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Sharma, Kanika (2023) 'The ‘Vulnerable’ Hindu Woman, Love-jihad, and the Indian Courts: The Hadiya Case - Commentary on Asokan KM vs State of Kerala (2017) 2 KLJ 974.' Verfassung und Recht in Übersee, 56 (1). pp. 59-69.

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In Asokan K.M. v. State of Kerala (2017) at the behest of a disgruntled Hindu father whose daughter had converted to Islam and married a man of her choice, the Kerala High Court (HC) cast the daughter, Hadiya, as a ‘vulnerable’ woman before annulling her marriage. In this article, I place the infamous Hadiya case within a broader history of love-jihad – an ascendant Hindu nationalist con-spiracy in India that asserts that Muslim men wish to convert Hindu women to Islam by feigning love and seducing them, thus posing a threat to all Hindu women, and by extension to the community and the nation itself. I then analyse the public perception and the media discourse around the trial, before turning to the Indian Supreme Court’s (SC) judgment in the case. I argue that by denouncing patriarchy and ostensibly finding in favour of Hadiya, the SC judges portrayed themselves as feminist allies, yet by allowing the National Investigation Agency to continue their ‘terror’ investigation against her husband, they not only insidiously undermined Hadiya’s decisions, but also revealed the shallowness of their feminist stance. In the last section, I appraise the rewritten feminist judgment offered by Urmila Pullat and Sandhya PR who situate themselves as the dissenting judges on the Kerala HC bench

Item Type: Journal Article
SOAS Departments & Centres: School Research Centres > Centre for Asian Legal Studies
Departments and Subunits > School of Law
ISSN: 05067286
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 22 May 2023 14:07

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