Who is Cornelia Sorabji, todays Google Doodle

15 November, 2017, 18:10 | Author: Wade Massey
  • Cornelia Sorabji

Sorabji was the first woman to graduate in law from India from Bombay University as early as 1892 and the first Indian national to attend a British University.

- She was not allowed to defend the women, as the legal system in British India at the time forbade her from doing so. She was the first woman to achieve the feat. However, in 1894 Sorabji returned to India and became legal advisor to the government for the purdahnashins women who were forbidden by social customs.

It was a struggle for Cornelia to enter the Allahabad High Court until 1923, as there was a ban on female lawyers. Imagine how hard it would have been for her to achieve such a feat during the early half of the 20th Century, when patriarchy was the mainstream of the country. With her knowledge and thorough dedication, Cornelia strongly showed support in many campaigns for Indian Independence, especially the ones involving women and their rights, be it related to bringing reforms in the Hindu laws pertaining to child marriage or the status of widows in the country, or educating the girl child to improve the socio-economic conditions. "But Jowett, with a day to spare, had Oxford University's Council override him, under the motion "Oxford University shall examine Cornelia Sorabji".

Subsequently, Sorabji presented herself for the LLB examination of Bombay University in 1897 and pleader's examination of Allahabad high court in 1899. And practised law in one of the prestigious University of UK. Thus, those women were not able to communicate and fight for their own rights in courts.

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Later in 1904, she was assigned as a Lady Assistant at the Court of Wards, Bengal. She started to work in the provinces of Bengal, Bihar, Orissa and Assam.

In 1924, the legal profession was opened to women in India, and Sorabji began practising in Kolkata. But, patriarchy was at its prime form back then, and gender bias was something she was battling everywhere. "Celebrating India's first female lawyer, Cornelia Sorabji, on her 151st birth anniversary". She has written several short stories, articles and has penned her autobiography, "Between the Twilights".

Six years later, she retired and moved to London. The trend-setter barrister died at her London home on July 6, 1954.



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