Updated: March 2, 2019 6:23:28 am
The photograph of a hijab-clad woman wearing a doctor’s coat and a stethoscope, was accompanied by the best congratulatory message that could have come the young homeopath’s way: In a Facebook post, Shafin Jahan shared his wife Hadiya’s achievement and wrote: “This shining victory is an outstanding achievement because it comes at the end of countless prayers, relentless struggles of separation, love, patience and so on. Very proud to address you a Doctor.’’
Hadiya has proved her mettle many times over since her marriage to Shafin and conversion to Islam in December 2016 led her father to appeal to the Kerala HC to annul her wedding. From her parents negating her choice of partner with their contention that she had been indoctrinated for recruitment to the Islamic State in Syria, to the Court dismissing her voice as that of a woman “weak and vulnerable, capable of being exploited in many ways” and annulling her marriage, Hadiya has lived out the nightmare in which agency is denied. Yet, she has fought her battles in a way only a woman can.
In a recent commercial for a sports brand, tennis star Serena Williams takes viewers through a quick account of how sportswomen, and indeed all women testing boundaries, are dismissed with a pejorative “crazy”. Yet, crazy can be groundbreaking good — it can mean a woman deaf to the repressions of society, a woman determined to stand up and be accounted for, a woman who will not be infantilised. With her recent accomplishment, Hadiya has shown that sometimes the most empowering thing for a woman is simply to be left alone. She can find her way.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines