‘I want the country to know what’s happening to our daughter.’
For K M Ashokan, known to the world as ‘Hadiya’s father’, his world changed drastically the day he left his only child Akhila at the railway station in Kerala on January 3, 2016. She was going back to Salem in Tamil Nadu where she was studying homeopathy.
This was what he told Rediff.com‘s Shobha Warrier in 2017.
The father and daughter (now Dr Hadiya) were back in the news this month when Ashokan filed a habeas corpus petition in the Kerala high court in the first week of December, saying his daughter has been missing for one-and-a-half months.
Hadiya then appeared before the media to inform journalists that she had divorced her first husband, remarried and moved from Malappuram to Thiruvananthapuram.
Shobha spoke to Ashokan again this past week.
“She is part of such an organisation that we have no idea what she will do next. Tomorrow, if she were to go somewhere outside, what will we do? I do not want anything of that sort happening to my daughter,” says Ashokan.
When I called you, you were in court. Why did you file a habeas corpus petition? Your daughter told the press conference that she was in Thiruvanathapuram and her parents knew where she was.
As parents, when you don’t hear from your child for one-and-a-half months, how do you feel? We don’t see her at all these days.
At least, she used to take our calls. Then suddenly, she stopped picking up my calls. That was one-and-a-half months ago.
So, we went to where she was living.
Yes. We went to her clinic, but found it closed. When we enquired, we were told she had not opened the clinic for some time. That news made us worried.
I came back home and asked the advocate whether we could file a petition.
He said, we could. That was why I filed a habeas corpus petition.
What happened after that was an angry reaction from her.
At the press conference, she said as a 32-year-old adult, she had every right to live her life the way she wanted…
My question is, when she knew her parents were alive, was it not the basic duty of our only daughter to call them?
We were scared and worried when there was no news from her. What are we supposed to do then? Remain silent?
She is part of such an organisation that we have no idea what she will do next.
Tomorrow, if she were to go somewhere outside, what will we do? I do not want anything of that sort happening to my daughter. That’s why I filed the petition in the court.
I don’t deny as an adult, she has her own opinion and rights. But she also should realise that her parents are still alive.
Are we not human beings with feelings? But she doesn’t behave that way at all.
When she doesn’t inform us of her whereabouts, what are we supposed to do?
Were you aware that she had divorced her first husband and married again?
We didn’t know at all. Only when she spoke about it at the press conference, we also got the news.
We, her parents, came to know about it through the media! That’s what she is now.
She doesn’t know to say anything beyond what they tell her.
They are making her say what they want to, and making her do what they want to.
You mean the lady who was responsible for her conversion to Islam?
Yes, everything rests in the hands of Zainaba.
Okay, she divorced her husband. But is it not basic courtesy to inform her parents? She says she has married again. And we parents come to know of this through the media. Is this how a daughter behaves?
How do we know where she will be taken after this marriage? You may be aware of what happened to Bindu’s daughter.
If something like were to happen to our daughter? I do not want the same fate for my daughter. That’s why I am doing all this, as her father.
At the press conference, she said you were doing all this because of the Sangh Parivar…
Let me tell you, she is not saying this, she is made to say this.
Was she also here once? Was she not part of the same Sangh Parivar once?
I am hundred percent sure they are making her say all these things.
Whatever they say, I can only live the way I was brought up. I cannot change for them.
Is it really the Sangh Parivar that is helping you?
I cannot understand why they want to ridicule and criticise the Sangh Parivar. After all, they are ruling the country now.
From the way she speaks, from the way she criticises some people, we can understand who is behind all this, and what kind of people they are.
This is the reason why I am going to court all the time. I am worried for her future. I am worried about what will happen to her next.
Did she used to call you regularly earlier?
She never used to call us, but we used to call her regularly.
After all, she is our only child, and we are her parents. When she has no time to call her parents, we call her as her parents.
When she stopped taking our calls, what option do I have but seek the court’s help?
When you called, was she like she was before? Or had she changed?
She just spoke to us, as if she was in a hurry to end the conversation.
She was not interested in knowing about us or anybody here. She lives in a different world now.
Her mother was in hospital after a heart attack. But she didn’t come to see her Amma.
Her mother fell down and hurt herself badly after a low sodium episode.
She was in the hospital for 5-6 days, but she didn’t bother to visit her Amma.
Now, her mother had eye surgery. But our only daughter did not bother to come.
It is not that she didn’t know, we tell her everything. But this is how she is now.
She had a press conference, but she didn’t bother to call us even today.
Why is it that her parents have become strangers to her?
Wish we knew. We have no idea why our daughter behaves like this.
We brought her up. We taught her. Now that she is an adult, they snatched her away from us.
Now they decide what she will say, what she will do, how she will treat us.
What will you say if the court asks, why do you file such petitions when your daughter is an adult, a 32-year-old woman?
The court may ask me the question.
My question is, was she born when a wind blew this way, without her mother and father? Is she a swayambhu?
They snatched her away from us now that she is an educated adult.
They do not have to do anything; they just got someone ready to be used for their purpose.
But can anyone change the fact that we are her mother and father?
I want the country, the court and people to know what’s happening to us and our daughter.
Do you think you will get your Akhila back?
Only when she is taken away from those people, we will get her back.
For that, the court has to take such a decision. They are the people who changed her, they are the people who brainwashed her.
We are suffering a lot emotionally, but who cares?
Who will be interested in our well-being when our own daughter doesn’t care?
Feature Presentation: Rajesh Alva/Rediff.com
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