Salma is an Indian author, columnist, social worker and speaker. Salma is now a celebrated Tamil writer, her novel The Hours Past Midnight has been long-listed for the Man Asian Booker Prize. Read Salma’s Open Letter to Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan for Hadiya
Com. Pinarayi Vijayan
Hon. Chief Minister of Kerala.
It is with great sorrow that many admirers of your government and Kerala’s communist legacy. including myself, have received the news of the family confinement of a young woman convert to Islam, Hadiya. It appears that we have let her down badly, and the responsibility for her continuing confinement falls not just on the Supreme Court of India but also on each of us.
Family confinement is not normal even if it may appear socially acceptable. It erodes the human spirit; it corrodes humanity itself. Hadiya’s plight is not hers alone. Every woman in this country ought to fear for herself at the sight of this flagrant violation of a woman’s freedom.
The Supreme Court, I hear, will listen to her on 27 November 2017. Through this letter, may I request you to kindly facilitate safe travel to Delhi and back for this young woman? There are rumours that she is going to be taken there by rail, accompanied by two policemen; that her father is refusing air travel. Needless to say, she is now known all over the country, and the risk of Hindutvavaadi groups attacking her is very high. Let she not fall to mob lynching, which the BJP seems to be actively promoting in the country.
The Kerala government will be ultimately held responsible for her safety, not her father. Therefore may I request you, on behalf of all women in India and myself, to make sure that Hadiya travels by air with adequate security and proper arrangements for safe stay in Delhi, for the hearing on 27 November and back?
Thanking you in advance, and in hoping that you hear this plea,
Writer and Activist