Make your report on the human rights violations in the Hadiya case public: AIPWA to the Kerala State Women’s Commission

[This is the text of the open letter to M C Josephine, Chairperson, KSWC, from Kavita Krishnan, Secretary, All-India Progressive Women’s Association]


Ms M. C. Josephine


Kerala Women’s Commission

Dear Ms Josephine,

This is with reference to the case of Ms. Hadiya, which has caused deep concern among women’s groups, as well as concerned citizens.

We believe that you will approach the Honourable Supreme Court with a report you have prepared on the human rights violations possibly faced by Ms Hadiya. We applaud your efforts in seeking permission to meet her, and in preparing the report. However, we believe that given the fact that the young woman is under house arrest in her own family home, that the country is watching how a person’s fundamental rights have been violated on the instance of the Honourable High Court, the Women’s Commission could play a more decisive role in making the report public as well.

Also, even as we hold your office in the highest regard, we would like to express some concern regarding the views expressed by you on the matter of conversion. You have stated that you would prefer to refer to her as Hadiya Akhila, and that it was important that young women not undergo religious conversion for marriage. In light of the recent judgement by the nine-judge bench of the Supreme Court, which has affirmed that privacy is a fundamental right, we reiterate that faith, as well as the choice of one’s name as well as partner are indeed private matters protected by the Constitution. In Hadiya’s case, she converted well before her marriage, and chose the name Hadiya. We feel that the message needs to be carried to the public that choice in matters related to faith and matrimony are private matters.

While it may be that changing names, embracing the religion of the husband, living with the husband’s family may indeed be patriarchal practices, but that we need to acknowledge that many women indeed choose to follow them and that their decisions should be respected. Thousands of women move to their marital homes and change their names each year. You will agree that we do recognise them by their new names and addresses. I am sure you recognize that many women who use the surnames of their husbands after marriage, are also respected as leaders of progressive movements and women’s movements, and are not judged for the same.

We urge you to make the report on the human rights violations of Hadiya public, so that such human rights violations will not remain a private matter.


Kavita Krishnan,

Secretary, All India Progressive Women’s Association, (AIPWA)

Ph: 9560756628





5 thoughts on “Make your report on the human rights violations in the Hadiya case public: AIPWA to the Kerala State Women’s Commission”

  1. Very important that KWC document on violation of human rights of Hadiya is to be made public, though the annulment order by Kerala HC of Hadiya’s marriage has just been reportedly disapproved by the Supreme Court and thus Hadiya’s house arrest may end immediately.


  2. Kerala women’s commission should not only make the report public but as a frontal feminist organisation must also protest against the patriarchal and male chauvinist attitude of ruling left parties. It should make its stand clear and stand by Hadiya and her fundamental right of life and liberty. KWC should strive for her complete freedom


  3. The highest court of the land is examining the issue. So it is better to wait for its verdict than appealing to CM of Kerala and others. They are bound by the orders of the Supreme Court,
    The other side of the issue being investigated by NIA cannot be ignored. Right to convert is not a fundamental right under Indian law. Let us keep that in mind. Invoking the judgement in the privacy case is necessary but not sufficient as this case has many other dimensions. Campaigning as if there is only dimension to this issue will create an impression that left and progressive parties are taking a biased view in the whole issue. They should take a neutral position.


    1. No, that the state government can do nothing is a misconception spread by the com apparatchiks and the sanghi gang. The government can make sure the woman is safe and keep her rights protected. They are not doing that. The NIA investigation is problematic in every way, and kerala has no anti conversion laws. There is an excellent case against such laws in the present context of hindutva majoritarian rule too. The left parties are indeed biased towards hindutva, sorry to disappoint you.


      1. Certainly ,the Left Democratic Front Govt of Kerala shouldn’t and can’t look the other way, when an adult woman’s constitutional right to choose a faith other than the one in which she was brought up and the right to marry against the wishes of her parents seriously face the threat of being forcibly taken away by virtual khap systems.
        Nevertheless, it might not be out of place to cite an example which shows the attitude so far from the govt of Kerala is neither supportive of Hadiya’s assertion of choices as an adult nor basically much different from that of the Hindutva forces who raise the bogey of love jihad with each conversion or inter religious affair of love . In a press meet convened by a group of women activists in order to explain how they were booked for unlawful assembly by Kerala police after being chased away by a group of RSS supporters in their unsuccessful attempt to meet and talk with Hadiya , a media person from Janam TV (a pro- BJP channel ) repeatedly tried to heckle them asking whether they had not been doing all such things at the behest of the Islamist organisation PFI . As though proving his point , what he read out as part of an affidavit filed by govt pleader in the Kerala High Court in a related Habeas corpus case by Hadiya’s(Akhila’s) father was even more embarrassing :
        “Miss Akhila had been influenced by feeding her with graphic details of hell and the torments that sinners are subjected to in their life after death .She has also been made to believe that in order to escape the torments of hell acceptance of Islam was the only way. According to the report dated 15-12-2016 it was stated that Miss Akhila believed that Islam would help her to reach heaven after death. According to the learned senior govt pleader also, this is a case of forced conversion of Islam.. “


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