Home Indian Muslim Kerala girl Hadiya becomes Dr Hadiya Asokan

Kerala girl Hadiya becomes Dr Hadiya Asokan

By Najiya O, TwoCircles.net

After a lifetime of trials, imprisonment, prayers, and patience, Hadiya is now Dr. Hadiya Asokan (BHMS).  A sweet victory for the 26-year old Kerala girl who made her own choices and traveled to the appellate court to live as per her convictions.  Hadiya’s husband Shafin Jahan posted a congratulatory note on his Facebook page announcing her achievement.
Hadiya came to the limelight in the national and even international levels by her conversion to Islam, marriage and subsequent incidents.

Akhila, the only daughter of Asokan and Ponnamma of Vaikkom (Kottayam district), got attracted to Islam while studying homeopathic medicine at a college in Salem, Tamil Nadu, and converted to the religion in 2016 January.  When she did not come back to her home, father Asokan moved a habeas corpus petition at the Kerala High Court and there began her life of visiting courts.  Akhila presented herself at the High Court on January 19 with her mentor AS Zainaba and the Court allowed her to stay with the latter and attend the Islamic course for new converts at the institution named Sathya Sarani in Malappuram.

She then changed her name to Hadiya and, with the help of Zainaba, began searching for a groom registering her name in a matrimony website.  On knowing this, Asokan filed a writ petition at the High Court expressing his fears that his daughter may be taken out of the country.  Hadiya was presented before the court on August 22, which then sent her to a hostel for a short stay before sending her again with Zainaba at the next sitting in September 2016.

Shafin Jahan, basically from Kollam and working in Oman, met Hadiya on the matrimony website and married her on December 19, 2016, at Zainaba’s house in Malappuram.  On December 21, two days after the wedding, Hadiya went to the Court with Shafin Jahan and the Court refused to let her go with him, instead sent her to the hostel and instructed Shafin not to have any contact with her at all.  And on May 24, 2017, the High Court nullified their marriage and ordered a probe.  Hadiya was sent with her parents and put under police surveillance, thus beginning her house arrest which lasted for six months, during which time she was allegedly tortured and allowed to be visited by only a select few who tried to re-convert her.

In August 2017, Shafin Jahan approached the Supreme Court against the HC order and the SC ordered an NIA probe into the matter including the religious conversion.  The Court later allowed Hadiya to return to the college and continue her education.  In all this time, 24-year old Hadiya was not made a party to the proceedings.  At last, she was included when the Court considered the case in January 2018, and the Court refused to investigate the marriage looking into the character of the person she chose, terming it would set a bad precedent.  Hadiya got a say in the case deciding her own fate.  The marriage was restored by the appellate Court on March 8, 2018.

The Hadiya case brought out several discussions and discourses as well as new revelations in the state.  While some termed this as a case of love-jihad, some media persons revealed the existence of ‘Ghar vapasi’ centres in the state where Hindu women who either converted to other religions or married/were in relationships with men of other religions were tortured and forced to re-convert.  A few female activists who tried to visit Hadiya at her home during her stay there were attacked and sent back.  Many who tried to visit her were not allowed while state BJP leader Kummanam Rajasekharan and others had an easy entry.

Recently, Hadiya’s father Asokan, who was known to be an atheist, joined the BJP.