Pink Sari Revolution: A Tale of Women and Power in India
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Pink Sari Revolution: A Tale of Women and Power in India

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3.64 of 5 stars 3.64  ·  rating details  ·  122 ratings  ·  31 reviews
A triumphant portrait of a fiery sisterhood changing the lives of India's women.

In Uttar Pradesh—known as the "badlands" of India—a woman’s life is not entirely her own. This is one explanation for how Sheelu, a seventeen-year-old girl, ended up in jail after fleeing her service in the home of a powerful local legislator. In a region plagued by corruption, an incident like...more
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published August 5th 2013 by W. W. Norton & Company (first published April 5th 2013)
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Miss GP
Interesting report on a group of women who use the power of numbers and their gender to assist other women in need of aid. Most of the material the author includes isn't a surprise; just about any non-fiction book about today's India will point out the corruption rampant in politics and law enforcement, the poor position of women, and the enormous poverty of most of the country's rural citizens. It is rather entertaining, though, to read about the formation of Sampat Pal's Pink Sari Gang, althou...more
Laura
From BBC Radio 4 - Book of the Week:
India's struggle with justice for women in the 21st century is becoming one of the most prominent news stories of the moment. In the last few months, another terrible gang rape hit the headlines. Women's collectives are growing up all over the country and beginning to fight back. The most prominent and potent is the Pink Sari Gang. This is their story.


Darcey
Fontanella-Khan does an excellent job of bringing Sampat Pal Devi and the injustices and corruption of Uttar Pradesh to a wider audience, but disappointingly she focuses so much on presenting the very one-sided view of Sampat and the particular case addressed in the book that she does not manage to successfully convey the challenges of life in India and the way things have been changing. Her portrayal is that of Sampat and the Gulabi Gang as seemingly the only forces against corruption - barely...more
Melanie
You know those celebrity interviews in magazines of dubious quality? The ones that read something along the lines of: "When I sat down with [fill in celebrity name here] for a quick brunch on Saturday, I was impressed by how great she looked in her simple blues jeans and t-shirt. I asked her about her dog and she giggled, 'My doggie is my best friend in the world! He's so sweet!'" etc? That's what this book reads like. I was really excited to read this book and read about a women's grass roots m...more
Adam
If the American publishing industry is to be believed, we live in an age of unprecedented revolutions. Even a cursory search on Amazon reveals that we are currently undergoing a revolution in how we eat (The Paleo Revolution, The Slow Cooker Revolution, The Green Smoothie Revolution), where we live (The Metropolis Revolution), how we run our businesses (The Social Media Revolution), how we live our lives (Work Life Revolution), and the role of government (Ron Paul's The Revolution: A Manifesto),...more
Amanda
I really like how this book was written. It made me want to read more by this writer. The content was new to me and answered questions like how do people work for justice where politicians and police are corrupt? The solution here is called the Pink Gang. Where groups of women self organize from certain geographic areas, to rise up against injustice. The leader of the time is a woman named Sampat Pal who represents fearlessness and is a gifted speaker. The women wear pink saris as there block un...more
Debby
Women for unity, for a stand against injustice & oppression, the "Pink Sari Revolution" is a perfect lucidity of language, conversations quoted verbatim. The author certainly brought out the courage & strength of the commander Sampat Pal & her famously unified group of women known as the "Gulab gang" with simplicity & precision. No unnecessary statistics, but complete focus on Sampat Pal's background, her call to unity of all women, the fight against corruption, certainly capture...more
Deanna
I cannot recommend this book enough. If you are interested in global women's rights, this book is a must-read. Amana Fontanella-Khan is a gifted writer and she knows how to weave in all the interconnected details surrounding the complexities of a women's movement trying to remain vigilant.
Amelia C
This is a fascinating story of a gritty pain in the #$% who takes justice for the women of UP into her own hands and starts a revolution of women wearing pink saris. You gotta be amazed at the power of this charismatic, uneducated woman and her ability to rouse and rally women to band together. It was not the best written book but it gave me a good insight into Rural India and the harshness towards women and the corruption of politicians and the cops. As violence against women is on the rise, th...more
Kirsty Connell
Reading Amana Fontanella-Khan's book Pink Sari Revolution: A Tale of Women and Power in the Badlands of India, you marvel between the corruption, veniality and stupidity of Uttar Pradesh's political and justice structures, and the individual stories of the women - often poor, illiterate and seemingly powerless - who are taking it on.

The book focuses on the efforts of Sampat Pal, the leader of a women's vigilante group the Pink Gang (named for the colours of their saris) to free Sheelu, a 17 year...more
Shradha
"Pink Sari Revolution" tells the story of Sampat Lal, a virtually illiterate woman who leads a social organization known as the Pink Gang, and her efforts to free Sheelu, a 17-year-old maid accused of stealing from a local politician's house. Throughout the course of the book Sampat Lal uses each and every option available to her to give not only Sheelu, but women all over India a voice with which to get the justice they deserve.

