Defend the tradition of fighting for the oppressed: Open letter to Kerala CM on Hadiya case

(This is the text of the open letter written by the cultural activist Sohail Hashmi to Com. Pinarayi Vijayan)


The Honourable Chief Minister of Kerala

Shri Pinarayi Vijayan
7th October, 2017

Dear Shri Pinarayi Vijayan,

I write to you because I am unable to understand how the Left Front government has abandoned a woman who is being victimised because she has chosen to exercise her right as a citizen and an adult to marry a man she wants to spend her life with.

I write to you in great pain, because the party that you work for and are one of its leaders is also a party that I have given 22 years of my life to, my brother, Safdar Hashmi, gave his life to the party, several members of my family continue to work for the CPI (M). My family was the first red family in Delhi in Pre-independence India, my father and both of my uncles worked for the then undivided Communist party, my grandmother was the Founding President of Delhi state NFIW and my mother too was a member of the party and continued to work for the party till her health permitted. My daughter continues to work in Jan Natya Manch and in the party.

Three generations of my family have been associated with the party because this was a party that stood up against oppression and for the rights of the oppressed, the excluded and the marginalised. You will agree with me that women in India, and specially women are the most oppressed. One among these women has chosen to fight for her rights and I find that the left front and the leading party of the left front, the CPI (M) has not come out unequivocally in support of Hadiya.

I find this inexplicable. The entire Hadiya issue and the nonsense of Love Jihad is a conspiracy of the same communal fascists who have heaped untold miseries on the people of this country in the last three years, The lynchings of Muslims on fabricated charges, the flogging and stabbings of Dalits, the murders of rationalists and outspoken journalists and the attempt to build a frenzy against the left are all part of the same game-plan.

By asking, if the courts can annul a marriage, the highest court has indicated the direction of their reasoning, Your government has also indicated that the NIA inquiry was not desirable.

I write to you to come out openly in support of the right of Hadiya and against her forcible confinement by her father. No one, not even a father, can stop his adult daughter from deciding, who she wants to marry. What the father thinks of the match is of no consequence.

In the final analysis it is nothing less than the question of the basic existential rights of a citizen and the party with a tradition of fighting for the oppressed, a party that has contributed majorly to making Kerala the most literate state in the country, of turning Kerala into a state that leads in all parameters of development, cannot be seen to falter on the question of basic human rights of believing or not believing in this or that faith and of choosing a partner.

With warm regards
Sohail Hashmi



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