CHENNAI: She is known for her ‘homemaker judgement’ which dealt with the economic value of a homemaker’s work. Meet Prabha Sridevan, former Madras High Court judge, author, translator and literature buff to name a few. Her first book Seeing in the Dark (2015), was a translation of a collection of short stories by writer R Chudamani, and Prabha is now back with her second book — Of Vineyard Equality.
If you are a fan of her path-breaking judgements and speeches, this book is sure to excite you. “The book is an anthology of some of my speeches and writings,” says Prabha, who retired in 2010. “I have never written something which I felt so close to.”
The book deals with human rights, women rights and IPR, and Prabha avers that it’s necessary for everyone to understand the basics of law. “Especially the youngsters…they should understand the basics of what the constitution means,” she opines. “In this book, I wanted a compilation of what I have written passionately about. I was specific that the book shouldn’t be for just the legal community, but everyone who is interested in knowing about the law.”
Talking about a few excerpts from the book, Prabha shares an insight into one speech that dealt with fraternity. “It was a speech I gave at Shastra University and I wanted to focus on the constitutional principles, mainly fraternity. We have really not paid heed to it. It is about considering another individual equal, and not treating them different from one another,” she shares.
Another speech close to her heart is the one she gave at NIAS, Bangalore, on leadership. “I spoke on various judgements of the HC and SC — where the court had moved swiftly, moved and gone back, or moved like the chess knight at times. Justice becomes an elusive concept and changes according to the laws in different cases,” she smiles, adding that reading her own words from the past made her see things differently. “It shows me how I have grown and has given me the ability to see things differently,” smiles Prabha, who was the Chairman of the Intellectual Property Appellate Board (2011-2013).
So what does her future look like? “I’ve been a very serious writer and I want to try something light. It’s just a thought and I am not sure how far it would go,” shares the voracious reader. “I always had a passion to read more…but, I really don’t remember when I decided to write!” she says.
Prabha is working on the translation of another set of stories by Chudamani. “The first draft is almost over…the book will be launched in 2017,” she adds.