Review: ‘My Name is Mary Sutter’ by Robin Oliveira

By Sandhya Shyamsundar, WBNUJS, Kolkata

This riveting saga takes place in New York, during the American Civil War in 1861. Enter Mary Sutter, much respected, remarkable and adept midwife who’s sole intent is to become a surgeon and to prove equal to any man. But sadly, medical schools refuse to teach women and repeatedly turn her down. Mary suffering from a broken heart, heads off to Washington DC where Dorothea Dix having persuaded Abraham Lincoln, recruits a band of nurses to tend the Civil war wounded and, serve the army doctors. Further, she is assisted and encouraged by two surgeons who both, infatuated, fall for her and help her in every possible way in the hope that one day, she will establish her medical career. The book chronicles not only the story of miss Sutter but of each and every soldier involved in the war suffering at the hands of corrupt politicians, incompetent generals and surgeons who are forced to amputate several limbs in filthy and noxious camp sites.

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Honour Killing: Honourable or a licence to kill?

By Sagarika Chandel, KIIT School Of Law, Bhubaneswar.

November 15th 2014, a final year student from a reputed college of Delhi University strangulated to death by her parents for marrying a youth of a different caste. November 29th 2014, an eight months pregnant teenager strangulated to death by her brothers and thrown into a canal in Meerut. September 18th 2013, a girl was lynched by her own family and her paramour beheaded publicly by the girl’s parents and uncle as “no regrets” was said by the remorseless father of the deceased victim. April 2012, a 26 year old teacher was killed by her mother, brother and uncle as she wished to marry a boy belonging to a different religion and a lower caste. In June 2007, six men murdered a newly-wed couple for marrying outside their ‘gotra’ in Haryana after the village elders accused the couple of violating the code of conduct relating to marriage.

The above mentioned cases, shamefully, do not even account for a handful of the total cases of honour killing in India. More than 1000 young individuals in India are condoned to death every year owing to ‘Honour Killings’.  (more…)