New Delhi: Hadiya's is not a case of love jihad, asserted activist Rahul Eashwar today, welcoming the Supreme Court's order that the Kerala woman, whose marriage was annulled by the High Court, appear before judges next month and give testimony in open court.
When Hadiya, 24, who was Akhila Ashokan before she converted to Islam a few years ago, married a Muslim man named Shafin Jehan, her father appealed against the marriage in court alleging that it was a case of "love jihad," and part of a recruitment exercise by terror group ISIS.
In May, the Kerala High Court annulled Hadiya's marriage and ordered her to return to live with her parents. Her husband has appealed against the annulment as well as the sanction given by the Supreme Court to the anti-terror National Investigating Agency to probe if the marriage is part of "love jihad," in which vulnerable Hindu women are allegedly lured by Muslim men who are agents of terrorist groups.
"Kerala definitely has so many cases of forced conversions. But every case cannot be treated as the same. Hadiya converted first and married a year an a half later. So this is not a case of love jihad," said Rahul Eashwar, who met Hadiya or Akhila and her parents in August when he visited their home in Kottayam district.
The activist has since released several videos of Hadiya, who said in the latest one released last week, "Get me out of here. Today or tomorrow, I am going to die. I am sure about this. My father is getting angry, I can make out. He pushes me."
Mr Eashwar described himself as a "Hindu right leaning person," whose "empathy is totally with Hadiya's parent". But, he said, "The Constitution gives Hadiya certain rights which cannot be negotiated".
He said he will submit his recordings to the Supreme Court.
"There are many extremists painting India and the Supreme Court as anti-Muslim. It is our responsibility to make sure that the argument doesn't get oxygen and fuel," he said, adding, "Hope on Novemeber 27 the Supreme Court will listen to her directly.
The top court said today that as Hadiya is 24, her consent as an adult is "prime" and so her version of how and why she married a Muslim man in Kerala last year will be heard on November 27. Her testimony next month will be made in open court, judges said today, which means the hearing can be attended by the public.