A Fight For Identity
Madhumita Chakraborty
DAUGHTER BY COURT ORDER by Ratna Vira Fingerprint, New Delhi, 2014, 369 pp., 250
December 2014, volume 38, No 12

My narrative will not be your’s. I will live my life. You have to live with your demons.

Daughter by Court Order

In a country like India, it is still the norm in many parts of the country to cut women off from all aspects of family decision making processes, or even from decisions involving their own lives—marriage, family planning etc. Debut novelist Ratna Vira’s book Daughter by Court Order explores this discrimination against women in all spheres of her socio-economic milieu, and particularly in property rights. Bringing her own personal experiences into the narrative, Vira tells us the story of a young woman from an affluent section of society, as she tries to establish, not just her identity but her very existence! Aranya’s story could be the story of any Indian woman—rich or poor, urban or rural, single child or a child with siblings. In particular, it could be the story of any female single parent, fighting against all odds to protect her children, fighting against the system and seeking justice.

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