Arundhati Roy’s mother, who fought legal battle for succession rights, passes away

Educationist, Women Rights activist and writer Arundhati Roy’s mother, Mary Roy, passed away at a private hospital at Kottayam on Thursday, said family sources.

It was Roy’s 39-year-old legal battle that led to a landmark Supreme Court judgement against the archaic Travancore Christian Succession Act of 1916, ensuring that all Christian women an equal share in family property.

Born to a Syrian Christian family in 1933, Roy was the daughter of P.V. Isaac, an entomologist trained in England.

Roy was educated in Delhi and Chennai and after her marriage broke, she returned to Kottayam.

She was educated from the Queen’s Mary college in Chennai.

After her marriage broke down, Roy took to teaching and returned to Kottayam and started her own school in 1961, which is known as ‘Pallikoodam’.

Condoling the death, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that she worked tirelessly for the rights of women and her legal fight which she won will always be remembered.

Two-time former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, who also hails from Kottayam, said she will always be remembered for being instrumental in Christian women getting a share in their family property besides the school that she set up.

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