IPOH: M. Indira Ghandi will not stand in the way of her youngest child, Prasana Diksa, if the latter chooses to remain a Muslim.
“She can continue to be a Muslim, I will not stop her from doing so if that is her choice. I just want to hold her, kiss her and look at her, as I have not seen her in so long,” she said.
The kindergarten teacher has not seen her now 9-year-old daughter since she was a baby, as her 48-year-old former husband, Muslim convert Muhammad Ridhuan Abdullah, was said to have run off with the child.
Police are now looking for father and child following a landmark Federal Court ruling on Monday that declared null and void the unilateral conversion to Islam of Ridhuan and Indira’s three children, including Prasana.
Indira said she knows that choice of religion could not be forced, adding that she respected everyone’s personal choice.
“As a mother, I just want to see how my child has grown... give me the chance to hold her again. I want to see how she is now and talk to her.
“I may have won the court battle, but it means nothing if I don’t get to see Prasana... if she wants to be a Muslim, that is her choice... but my ties to her, as the woman who gave birth to her, will never be broken.
“Please don’t separate a mother and her daughter just for religious reasons... I respect whatever decision Prasana makes (over her choice of religion),” she said.
Indira said she understood that the religious issue surrounding her daughter was sensitive one, even though the courts had nullified her unilateral conversion.
This, she said, was why she will leave it up to Prasana to make her own choice.
All she wants, said Indira, was for her ex-husband to give her the chance to see her daughter again.
The five-member Federal Court panel led by Court of Appeal president Tan Sri Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin had unanimously decided to allow Indira’s appeal to nullify the unilateral conversion of the three children — Prasana, Tevin Darsiny, 21, and Karan Dinish, 20, almost 10 years ago.
Ridhuan had, in May 2014, been ordered by the Ipoh High Court to hand over Prasana to her mother, but has failed to do so till today.