[This is the text of the open letter written by eminent economist and leading development activist Prof. Amit Bhaduri, to Com. Pinarayi Vijayan]
Dear Shri. Vijayan
This is to express deep concern about the events unfolding in Kerala around the conversion of a twenty-four-year-old woman, self-identified as Hadiya, to Islam, the annulment of her marriage to a chosen partner, and the subsequent order by the Supreme Court to conduct an NIA investigation into alleged attempts to forcibly take her to join the ISIS in Syria. Reports about the virtual house-arrest of this young adult under the control of her father and the Hindutva attempts at violent re-conversion now raise worries everywhere about the violation of Constitutional rights of young adults in India.
I urge you to openly take the lead in the defense of the rights guaranteed to citizens by the Indian Constitution against calls for their naked violation by the Hindutva forces. Kerala has a rich legacy of communal amity, democratic mobilization, and critical thinking. The present issue is also important because the Hindutva forces seem too ready to sacrifice the rights of women to advance their agenda through the insidious discourse of Love Jihad in the state.
We all look forward to uniting with you in this battle against the Hindutva offensive which shows no respect for the rights of individuals, especially women, assured by the Constitution of India.
Prof. Amit Bhaduri, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.