Saturday, July 27, 2013

Indira: I want my baby back

Nation

Published: Saturday July 27, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Saturday July 27, 2013 MYT 6:42:34 AM

Indira: I want my baby back

Longing to hold her: Indira, flanked by her daughter Tevi Darsiny and son Karan Dinish, looking at the baby picture of Prasana Diksa.
Longing to hold her: Indira, flanked by her daughter Tevi Darsiny and son Karan Dinish, looking at the baby picture of Prasana Diksa.

IPOH: M. Indira Gandhi, 40, has won the fight to have the conversion of her three children nullified – but she knows the battle is far from over.

The kindergarten teacher is relieved that her children can retain their Hindu faith after a four-year legal battle but foremost on her mind is her youngest child, who is still with the father.
Indira said Tevi Darsiny, 16, and Karan Dinish, 15, the two children staying with her, are happy that their identity crisis has finally come to an end.

However, Indira is pining for her younger daughter Prasana Diksa, who was only a year old when the father took her away in 2009.

He has not returned the child and Indira has no idea how to reach him.

“It’s so painful to imagine that my little daughter may appear in front of me and not recognise me as her mother. My heart aches,” she said yesterday.

“I don’t know how I will handle it. I have no idea what lifestyle she has adopted over the years but no matter how she was raised, I want her back. She is my daughter and should be with me.”

Indira said she did not know who had been caring for the child as she had been totally cut off from her since 2009.

In 2010, the High Court here ordered Indira’s estranged husband K. Patmanathan, who had embraced Islam and adopted the name of Mohd Ridzuan Abdullah, to hand over the children to Indira, who was given custody of them.

He had by then also converted all three children to Islam.

After the court order, he returned the two older children to Indira but refused to hand over the youngest child. The custody battle is now settled, with the Federal Court upholding the decision to give Indira custody. Indira said she has started contempt proceedings against her husband.

The last time she saw Prasana Diksa was in the courtroom, when she was just a one-and-a-half-year-old baby.

She said she did not know Mohd Ridzuan’s whereabouts or any way to contact him.

“Every April 8, I would text a birthday message to her through his (Mohd Ridzuan’s) mobile number. I have never received any reply,” she said, adding that she believed he had changed his number.
Tevi Darsiny also expressed her wish to be reunited with her younger sister.

“My mother, my brother (Karan) and I miss her very much,” she said, adding that they would flip through her baby photos whenever they thought of her.

Meanwhile, Tevi Darsiny said she was happy she had now been granted the freedom to practise the Hindu faith.

Both the children said they had gone through a hard time to figure out who they were.
They said they were once in a dilemma over whether to attend Islamic classes.

On Thursday, the Ipoh High Court ruled that the children’s certificates of conversion, which were issued in their absence and their mother’s, were null and void because they were unconstitutional.
Indira said she expected Mohd Ridzuan to file an appeal against the court’s decision.
“My counsel and I are ready to fight back,” she added.

Indira was represented by K. Shanmuga, M. Kulasegaran and N. Selvam in the conversion case.

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