NEW DELHI — Remember Hadiya? The girl, a medical student from Kerela who made it to the newspapers’ headlines for having loved and married a man of another faith, is now Dr Hadiya Asokan.
The 26-year-old became a household name and a subject of both national and international discussion, when she appeared before the apex court, demanding for her right to choice of religion and desire to live with the man of her choice Shafin Jahan, whom she had met while pursuing her medical course.
Refusing to give in to the bogey of love-jihad conjured by her father and the saffron brigade, Hadiya had to fight both a legal and emotional battle to be able to live as per her choice.
Almost a year after the Supreme Court verdict which made it possible for the couple to cohabit, her husband, took on to Facebook to post a congratulatory note to announce Hadiya’s achievement.
A jubilant Jahan wrote, “This shining victory is an outstanding achievement because it comes at the end of countless prayers, relentless struggles of separation and imprisonment, love, patience and so on.”
He even attached a picture of Hadiya wearing a doctor’s coat with a stethoscope around her neck. As he wrote the emotional congratulatory note, he chose to address her as ‘Dr Hadiya Asokan’
Hadiya, earlier Akhila Asokan, was born into a Hindu family in Vaikkom, in Kerela’s Kottayam district. Hadiya, much to her father’s dislike, during her college days in Salem, had converted to Islam. Her father had even alleged that the conversion was illegal and forced.
However, when Hadiya in December 2016 chose to marry, her father approached the Kerela High Court, requesting for the marriage to be annulled. He mentioned before the court that Jahan was just a stooge and that Hadiya had been brainwashed for the marriage only to be sent across to Syria, where she would be made to join the ISIS.
Despite, Hadiya, refuting the claims made by her father, the Kerela HC initially not convinced about the marriage sent her to a ladies hostel in Ernakulam. In May 2017, Kerela HC annulled her marriage and sent her to father’s custody, who kept her confined in her home till November 2017.
But, the girl chose not to give up and approached the Apex court, which on November 27, 2017, allowed her to complete her medical course. Later in 2018, the Supreme Court of India upheld Hadiya’s marriage.