Akhila aka Hadiya: Invasion of Love Jihad?


Jus Dicere Center of Research in Law

Recognition Number


Publication Date

May, 2018


Vageesha Shushan


The world is changing and with it is changing the very basic fiber of religion, ideology and individualism.

Hadiya aka Akhila Ashokan embraced Islam and then married a Muslim man. There wasn’t anything newsworthy about this happenstance. What was worth reporting was that a father filed a case in which he alleged that his daughter had been ‘brainwashed’ into converting.

Now this word ‘brainwashed’, it makes some educated citizens of our country very mad. They get enraged when they hear this word being used in a female context, for they believe that it is degrading and indicative that a woman doesn’t have the right to take her decisions or that her brain is so feeble that she gets easily manipulated.

For all those educated ‘netizens’, calm your horses!

When Hadiya’s case exploded on the national news, partisanism raised its ugly head once more and what we got was a mess of allegations, lies and vehement avowal of an individual that she’d embraced her new religion out of her own free will, not to mention all those so called experts lining their pockets with money by appearing continuously on cable TV.

‘Love Jihad’ is a hoax for some, conspiracy for many. Either it’s the right-wing, staunch Hindu faction’s propaganda tool, or it’s a sinister plot conceived by right-wing Muslim political faction to lure Hindu girls into their fold.

There are so many actors in this whole story.

Hadiya, the aggrieved young woman who’s not being allowed to live with the man she married out of her free will is the heroine. Shafin Jahan, the husband who only wants to live with his wife is the swashbuckling hero who’s ready to take heroine’s villainous father to any court of the land to free her from his clutches. Sainaba who acted as Hadiya’s guardian, a woman who’s alleged in various cases of forced conversions is apparently the fairy godmother of our heroine. PFI who’ve apparently spent about 1 crore rupees on Hadiya’s plight is the hero’s trusted, filthy rich side-kick. K.M Ashokan, the father who’s knocked the doors of so many courts to make sense of how his daughter drifted so far away from him, the man who has suspicions that our hero will whisk the heroine away to the land of strife, Syria; the man who because of Court’s order has made it impossible for her to meet her beloved is the villain.

All these actors, they’ve something to gain and hence their truths often don’t feel like truths, as tinged they are with motives.

But what you have got to agree on is that this is a modern day fairy tale.

Forget Cinderella, Snow White. We have our own princess in need of protection—the poor princess Hadiya.

This paper chronicles the journey of Akhila to being Hadiya, marrying Shafin and the exact point when this whole thing blew up too out of proportion.

It details the plight of various women who were made to fall in love with men of a certain religion and then used like pawns in the ongoing war of terrorism which in no way is indicative that these women weren’t consenting adults and they lacked the faculties of taking the right decision.

Decision of a person when based on partial facts or outright lies isn’t informed decision, is it, even when the said person happens to be an adult?

We haven’t force fed you a conclusion at the end of this paper. You are free to form an opinion after you read it whole.

In your case, it would be informed opinion.