New Delhi: K.M. Ashokan, the Kerala man who moved court against his daughter’s inter-faith marriage, has joined the Bharatiya Janata Party, the Hindustan Times reported. He said on Monday that he supports the party’s protest against a Supreme Court verdict that allowed women of menstruating age to enter the Sabarimala temple.
Ashokan’s daughter, Hadiya, who was formerly known as Akhila, had converted to Islam to marry Shafin Jahan in 2015. Ashohan then moved the Kerala high court alleging that Muslim organisations planned to make her join the Islamic State group. He also alleged Jahan to be a terrorist.
Hadiya’s conversion and marriage sparked controversy, with the Hindu Right terming it as ‘love jihad‘.
Joining the BJP in the presence of party general secretary B. Gopalakrishnan, Ashokan said the BJP is the only party that can protect Hindu beliefs.
“I was a Communist party follower since my childhood. But of late the party is playing dirty vote-bank politics eyeing minority votes. I failed to understand if somebody talks about Hindus [how] he turns communal in no time,” he told reporters in Thiruvananthapuram.
“Like many Hindus of Kerala, I am also torn between my belief and law. I personally believe customs and traditions should not come under the preview of courts. Let religious scholars and other decide on such issues,” he added.
The Kerala high court in May 2017 annulled Hadiya’s marriage and sent her back to her father. Subsequently, Jahan moved the Supreme Court, which in March 2018 restored the marriage. A bench headed by then Chief Justice Dipak Misra said the 26-year old woman has the freedom to make her own marital choices.
“Marriage and intimacy of personal relationships are core of plurality in India,” the apex court said, adding, “We can’t let state or others makes inroads into this extremely personal space.”