How do different judges give completely different contradictory judgments on exactly same matter is a mystery better unsolved. Because if we do solve it, a can of worms will be opened.
In a new judgment the Kerala High Court ruled that an adult woman has complete right to choice, she may chose anybody whether a criminal or someone from different religion, language, caste – the parents cannot object to it. It is wishful thinking that parents can exercise control over adult children.
In contrast to this, another bench of the same High Court not only annulled the marriage of Hadiya and Shafin, merely because her father filed a petition raising the bogey of Love Jihad, the Court also officially granted ‘custody’ of Akhila to her father.
How does Court grants custody of an adult woman? Akhila (now Hadiya) is 24 year old. The other girl is 19 year old.
I have previously written about Hadiya and Shafin’s case which is now in Supreme Court and the Apex court most surprisingly, instead of quashing HC order, have actually asked NIA (National Investigative Agency) to investigate into the Love Jihad angle in Hadiya’s marriage. What is love jiahd? An idea that ‘charming’ Muslim men deliberately make false promise of love and marriage to convert Hindu women to Islam. The organization which is supposed to investigate terrorism, will now investigate truth of such false love and promises – matters of heart. Pettiness has a new low.
If only there was a real way to ever investigate a boyfriend’s love and promises, this world would have no woman with a broken heart. But it seems NIA will find out if Shafin truly loved Hadiya or not. I am thinking, I should send my boyfriend’s number to NIA, I am curious too about the truth of his confession of love and the 10,000 promises he made.
People fall in love, make mistakes, get their heart broken. Let them. Its their life. They are adults and have complete right to make their choices, good or bad. Parents have no right to control. Good parenting is not about controlling children’s choice in name of protection, it is about being their to support them, in case they seek a way out of the marriage or relationship.
No need to protect the woman by restricting her rights and life choices. Let her go ahead in life and make her own mistakes and learn from them if at all. Be there to catch her if she falls, but don’t stop her from walking itself because she may fall. Thank you very much women don’t need that kind of protection.
Love marriages fail all the time, but most of the time women who rebelled against parents to opt for a love marriage cannot come back to them for support in case their husbands turn abusive or something. Now that is sad. One would be a selfish parents if at that time you hold a grudge and turn her away saying, “We told you so.”
The issue of Love Jihad and inter faith marriages have become a nationalist issue, pitting Hindus vs. Muslims, but it really is about women’s right to choice and autonomy. We must stick to that angle of these cases. In my article I have not even gone to the question of Hindu-Muslim, nowhere I said HC is wrong in giving legitimacy to Love Jihad. Assuming Love Jihad is real, my point is, howsoever odd or dangerous it may seem for an adult woman to pursue whatever faith or religion she pursues for whatever reason, the court or her father or anybody have no right to say anything unless she has committed a crime or she is declared insane by doctors.
More reading on this:
A comprehensive summary by Kavita Krishnan
A summary of the case on News Minute by Megha Varier