Letters to the editor

Readers’ comments: Hadiya’s case is a slap in the face for the women’s rights movement in India

A selection of readers’ opinions.

Hadiya’s journey

Hadiya is an adult and she has every right to marry anybody she wants (“In 21st century India, the Supreme Court is treating an adult woman like she’s her father’s property”). Also, as an adult, she has every right to convert to another religion, though I wonder why she needs to convert just to marry a Muslim.

In the interest of a peaceful future, it would have been better if she had been able to convince her parents about her actions. No one is is an island and everybody needs a support system. But her father, whatever be his convictions and faith, does not have the right to compel her to go against her convictions. At the most he can do, he can abdicate his fatherhood of Hadiya and disown her, if he is up to the trauma. But he cannot force her to follow his will. – R Venkat

***

Confining a law-abiding person against their will is unfortunate but it is not clear if the process for conversion and marriage were above board. Marriage customs vary by religion and the consent of the bride’s guardian is required in certain cases, so Hadiya’s father has the right to hold an opinion on her marriage. – Karthik G

***

Let the matter be settled between the two adults. The media hype is uncalled for. There isn’t anything to suggest, let alone substantiate, that it is a case of so-called love jihad. The Supreme Court does not a prevent anyone from legally marrying another adult. – Abdulassispa

***

This article brings out the problems with the Supreme Corut verdict. The judiciary is interfering in the woman’s personal life. She is being tossed around like a ball from the custody of one institution to another. She is not a child. – Calvin Young

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I don’t understand why the Supreme Court has ordered that she be sent to the hostel to be kept under the warden’s care. The logic behind this decision seems strange. – PD Amarnath

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I salute the courage and confidence that Hadiya has shown in her stand. – Ansari Mobin

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We are not living in the West. According to Indian culture, parents still have the right to make decisions for their children. Otherwise, parents should absolve all responsibility of their children once they turn 18. They can fend for their own needs thereafter. – EC Shajil

***

Thank you for a very good article. This goes beyond Hadiya’s life – this case is like a slap in the face for women’s rights in India. I also wonder, would the media and the judiciary treat this case the same way if a Muslim girl had converted to another religion under the same circustances that Hadiya chose Islam? – Iqbal Sattar

***

This could be a case of indoctrination and brain washing. So it should not been seen as an issue of gender equality & freedom of choice. – Venu Kumar

***

The Supreme Court’s verdict on Hadiya shows that the judiciary is not an instrument of justice but a tool for those in power or dominant social classes. Lady Justice seems to be peeping from under the blindfold. – Salman Khan

Archbishop’s comments

Does the media know what the Gandhinagar archbishop was referring to when he used the phrase “nationalist forces”
(“Gujarat bishop’s plea to save India from nationalist forces is an act of citizenship we must support”)? Or were they just using the issue to beef push up ratings and viewership? This is an act of treachery to the nation. Divisive forces are using the statement for short-term benefits without understanding the implication of misleading the people and the nation. True to the spirit of the bishop’s letter we are faced with an imminent danger to peaceful coexistence.

I can sense this very evidently from the communal and majoritarian nature of the messages shared in various closed and public social groups that I am part of. There have been several instances of people quitting WhatsApp groups to avoid unsavoury exchanges. It pains my heart to learn that my very friends and neighbours have fallen prey to black campaigns of separatism and majoritarianism. In my 49 years, I have never before seen such a situation. – Sebastian Peter

***

True journalism always protects the integrity of people and the nation. Unfortunately, the likes of Arnab Goswami are puppets in the hands of leaders. He does not have the courage to confront goons. He finds joy in attacking simple and true people who serve the nation with out any gain, in the process forgetting the real issues in the country, like the agararian crisis. We need more Thomas Macwans to set things right. –Anthony D’Souza

***

This is just a pastoral letter to Catholics that shows them the ground reality and creates social consciousness, that’s all. It does not attack any religion and should not worry the BJP or threaten Hindutva. – Jerald JA

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What is wrong in what the Archbishop bishop is asking for? I support him. – Jeewendra Jadhav

***

Archbishop Macwan had the courage to take stand up for what he believes in and we need more pastors like him. It is not enough to care for the spiritual needs of the flock. They need to be protected against the atrocities of the wolves who are at bay. His letter has created ripples everywhere and in a way, through the media’s naivety, the archbishop has in sensitising not just Christians but the nation at large. – Evelyn Cardoz Sr.

