are related to war in the name of Islam by Islamist, the real Arabic meaning is struggle/strife with oneself. So it would mean “love with ones struggle” which doesn’t make any sense. The question is why was this not happening earlier in the last seventy years or even before independence, but only during the his holiness “Modiji” rule in the present BJP government in the center and not to forget populist communist government in the state.
    Makes me think is this a classic example of “DIVIDE AND RULE” policy?

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    1. Thank you for reading. We do not know if this was happening earlier or not. TV sting has revealed something is going on. I would not discount everything as Modi agenda. Why does anyone has to get out of his or her faith to get married?

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  3. Your post is the need of the hour. I don’t think anyone, parents included, should decide for two people in love whether they want to be together or not. Religion and choice don’t go hand in hand. They are both personal.

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    1. Thank you for reading. I also think one need not convert to get married. Conversion should happen only when a person is genuinely interested in a belief system.

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  4. I agree that state should not have any say in who an individual marries. At the same time, like you, I also tend to think that there may be some truth in the love jihad concept. Not every case may be that but then it may not even be easy to figure out which ones are.

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    1. True. Not everyone is clean. I think a modern state should infiltrate and catch people with wrong inclination. Stopping people from marrying does not help. At certain age, people may do what others tell them not to.

      Liked by 1 person

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