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads book gi...more
Angela
I'd give this 5 stars for it being unusual and inspirational but 3-4 for the way it is written .
I didn't really feel the author conveyed Sampat Pal's personality and thought processes that well, therefore
I felt a big distance from her as a character, and from the events.
However the structure is good with an ongoing case of rape of a particular young woman/girl being followed throughout with a final resolution.
Maybe this story would have worked better as a series of audio interviews.
Amanda
From our cozy homes safely tucked into western culture, it is hard to image what it must feel like to be born a poor woman in India. Author Amana Fontanella-Khan did more than imagine it. She lived embedded in the culture of the poor women of rural India and found that women are not just passively accepting their fate, but fighting for change. The story of Sampat Pal and The Pink Gang is told with grace and honesty in Pink Sari Revolution. These women battle with their voices and their mere pres...more
Anna
Recieved this book in a Ravelry Giveaway. Thank you.

The way the author wrote this book is as though you are with them through the journey with occasional stops on the way to explain some background over dinner. She immerses you in the culture and brings you into the homes of the people. This makes you feel like the you know and understand Sumpat and everyone around her. Shows exactly what women in that part of rural India encounter as part of their life and how some are doing their best to help...more
☯Bettie☯
Mar 06, 2014 ☯Bettie☯ rated it 3 of 5 stars Recommends it for: BBC radio listeners
BOTW

Blurb:India's struggle with justice for women in the 21st century is becoming one of the most prominent news stories of the moment. In the last few months, another terrible gang rape hit the headlines. Women's collectives are growing up all over the country and beginning to fight back. The most prominent and potent is the Pink Sari Gang. This is their story.

Sampat Devi Pal, raised in India's Uttar Pradesh region, was married off at twelve, had her first child at fifteen, and is essentially
...more
Rita M
The amazing part is how recent this all took place 2010-2011. Sad how corrupt parts of the world are. Sad how little value women have in some cultures. The writing was a bit slow to read, but I need to remember it is nonfiction. Author doesn't have the freedom to embellish!
Miranda
Topic was amazing and interesting. Journalism and writing not so great. Overall a mixed bag. Good to learn more though...
Michelle
This wasn't particularly well-written, but nonetheless is a very interesting story of the judicial process in Uttar Pradesh, a particular rape case, and the rather thuggish but fascinating Pink Sari Gang, who agitate for women's issues. The leader of this gang, Sampat Pal, is studied at length--loud, brash, and used to getting her way, she vigorously leads a large gang of women protesters who all wear hot pink saris. I certainly wouldn't want to get in her way!
Kirstin
Not the provoking journalistic-style narrative I was hoping for. The book follows a specific series of events and fills out the specific details and issues of the Pink Gang and their leader as events develop. I was hoping for more of an issue-based organization of the book. I found the book not as provoking and informative as it could be, though I certainly did learn about the situation for women in India.
Valerie
This book provides a number of thought-provoking topics in its examination of the current state of one part of India: is it right to fight injustice by breaking the law and will radical action spur norm change or just create further entrenchment of the current state were just two of the many questions I pondered.

A portrait of an imperfect woman attempting to do extraordinary things.
Jeanne
Good Reads give away - thank you! The book held my interest - what woman would not find the issue of violence against women despicable? But I found the self congratulations of Sampat Pal just a bit too much. I would have enjoyed the book more if all the "pats on the back" were from others rather than herself.
Alene Scoblete
Indian women are subject to so many horrors in India but entrenched beliefs and a corrupt justice system mean that most crimes go unpunished. Sampat Pal is changing that with her Pink Gang. This is the story of vigilante justice where it is sorely needed.
Judy
The women united will never be defeated.
mscan59723
Great book if you want to know about women's rights in India. Sampat started a group in rural India to stand up for the poor. She has had success just by getting women together and demonstrating outside the offenders offices.
Samantha
I highly recommend this book. It offers a perspective on life and activism in India that I think is little discussed in the US. The storytelling is great, an it's hard not to admire Sampat's courage and root for the Pink Gang.
Patricia
This books gives us a glimpse of what it must be like to be a woman and live in India. This is a book about the courage of one woman who wants to change the rights of women in India. Very interesting read
Christine
Reader: Meera Syal
Producer: Clive Brill
Abridger: Eileen Horne
Author: Amana Fontanella-Khan

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes
Kelly Tobin
Really enjoyed this. An eye opener into the work of the oppressed women of India. Well researched and well written
Kelly Tobin
Really enjoyed this. An eye opener into the work of the oppressed women of India. Well researched and written
Jennifer
What an I incredible person! I can't imagine surviving, much less uprising, in the conditions described.
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Amana is a reporter and writer. Her articles and op-eds have appeared in The New York Times, The Financial Times, Wall Street Journal.com, Foreign Policy, Slate Magazine, Double X; Slate’s women’s blog, The Christian Science Monitor, VOGUE, Conde Nast Traveller and others. She is a former Contributing Editor for VOGUE (India).
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