Phoolan Devi | Stree Shakti

Violence has many forms and many names. But in most cases the victim is a woman. Always considered the ‘weaker’ sex, the object one can use to ‘prove a point’, the ‘let-me-show-you-how-powerful-I-am’ path for the ‘strong and invincible’ man – a woman is the worst sufferer of misguided male ego.

Phoolan Devi

Born in a small village in UP, a girl suffers poverty and wades through the daily struggles of life. To add to her problems, her caste labels her as one of the lowest beings that on earth, and she is made to realize and accept this fact with every single breath that is taken. The little girl gets married at the tender age of eleven to a man who is much older in age. As is expected from such a marriage, she goes through rape and physical abuse only to be abandoned after a few years. And we all know how such women (was she old enough to be one?) are treated by society. She was the ‘fallen-woman’ who was forsaken by her own husband.

A section of male society considered it their birth right to make sure that the woman from low caste who dared to stand up against them and question certain social practices was shown her right place. And what better way than to inflict the worst form of punishment on her- rape. And when they felt it was not enough, a decision was taken to get her married to an old man, against her wishes.

She revolted and ran away.

But oh! That is the biggest crime of all, isn’t it? – A woman defying orders. She had to be taught a lesson – something that would be exemplary and set fear in every woman’s heart. A complaint was filed against her with the police who charged her with ridiculous charges of being a bandit (rather ironic, since she later ended up being one). After being caught, she was abused and gang raped by the police. She was then released, only to be further shunned by her village.

It was this and various other tortures inflicted on her and her family which made her reach the breaking point. She finally stood up for herself in the best way she knew – by taking the law into her own hands. -. For want of moreinformation and understanding, I will refrain from commenting on this. But what does matter is her will to make the abuse stop.

– The desperation to break free.

– The bitterness in heart.

– The fear of seeing the loved ones hurt.

She might have become a dacoit, a fear-invoking bandit. But she was a woman, a woman wronged by her husband and society, and who could one day take just no more.

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