Gulabi Gang

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For the 2012 documentary film, see Gulabi Gang (film).
For the 2014 Bollywood film, see Gulab Gang.
A member of the Gulabi Gang during a meeting

The Gulabi gang (from Hindi गुलाबी gulabī, "pink") is a group of Indian women vigilantes and activists originally from Bundelkhand, Uttar Pradesh,[1] but reported to be active across North India as of 2010.[2]


The Gulabi gang was founded by Sampat Pal Devi, a mother of five and former government health worker (as well as a former child bride), as a response to widespread domestic abuse and other violence against women.[3] Gulabis visit abusive husbands and threaten to beat them with laathis (sticks) unless they stop abusing their wives.[1][4]

In 2008, they stormed an electricity office in Banda district and forced officials to turn back on the power they had cut in order to extract bribes.[5] They have also stopped child marriages and protested dowry and female illiteracy.[2]

Al Jazeera reported that the group have an estimated 400,000 members as of 2014; the Hindustan Times put the figure at 270,000.[6][7]

On 2 March 2014, Sampat Pal Devi was relieved of her role at the head of the Gulabi Gang amidst allegations of financial impropriety and putting her personal interests ahead of those of the group.[8]

In popular culture[edit]

The Gulabi gang is the subject of the 2010 movie Pink Saris by Kim Longinotto[9] as is the 2012 documentary Gulabi Gang by Nishtha Jain.[10][11]

Initially, it was reported that the Bollywood film, Gulaab Gang, starring Madhuri Dixit and Juhi Chawla as leads, is based on Sampat Pal's life, but the director denied this, saying that he is obliged to her work but the movie is not based on her life.[12][13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Fontanella-Khan, Amana (19 July 2010). "Wear a Rose Sari and Carry a Big Stick: The women's gangs of India". Slate magazine. Retrieved 2011-10-25. 
  2. ^ a b Krishna, Geetanjali (5 June 2010). "The power of pink". Business Standard. Retrieved 2010-07-20. 
  3. ^ Biswas, Soutik (26 November 2007). "India's 'pink' vigilante women". BBC News. Retrieved 2010-07-20. 
  4. ^ Cochrane, p. 218
  5. ^ Prasad, Raekha (15 February 2008). "Banda sisters". The Guardian. Retrieved 2010-07-20. 
  6. ^ Desai, Shweta (4 March 2014). "Gulabi Gang: India’s women warriors". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 2014-05-04. 
  7. ^ Kumar, Rajesh (7 March 2014). "Gulabi Gang opposes chief Sampat Pal's political aspirations". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 2014-07-01. 
  8. ^ "Sampat Pal ousted from Gulabi Gang". The Times of India. 4 March 2014. Retrieved 2014-07-01. 
  9. ^ Melissa Silverstein (17 September 2010). "Trailer Alert: Pink Saris | Women & Hollywood". Retrieved 2013-03-02. 
  10. ^ "Gulabi Gang". Dubai Film Fest. Retrieved 2013-08-17. 
  11. ^ Gulabu Gang at the Internet Movie Database
  12. ^ Singh, Renu (10 March 2013). "Will take 'Gulab Gang' makers to court: Sampat Pal". The Times of India. 
  13. ^ Chandra, Anjali (10 May 2012). "Madhuri Dixit's comeback film in trouble!". The Times of India. 


External links[edit]