***

Archbishop Macwan reminds me of Pastor Neimoller who wrote the poem First They Came. India’s Constitution is sacred to the land, but it is being increasingly disregarded. Some use their own interpretation of laws brand acts of protest as seditions. Others use nationalism for every argument. – Ralph Coelho

***

I don’t consider this a plea.The main issue is that a religious leader interfered in politics and asked for India to be saved from nationalist forces. Why is there such a hue and cry over nationalism? It makes you hate people you haven’t even met and stops you from being humane. – Krishna Tumkur

***

The Constitution of India gives every citizen the right to free speech. The archbishop in question has the inalienable right to speak on political and social issues as a citizen of India. The Constitution does not take away the right to free speech, including for political matters, from a religious figure. The Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, for instance, is the head priest of the Gorakhpur mutt. – Fr Jose Luke

***

This is a well-crafted statement of reason and logic that obviously stands no chance of acceptance in present-day India. I congratulate Shiv Visvanathan for his courage. – S Sugunakumar

***

Bishop Macwan’s call to save our country from nationalist forces is indeed a rallying cry for the minority. But this is certainly not a statement designed to incite religious hatred. Shiv Visvanathan’s comments on the issue certainly merit thought. Thank you for showing us that secularism is yet alive and despite our religious beliefs and cultural differences we are still brothers united in trying to live by the tenets of the Indian Constitution. And thank you, Bishop Macwan, for reminding us of our duty to vote for “humane leaders faithful to the Constitution”. – Stanislaus Gomez

***

Thank you, bishop Macwan and hats off to Shiv Visvanathan, for backing an honest citizen and making better sense of that letter than those loud troublemakers we call journalists. Macan was simply calling for honesty and courage in fellow citizens. – Vimla Thomas

Media in crisis

Isn’t Rajdeep Sardesai also a part of the problem he describes (“Media has chosen to polarise society as nationalist versus anti-national, says Rajdeep Sardesai”)? There was a time when a TV debate would juxtapose divergent views on an important issue. No longer. Mainstream media has created celebrity news anchors at the cost of credibility.

Powerful media houses play censor. If a reader or viewer writes an opinion contrary to that of the editor’s such views are not aired, let alone acknowledged. The likes of Dileep Padgaonkar never mixed personal views with public issues. But not many today share that virtue. The danger to journalism comes from those who think they can promote Rightist or Leftist views. Objective communication is no longer possible. – Murthy

***

The Dileep Padgaonkar lecture delivered by Rajdeep Sardesai was excellent. He touched on subjects that a silent majority is unable to speak up about. The current dispensation is unconcerned about the enormous damage being inflicted on this great nation. But we get some solace when we can still count on journalists like Sardesai to voice the common man’s concerns. – Bhanu Vasudevan

Dissenting note

TM Krishna’s writing has the grace and style of his music . His voice is important on the musical stage as well as on the socio-political scene. But he seems to have missed several points in his understanding of Hindu Brahminical traditions
(“The TM Krishna column: How the appointment of Dalits as priests is perpetuating casteist symbols”). First of all, the term Brahmins itself is as symbolic as the sacred thread. For well-schooled Brahmins, the sacred thread represents a way of life. This is the most demanding way in the four-fold Hindu system. Whereas the concepts of the four castes in Hinduism are inviolable, the bigotry and persecution, especially by powerful and vocal people, is a social evil. That evil is not confined to traditionalists alone, it applies equally to misguided liberals.

Once someone accepts the way of life of a Brahmin priest, he or she signs up to be pure, non-violent, non-acquisitive and prayerful and to work for the welfare of humanity. – Sachi R Sachidananda

Ring-side view

At a time when the role of the Parliament is being debated, a candid, earnest voice from the front row of the Rajya Sabha is not only refreshing but also essential (“Trinamool Congress’s Derek O’Brien explains a strategy for beating the BJP in 2019”). Derek O Brein’s Inside Parliament brings the benches, the galleries, the well of the Parliament within the reach of the reader. Its honesty and ability to explain and engage with policies as complex as GST, demonetisation and questions of cultural as well as political concern through anecdotes and a deep understanding of issues reflects the ideals of Parliamentarians. A quiz master for decades, O’Brien’s knack for policy and his commitment to his cause is reflected in the book. – Sneha Roychoudhury

