This is the text of the open letter written by the eminent philosopher Prof. Bilgrami, who was honoured by the Government of Kerala a few years back, to Com. Pinarayi Vijayan, on the Hadiya case)
Dear Mr. Vijayan,
You may not remember me from a couple of years ago when you and Prof. Pannikar were kind enough to award me the Social Science Research Prize and attend my lecture on that occasion in Trivandrum. I write out of the blue now —an impertinent liberty— to urge you to intervene in the case of Hadiya where an important constitutional right to choose one’s religion is being violated since, as is well-known, there was absolutely no force exercised upon her in her conversion. Both Hindutva mischief and patriarchal attitudes are at play in her plight and they need to be strongly resisted. Moreover it seems to me that the NIA’s being allowed to play a role in this matter is a deplorable interference in the the state of Kerala’s autonomy in the federal system of governance to which our country is committed, and should also be resisted.
Won’t you please lead the way on this —your voice, speaking out on all these issues and your support of Hadiya from your position of authority as Chief Minister, will make all the difference.
With my very best wishes,
Sidney Morgenbesser Professor of Philosophy,
Professor, Committee on Global Thought,