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Pink Sari Revolution

A Tale of Women and Power in the Badlands of India

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When Sheelu was arrested for stealing from a powerful politician in the notoriously crooked region of Uttar Pradesh, she was sure that she would be forced to accept a prison sentence, not least because she had alleged that she had been assaulted by a man in the politician’s household. But then Sampat Pal heard word of the charges, and the formidable commander of the pink-sari-wearing, pink-baton-wielding, 20,000-strong ‘Pink Gang’ decided to shake things up.

Narrating the story of Sampat Pal and the Pink Gang’s fight for Sheelu, as well as for others facing injustice and oppression, journalist Amana Fontanella-Khan delivers a riveting portrait of women grabbing fate with their own hands — and winning back their lives.

Amana Fontanella-Khan is a contributor to the Financial Times, FT Weekend, New York Times, Daily Beast, Times of India, and others. After years living in Mumbai and coming to know the women of the Pink Gang, she now lives in Brussels.

  • Publisher: Oneworld Publications (September 1, 2013)
  • Length: 304 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781780743134

'A joy to read and a jolt to the conscience'

– The Times

‘Powerful… Fontanella-Khan balances descriptions of individual lives with more general insights about the struggles of women in India, and draws the reader in as the Pink Gang fights for Nishad’s freedom.’

– Financial Times

'Pink Sari Revolution often reads more like a novel than reportage. Her talent for storytelling and her detailed, sometimes poetic, descriptions of events and places, combined with helpful explanations of customs and politics, draw the reader in to create a fascinating portrait of a country in flux.'

– New Statesman

'A powerful, engrossing portrait of one woman’s fight for female empowerment in India. Sampat Pal’s extraordinary courage will inspire you, delight you and fill you with hope.'

– Sonia Faleiro, author of Beautiful Thing