She was hardly 20, pale face with tons of burdens at such a young age. Her hands were trembling by the trepidation of the doom and the body was synchronizing with the convulsing hands, she couldn’t think of anything. Something was slaying her from inside but she couldn’t help it. At the moment she was having a mixed of infatuation, something totally rebut. She had marks all over her body, deep cuts on almost every body parts which were shrieking the gravity of the remorseless beating by her husband and his family. Her body was seeking for vengeance but the heart was retracting any such thought.
On one corner of that tiny house, in the verandah of whose the lady was sedentary. Lots of people gathered outside the house. The decrepit old judges of the village panchayats. The family members of the victim- Father, mother and local relatives. On one hand the villagers were talking to the husband’s family- the culprits. There were negotiations happening over their crime. The barefaced husband and the family was telling everyone that they are innocent! They did nothing, the fault was all hers. She initiated it all. She didn’t obey orders of her husband so she had to be punished. The villagers were listening evaluating the validity of their excuses. They convinced! Yes, the honorable jury of the respected village, the old shitheads misogynists, an all male committee was convinced by the husband’s family that they are innocent. The court was done. Justice was being done!
Suddenly somebody saw a bunch of women, all wearing pink saris and carrying a long bamboo in one hand, walking steadily towards the house. Everyone was staggered. Somewhere down the line they all were knowing that justice will now be done. The husband and his family were spell-bounded. The leader of the ‘gulabi’ gang approached the door, head straight to the victim and said ” Show me the bruises, these bastards are gone now!”
The Gulabi gang is an astounding women’s movement which was devised in 2006 by sampat pal in the
Banda district of Uttar Pradesh. Bundelkhand in the central India, a region now divided between Uttar
Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, latter holding the larger portions. Bundelkhand is a drought and famine
stricken region famous for its poverty and corruption, domestic violence, child labor, child marriages
and dowry demands. Dalits and women are often mortified by the so called upper class of the society.
Female foeticide is rather common and those who somehow escape the impunity are kept illiterate.
Against this backdrop, a local woman called sampat lal has started a movement for change; he gathered
few of her kind and created a team of local women whom he named collectively as Gulabi Gang. These
women fight against domestic violence. Their aim is to provide justice to those who can’t get it by
themselves for various reasons. Some are poor other belongs racially to the lower strata of the society.
For sampat lal, this is their fight too because she is a dalit too. For her, the word dalit doesn’t belong to a
caste only instead she assumes all oppressed people as dalits.
Our country is always been patriarchal. Boys aren’t outcasts, only girls are. People are sad when a
daughter is born. The same people burn firecrackers when boy is born. When a daughter is born, the
fault is in Daughter-in-law, irrespective of the fact that biologically it’s the boy who decides the fate of
the fetus. The worst is that Women themselves become enemies of women. When a men marries as he
likes does anyone say a word but when a girl fall in love, so many people raise objections. She’s either
driven to suicide or killed. Injustice again women never cease. The organization was founded primarily
to raise awareness among people and to promote women’s consciousness. Since the idea wasn’t
working very well sampat decided to form the Gulabi gang, her plea that the organization should be
present in every village of the district. She herself trained each and every member of the gang. She
teaches them how to effectively use a stick since it is their primary weapon.
Gulabi is Pink, the symbol of feminism, it reflects women power. The members of Gulabi gang are local
village women and they wear pink saris. Every month or two, sampat visit these villages and meet the
gang members! She interacts with them directly and tells them about recent issues. Her gang members
are ferocious; they are willing to provide justice to everyone, irrespective of the factors like society and
status. Their sticks are always ready to land such blows which could take anybody’s life out. On one sad
news from anywhere around the region, these women gather up in the characteristic pink saris and a
long bamboo sticks in their hands, ready to blow heads of those who mistreat women.
Today, Gulabi gang is standing proudly with more than 10,000 active members who have provided
justice to thousands of women. Instead of adopting a traditional system of justice, which is rigorous and
time consuming these women have adopted a simple but effective policy of direct engagement.
Long live Sampat Lal!