Pink Vigilantes Fight for Indian Women with Big Sticks
The Pink Vigilantes are an extraordinary women’s movement formed in 2006 by a 25 year old woman in Northern India. This region is one of the poorest districts in the country and is marked by a deeply patriarchal culture, rigid caste divisions, female illiteracy, domestic violence and other awful issues.
They are sworn to root out corruption in the police force and deliver ruthless summary justice to anyone believed guilty of domestic violence or sexual abuse.
The women wear pink as a kind of makeshift uniform – and their ranks have swelled to tens of thousands strong. They also have some male supporters.
They arm themselves with lathi – traditional sticks – which they have used to beat men who have abandoned or abused their wives and policemen who have refused to register claims of rape.
The women are incredibly poor and also low caste untouchables. In a poor country with a corrupt government, there are those who feel like they can do what they like to them and get away with it, including rape.
Aarti Devi, 25, says: “On my own I have no rights but together, as the Gulabi Gang, we have power.
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