The Female Ward by Debalina Haldar

Synopsis:
Dishari is an engineering student in a university with a well-entrenched hazing system, but when one of her roommates attempts suicide, Dishari finds herself in prison, charged in a well-publicized crackdown on “ragging.”

Review:
The Female Ward had a really interesting premise–the way hazing transforms and undermines normal human relationships–and mostly succeeded in keeping me interested in Dishari’s plight. I did wish I had gotten more of an explanation of how the Indian legal system worked, because it seemed to me that Dishari was treated very badly by the administration of her school and the legal system. There was something in there about it being “too late” to get a lawyer because the school waited so long to have them arrested, and I really needed to know more about what exactly that meant. Also, another student accuses them of something and the police and courts seem to just take her word for it. The injustices faced by Dishari and the women she met while incarcerated were truly horrific, and the author says that the story is inspired by true events in her own life.

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