I want to meet my husband. This is my fundamental right. I asked for my freedom from court. Till now I haven’t got freedom. I don’t know if this (college) is going to be another prison, said Hadiya while speaking to press at Sivaraj Homeo Medical College in Salem, Tamil Nadu
CHENNAI — Kerala Muslim convert Hadiya, who was on Monday set free by the Supreme Court from her 6-month long detention at her parents’ house and was sent to a medical college in Tamil Nadu for resuming her studies has reiterated her wish to meet Shafin Jahan, the man she had married in December 2016. She even expressed apprehension if the College was going to be another prison for her after its principal was declared her ‘guardian’ by the SC.
Hadiya, 25, reached the Sivaraj Homeo Medical College in Salem district Tuesday evening from Delhi where she had appeared before the top court and sought freedom. After completing admission formalities, she talked to the press at the College and said: “I need the freedom to meet the person I love.” When asked by the SC who would be her guardian in Salem, she had named her husband Jahan but the court had rejected her plea saying husband cannot be the guardian of wife!
“I need freedom. I need the freedom to meet the person I love. I wanted to meet my husband, I asked for freedom from court. Till now I have not got freedom,” Hadiya, who was born into a Hindu family in Kerala but converted to Islam in 2013 was quoted as saying by NDTV at Salem.
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Hadiya’s marriage with Jahan was annulled by the Kerala High Court in May 2017, questioning the motive behind her conversion and wedding. She was sent to the custody of her parents in Kottayam district of the state. Jahan challenged the HC order in the top court which, on Monday, released Hadiya from her parents’ ‘custody’ but did not deal with the twin issues at the heart of the debate – her conversion and marriage. It is likely these aspects would be taken up in the next hearing scheduled for Jan 12.
In the backdrop of the initial comments of the college principal that he would not allow anyone except her parents to meet her, Hadiya has expressed fear that the college could turn out be another prison for her.
“I want to meet my husband. This is my fundamental right. I asked for my freedom from court. Till now I haven’t got freedom. I don’t know if this (college) is going to be another prison. The college doesn’t have clarity on court order. We’ve to wait for a few more days,” quoted Kerala Bureau Chief of NDTV Sneha Koshy who has been following the Hadiya case.
Earlier talking to Caravan Daily, Navaid Hamid, President, All India Muslim Majlis-e Mushawarat, had expressed similar fear. “What the SC did is just transfer of her custody from parents to an institution. She is still not free. It is just transfer of confinement of an independent citizen. It also gives an impression that she is still not a free citizen. She has been given limited freedom of leaving her parents’ house to resume of her studies in confinement of an institution,” he said.
Hamid also asked if a husband is not the guardian of wife, who is?
“It’s very strange that Hon’ble judges of the Supreme Court have questioned the guardianship of married women. If the husband is not the guardian of wife then who would be? In Indian society, it has always been regarded and considered that before marriage, the parents are guardian of children, particularly the daughters. It is the paramount duty of the parents, particularly father to discharge his responsibilities of guardianship to concerned daughters. But after marriage, every segment of Indian society considers that it is the paramount duty of a husband to act as a guardian of her wife,” said Hamid.