Mary Roy died: A famous gender equality champion and renowned educator, Mary Roy died on September 1, 2022 in Kottayam, Kerala at the age of 89. Mary Roy was the mother of Booker Prize-winning author Arundhati Roy and was known for winning the landmark 1988 Supreme Court case ruling that guaranteed equal rights in homesteads for women owned by the Syrian Christian community in Kerala. Mary Roy was also the founder-director of Pallikoodam School in Kalathilpady, a suburb of Kottayam town in the state of Kerala.
Learn more about Mary Roy’s life journey, her accomplishments and her work as a champion of women’s rights activists.
Who was Mary Roy?
Mary Roy was the daughter of PV Issac, an English-trained entomologist. She was denied her share of the familiar property due to the Travancore Inheritance Act 1916 because of which she sued her brothers after her father’s death. It became the first case that made its way through the Indian court system which she also won. Mary Roy’s daughter Arundhati Roy is the winner of the Man Booker Prize.
Mary Roy was known for winning a Supreme Court case in 1986 against a gendered inheritance law that prevailed among the Syrian Malabar Nasrani community in Kerala.
The judgment guaranteed equal rights for Syrian Christian women as with their male siblings in their ancestral property. Until then, his Syrian community Christina followed the provisions of the Travancore Succession Act of 1916 and the Cochin Succession Act of 1921.
Renowned educator and social worker Mary Roy, whose legal battle ensured equal rights for Syrian Christian women in their ancestral property, has died aged 89, her family say
– Tap Trust of India (@PTI_News)
September 1, 2022
Mary Roy v Kerala State: What Happened?
Women in Mary Roy’s Christian community were unable to inherit property due to the Travancore Succession Act 1916. Supporting this, she brought a case against George Issac, her brother after her father PV Issac died in 1960 Mary Roy sued her. brother to gain access to their remaining inheritance. The lower court initially rejected his plea.
Mary Roy then went to the Kerala High Court in 1994 to have the judgment of the lower court set aside. She was successful and after her mother’s death in the year 2000, Mary Roy approached Kottayam Sub-Court for final judgment. Business continued until 2008, after which she finally received ownership.
Mary Roy: Personal Life
Mary Roy admitted to having a complicated relationship with her older brother George, whom she had sued, and also spoke about the separation from her husband.
The God of Little Things by Arundhati Roy has an Ammu character which was based on her mother Mary Roy who also confirmed that she is very similar to the character her daughter wrote.
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