Ivanka in India

This was an excellent event (“Technology should be used more to empower women, says Ivanka Trump at business summit in Hyderabad”). All women entrepreneurs should deliver lectures on women’s capabilities in nation-building. We welcome Ivanka Trump and all other great women personalities to the country. – Venkata Subramanyam

Minority report

Dr Bandukwala should be praised for his courage, intellect and reason (“Interview: ‘Muslims must stay out of politics as it helps Modi polarise society’”). I applaud him for the way he has handled adversity, be it with the extremist elements within his community, the Sunni majority, the Hindus, the politicians or Modi. The way this good man has been dealt with is a travesty of justice and an affront to democratic ideals.

While I praise the man for his stance, I also disagree with his call for the Muslims to stay out of politics. India is a secular democracy, at least in principle, and if Muslims stay out of politics, who will represent them and make sure their concerns are heard? – Usman Madha

***

Have you ever wondered why polarisation succeeded in the first place? It is because of Congress’ politics. Modi as chief minister of Gujarat has been very successful. We in Gujarat have 24X7 Power supply, drinking water, better roads, and many more facilities. And I firmly believe this will reflect in the upcoming Gujarat elections. – Snehal Shah

Persecuted people

Thank you for highlighting the condition of Rohingya people in your article (“Why the deal between Myanmar and Bangladesh to send back Rohingya refugees is shameful”). We have the moral responsibility of putting an end to such genocides, wherever they are taking place. – Syed Akhtar

Hindi imperialism

This is an agenda that has been common to all at the Centre, whether it is cloaked in the language of Hindutva or secularism (“Using Hindi is the most powerful way to unify India, Venkaiah Naidu says in Telangana”). The concept of Indian nationalism, when viewed in this way, is inimical to the interests of regional languages, identities and nationalisms. Naidu and others who share his ideological position are perhaps unaware that in the Constituent Assembly debates, when the question of privilege Hindi over other Indian languages was being debated, representative from South Indian states had rightly decried this as Hindi imperialism. Naidu’s position is a betrayal of the political vision of those legendary leaders. – Pritam Singh

Wrongfully confined?

Chintan has been victimised by Mumbai police for its failure to investigate the case thoroughly (“Hema Upadhyay murder: Why is the artist’s estranged husband still in jail?”). I am eager to join the campaign for Chintan’s release whenever it is organised by the artist fraternity. – Shail Choyal

Reading labels

After reading this article, I realised how many men read so-called chick-lit or books that are supposedly exclusively for women (“‘Why I’m not ashamed to be called a chick lit author (and you shouldn’t be either)’”). As a reader, I do not care about whom the book is written for and hence have not followed herd mentality on what I should supposedly read because of my gender. It was refreshing to see from a beautiful author’s perspective how the world seeks chick-lit as a genre. I like reading anything that makes me happy and I am never ashamed of what I like. It’s an amazing feeling to read what your heart longs to. – Pushpendra P

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I have read most of Kiran Manral’s books and I believe she has created a new genre, that of humorous chick lit, if one must slot it n some category. – Gopal

Not real champions

These are high hopes from the BJP as it goes against their core values (“Beyond triple talaq: How the BJP can be a true champion of Muslim women”). They have taken the lead on ending instant triple talaaq is to embarrass Muslims, not to protect women. They are surviving on the policy of nurturing hate for Islam among their core voters. – Reyaz Azmi

Tainted college

What will happen to the students? They have nowhere to go (“SC orders Lucknow medical college to pay Rs 10 lakh each to 150 students who were illegally admitted”). The court should have directed the Lucknow college to ensure admission of the students elsewhere. It is always the students who suffer for no fault of their own when the college engages in wrongdoing. – Naveen Kataraki

‘Padmavati’ row

Going by its trailer, Padmavati does indeed seem to be glorifying Rajputs, not offending them (“‘Padmavati’ row: Lok Sabha panel seeks report from I&B Ministry and censor board, summons Bhansali”). Whey then has there been such a big fuss? – Kunal Bhattacharya

We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
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