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 illiterate. Yet she has risen to become the fierce and courageous founder and commander in chief of India's Pink Gang, a 20,000-member women's vigilante group fighting for the rights of women in India.
In narrating the riveting story of the Pink Gang's work on behalf of a young girl unlawfully imprisoned at the hands of an abusive politician, journalist Amana Fontanella-Khan explores the origins and tactics of a fiery sisterhood that has grown to twice the size of the Irish army.
Merging courtroom drama, compelling personal history, and a triumphant portrait of grassroots organisation, Pink Sari Revolution highlights the extraordinary work of women who are shaking things up within their own country.
Amana is a Mumbai-based writer of Pakistani and Irish descent. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Financial Times and the FT magazine. An honorary gulabi member, this is her first book.
Deploying all the might of the Pink Gang, Sampat wins the day, and Sheelu is released from jail, but it is plain that this is only one battle in a long and ongoing war that Indian women must fight.
Read by Meera Syal
Written by Amana Fontanella-Khan
Abridged by Eileen Horne
Produced by Clive Brill
A Pacificus production for BBC Radio 4.