Translator(s): Vasantha Surya
ISBN/UPC (if available): 81-86706-62-3
Birthright, a short novel by best selling Tamil writer Vaasanthi, deals with the theme of female foeticide. Mano, the protagonist, is a doctor, a gynaecologist by training, who has chosen to work in her small village, in a clinic of her own. She performs abortions on female foetuses for women who come to her, with a total disregard of the law, seeing her work as a service to women.
Her simultaneous empathy and dislike for her work, and what the women are going through, is mirrored in her personal life when, as the only child, she strives to prove herself to her ageing father. This complex phenomenon of the search for personhood coupled with a sort of self hatred forms the theme of Vaasanthi's insightful novella and is the unanswerable force of its central plea for gender justice and equality.