PETALING JAYA: Life has certainly been unkind to M. Indira Gandhi over the past 10 years.
Not only is she still separated from daughter Prasana Diksa, she has also been living as a bankrupt.
Indira Gandhi said her former husband Muhammad Riduan Abdullah had purchased a car under her name in early 2000, as he had been blacklisted from taking up any loan.
Muhammad Riduan defaulted on payments and she found out about her bankruptcy in the middle of 2009 during the custody trial for their children.
She had wanted to withdraw money from her bank and was referred to the Insolvency Department.
“It was terrible. At the time my whole life started to turn upside down,” she told The Star in an interview on Wednesday.
Unable to open a new bank account as a bankrupt, Indira said it was tough finding a job which paid well.
“Once they (employers) knew I was bankrupt, they would give excuses,” said Indira Gandhi, who now works in a small kindergarten and conducts tuition classes to support her children and herself.
She said the bank had graciously agreed to release her from the huge amount owed to them.
Now, she is hoping to get a discharge from the Insolvency Department as she is thinking of setting up a small business.
Muhammad Riduan, who was known as K. Padmanathan before he converted to Islam, had taken Prasana Diksa away from Indira Gandhi when she was just 11 months old.
The other two children, Tevi Darshiny, then 13, and Karan Dinesh, then 12, remained with their mother.
Police have yet to locate Muhammad Riduan despite an arrest warrant issued by the High Court in 2014.
Indira Gandhi said she was longing to have her daughter, who would now be 11, back in her arms.
She last saw Prasana Diksa briefly in court when she was about 18 months old.
She added that the police had agreed to set up a special taskforce to locate Prasana Diksa when she met former inspector-general of police Tan Sri Fuzi Harun in April.
So far, there had been no developments, she said.
Indira Gandhi is now hoping to meet Fuzi’s successor Datuk Seri Abdul Hamid Bador and wants the police to look at the case from a mother’s point of view.
“Let’s put religious matters aside. As a mother I want to see my daughter. I want to feel and hold her,” she said.
The Federal Court had in January 2018 nullified the unilateral conversion of Indira Gandhi’s three children to Islam by her ex-husband.
Indira Gandhi said she had no idea what Prasana Diksa would look like today.
“The sad thing is even if I go out and she walks beside me, I don’t think I can recognise her,” she said tearfully.