Well, well, well. Kerala is back in news again. Last time we saw mallu land in news was when it told the entire world that it was a barbaric land for all the education and progress it brags about. A 24 year old woman, Hadiya, is under house arrest there. She had converted to Islam and had married a Muslim. The Kerala court annulled their marriage and asked this adult woman to be sent under her parents’ custody. She has been under house arrest enforced by her parents, RSS workers and police in and around her house. Yes, this is a 24 year old woman we are talking about.
It was in this context that a group of 6 women went to meet Hadiya with presents, as an act of solidarity. These women were attacked. FIRs were filed under their name. The Muslim member was physically assaulted.Her husband, who was not involved in this meeting was arrested.
In the time that followed after this group’s visit, people started picking up the issue and discussing it proactively. More reports came out that the police persons stationed around the house had witnessed Hadiya being beaten. The neighbours confirmed that they often heard cries of pain from the house. While efforts were being made to get the Human Rights Commission and the Women’s Commission of Kerala involved (because by themselves, they seemed to think that all of this was fine.) another revelation came out.
It was from a woman by the name Athira. She appeared on media saying that she had first converted to Islam by her own will and that she was now back to Hindu faith after going to a certain centre called Arsha Vidya Samajam where she realized her mistake. Well, good for her, we thought. In a normal world, adults have the right to choose their religion. It’s written in the thing called Constitution of India.
What no one thought of was the news that was going to break in Kerala media in the days that followed.
The Dera Sacha Souda of Kerala
On 24th September, 2017, Media One Television broke the news that a woman from Thrissur had made a complaint against a certain Yoga centre in Thrippunithura Kerala. She had accused the place of torturing women who had married non-Hindus. She herself was married to a Christian and her parents had taken her to the yoga centre by deceit. There she was beaten and sexually harassed, according to her complaint. She also said that Athira, who made the recent revelation, was there.
Umm. . . apart from shock, do you feel something? Fear?
Well, I do.
The women who were sent to this Dera Sacha Souda Ashram of Kerala were all put there by their parents. Some knew what they were signing their children up for. Some didn’t. Even if they didn’t know, is there anyone who can explain what they thought of ‘convincing’ adult women that they shouldn’t marry the people of their choice? Reports say that there were classes that taught evils of Christianity and Islam.
Hadiya’s parents, like most families, seem to think that they own their daughter. They have kept her under house arrest for four months now. Hadiya had cried out to the six women saying that she was being tortured. Result? Hadiya’s parents shut all the windows from the next day. RSS goons and police stationed around the house threatened, harassed and physically assaulted a Muslim woman who was part of the group. The police registered a case against all the women and also the Muslim woman’s husband who was not even with them.
The women were subjected to sexual harassment. They tore the complainant’s dress. Women were often asked to wear wet clothes and were asked to use bathrooms with no bolts. They often fell ill, she said, according to the NDTV report.
Now here are some questions that you parents and people can try to answer.
What makes you think that you own your daughters?
Do you know what ‘adult’ means?
Are you aware of the existence of the Constitution of India?
Is the word ‘choice’ familiar to you?
What about human rights?
It’s okay, we know the answers. You and your trusted people at the yoga centre should probably go to a rehabilitation centre where they clear your mind of misconceptions about women’s rights, choice of religion etc.
The latest reports are that the High Court of Kerala ordered that the Yoga Centre be shut down. The court asked if Kerala was creating Ram Rahims with such organizations. Mallu Land forgets too soon. Ram Rahim was sentenced to twenty years in jail for raping his devotees. When you beat women up and sexually harass them asking to change their mindset, you are not only being a criminal, but also a potential Ram Rahim. We all know what life had in store for him. Just saying.