The Sunday Edition

Rebels in pink: the Gulabi Gang's gender revolution in India

Sampat Pal wears a pink sari and carries a big stick. The bamboo stick is a a symbol of courage and battle-readiness. The bright pink stands out in a crowd. It is avowedly, defiantly female. In Uttar Pradesh, one of India's poorest, most populous, most violent and corrupt states, everyone knows what they stand for: the Gulabi Gang....
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Sampat Pal wears a pink sari and carries a big stick. The bamboo stick is a a symbol of courage and battle-readiness. The bright pink stands out in a crowd. It is avowedly, defiantly female.
 
In Uttar Pradesh, one of India's poorest, most populous, most violent and corrupt states, everyone knows what they stand for: the Gulabi Gang.

An Indian high court judge once described the Uttar Pradesh police force as the largest criminal organization in the country. Thugs roam the countryside. Rape is commonplace. In fact, the state has the highest rate of sexual violence in the country, and that's saying a lot. So when Sampat Pal founded the Gulabi Gang nine years ago - with its call for gender and caste justice - women flocked to her. Now she has more than 200,000 followers.

Ashley Walters visited the Gulabi Gang on its home turf in northern India. Her documentary is called "You Will Become a Lioness."

As you listen, we hope you'll enjoy these images of the Gulabi Gang:


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