'Diary for Prasana' inspires Indira Gandhi to fight on

Low Han Shaun

Indira Gandhi and her son Karan Dinish at the screening of 'Diary for Prasana’ at the Freedom Film Festival 2017 at PJ Live Art in Petaling Jaya, Selangor, today. – The Malaysian Insight pic by Seth Akmal.

IT was an emotional moment for Indira Gandhi as she watched the legal battle that had taken up eight years of her life unfold on the big screen.

She left the screening of “Diary for Prasana” energised and filled with the strength to carry on the fight. It is her hope that the movie will similarly inspire others who are in the same situation.

“I hope my story can be a inspiration to many to come out and voice their problems,” she told The Malaysian Insight.

Since 2009, Indira has been fighting an uphill legal battle for custody of her three children after her former husband K. Pathmanathan, who is now Muhammad Riduan Abdullah, abducted and converted them to Islam.

The youngest of the children, Prasana Diksa, was taken from Indira while she was still a baby and Indira has not seen her since.

And after eight years, the court has yet to decide on the religious status of her son Karan Dinish and her daughter, Tevi Darsiny.

“Yes, it (the movie) will help me and give me some consolation. In the past eight years, a lot has happened.

“I can see that my family is getting stronger, and without my children’s support, we wouldn’t be where we are today.

“Currently we are waiting on the court’s decision to determine my daughters religion whether she is a Muslim or a Hindu,” she said.

“Diary for Prasana” director Norhayati Kaprawi said the aim of the movie was to highlight the impact of the law on unilateral conversion on the family.

“When I discussed the film with (producer) Zaid Ibrahim, we wanted to show the impact of the law on people.

Zaid said the film was not about religion and that “only stupid people” would say that it was.

He said he believed that if every Malaysian were to watch the movie, they would “know the pain Indira suffers.”

“All this talk about the Constitution stopping her (from getting the religious status of her children reversed… there is no problem actually, the problem is with our leaders.

“A responsible leader must find a solution; this is not a religious issue, it is a human issue,” he said.

In April 2009, the Cabinet decided that in cases where one parent chooses to convert, the children must continue to be raised in the common religion at the time of the marriage. However, the decision is yet to be made into law.

The Cabinet has since said it was no longer gazetting the law that will make unilateral conversion illegal. Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Azalina Othman Said said this was to avoid conflict with the provisions of the Federal Constitution. – September 9, 2017.

Sign up or sign in here to comment.