If Hadiya’s Story Was a Bollywood Movie, Media Would be Mogambo
(On 23 January 2018, the Supreme Court finally acknowledged that Hadiya is entitled to make her own choices as an adult woman, and that the court could not interfere with her marriage unless she says she had been coerced. The NIA was told that their investigation would not have an impact on Hadiya’s marriage, and her father was told that he cannot interfere in her decisions. In light of this development, The Quint is republishing this video, which was a satirical take on the case and was first published in December 2017.)
A 25-year-old woman’s marriage has been annulled after being embroiled in a thick “anti-terror” mesh; her consent has been given no consideration; her repeated pleas to live with her husband have been muted; and her voice has been replaced by TV loudspeakers.
Hadiya’s case is a step back for all women in this country. And it should make us angry. Very angry.
In fact, if we were to adapt Hadiya’s case as a movie, it would have many villains, and (at least as of now) a rather sad ending.
In the movie, the Kerala HC will be that interfering aunty who succeeds in getting our heroine's marriage annulled, alleging a possible “love jihad” conspiracy. Remember Bindu from the 80s films? Yeah, a bit like that!
The NIA will be a tantrik, who makes absurd claims of Hadiya being “hypnotised”.
The father's counsel, who thinks Hadiya is “highly indoctrinated, brainwashed” and has been “mentally kidnapped”, will be the masala walla who adds more mirchi into the narrative.
The hero of this movie can possibly be the Supreme Court — the protector of individual freedom who’ll listen to Hadiya and let her live life her own way, with the man of her choice.
And guess what? The SC, true to its spirit, ends up giving Hadiya that freedom! Well... sort of.
In fact, the movie has no dearth of heroes, all of whom want to “protect” Hadiya but end up reinforcing patriarchy into the narrative. Justice Chandrachud, for instance, says, “The wife is not chattel. She is an individual with her own mind and talents.” So far, so good.
That Hadiya, who wanted to speak her mind in court and had flown from Kerala to Delhi to do just that, but was given barely 30 minutes in the two-hour-long proceeding to do so, is another matter! Especially after spending four months of this case NOT listening to her.
Camera: Shiv Kumar Maurya
Editor: Purnendu Pritam