So finally the courts and the investigation agencies agreed that the concept of “Love Jihad” exists and that this word is not a figment of imagination of a so called pervert mindsetted Hindu fundamentalist. This apprehension always existed, just that it could not be quantified for long due to the lack in will and determination of the past governments to scratch beyond the offerings of a lip service and lies.
Akhila Asokan alias Hadiya had married Jahan on December 19, 2016. Her father K M Asokan, an ex-serviceman, however approached the court alleging forceful conversion and that the marriage was an attempt to make her a part of the Islamic state. While Kerala High Court annulled the marriage, Jahan approached the Supreme Court challenging the HC verdict. The Supreme Court directed the NIA to probe into this case described by the Kerala High Court itself as ‘love jihad.’ The NIA also in its preliminary assessment has confirmed that “A pattern emerges from similar cases that have been reported from Kerala. In multiple cases, the persons who play a role in approaching young girls help them in conversion, give them shelter and get them married to Muslims, appear to be common. They seem to approach young girls who appear distressed because of disagreement with parents”.
Well we will slightly go beyond the main stream media’s rhetoric and investigate The Kerala Love Jihad as a case study to understand the concept and modus operandi of Love Jihad.
Akhila Asokan was studying as a Homeopathic doctor for BHMS course at an institution in Salem in Tamil Nadu State. She was staying in a rented house near the college together with 5 other students, which included 2 Muslim sisters. During their holidays Akhila frequently visited the house of these 2 sisters and various other institutions for religious indoctrination on Islam. Over a period of time of 2 to 3 years father Asokan K.M noticed a drastic change in the behavior of her daughter as she has turned reserved, introvert and too reluctant in participating in any of the routine rituals performed at home. She was continuing her internship which is when one fine day in the month of Jan 2016 she openly started wearing the hijab or the parda and got converted to Islam. She refused to accompany or visit or meet her parents in spite of their many efforts to talk to her.
Left with no option Asokan K.M filed a petition with the Kerala High Court division bench of Justice CK Abdul Rahim and Justice Shaji P Chaly, which was immediately dismissed on 25th Jan 2016 with the courts also saying that she is under no “illegal confinement”.
Akhila after conversion became Hadiya and eventually marries Shafin Jahan on 19th Dec 2016.
Earlier on 16th Aug 2016 Asokan K.M once again filed petition with the Kerala High Court under the bench of Justice Surendra Mohan and Justice Abraham Mathew which nullified the marriage and had the following detailed observation.
“The normal youth is indifferent towards religion and religious studies. Though the possibility of genuine interest in the study of religion on the part of any person cannot be ruled out, such inclination is in the first place out of the ordinary. Though the young girl (Akhila) in this case is stated to have set out to study Islam, her study has been confined to merely attending a course of two months duration … What is it that has compelled her to abandon her studies, her parents and her family and to embark upon a pursuit of religious studies? The question of faith and religion are matters of personal conviction and this court does not consider it necessary to interfere in such matters that are personal to Ms. Akhila. However, what concerns this Court is the decision of hers that she does not want to live with her parents. She has no idea as to what she wants in life. She appears to be under the control of someone else. It is evident that she has been indoctrinated and influenced by persons whose identities have not been ascertained. An attempt is made in these proceedings to give an impression that all the other players involved have acted only on the request of Ms. Akhila. Such a story is unbelievable”.
The court further goes on with its observation on the marriage of Akhila to Shafin Jahan “He is a leader of the SDPI, a party linked to banned SIMI and also accused in a criminal case. No prudent parent would decide to get his daughter married to a person accused in a criminal case. This is for the reason that, the possibility of such a person getting convicted and being sent to jail cannot be ruled out. It is clear that Sri. Shafin Jahan is only a stooge who has been assigned to play the role of going through a marriage ceremony. The alleged marriage is only a sham and is of no consequence. We further take note of the fact that Sri.Shafin Jahan’s mother is already in the Gulf. He was also working in the Gulf and is desirous of going back. Therefore, left to him, he would have transported Ms.Akhila out of the country. Ms.Akhila is the only child of her parents. There are no other persons in this world, who would consider the welfare and wellbeing of their daughter to be of paramount importance than her parents. The forces operating from behind the curtains have succeeded in creating hostility in the mind of Ms. Akhila towards her parent.”
The court finally orders the custody of Akhila to her parents and also orders a full-fledged investigation in the matter.
Kerala Love Jihad is the same matter being currently contested in Supreme Court with Lutyen based lawyers like Indira Jaisingh and Congress party leader Kapil Sibal fighting for Shafin Jahan against the high court’s observation on Love Jihad.
In June 2010, then Kerala CM Oommen Chandy had informed the state legislator in a written reply that between 2009 and 2012, 2667 young women were converted to Islam in the state, of which 2195 were Hindus and 492 were Christians. Chandy furnished this info in response to a question raised by K.K Latika, a CPM MLA. Chandy further adds that as against this number of young women converted during 2009-12 to Christianity was 79 and only 2 were converted to Hinduism.
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