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Phoolan Devi  

* 10 August 1963, Gorha Ka Puwa, India | + 25 July 2001, New Delhi

Her family belonged to the lowest caste.

Phoolan was married off at the age of 11 and from then on was abused, raped and in the and in the end disowned. Her uncle had her kidnapped by a gang and that’s how Phoolan met Vickram, the leader, whom she eventually married. However, Vickram was murdered soon after and Phoolan was taken to a village where she was tortured and raped by men for three weeks. She pleaded for her death. But she managed to escape and she returned to the bandit gang. There she became their queen and began extensive raids. They distributed the captured money to poor people and members of lower castes. Phoolan, however, was driven by hatred and she is accused of killing 22 men out of revenge in the so-called „Behmai Massacre“, it was the village where she was held for 3 weeks. 

After that, a merciless hunt for her and her gang began. On February 12, 1983. Phoolan surrendered and she spent 11 years in prison without a trial.

After her release, she worked as a human rights activist and was hailed as a heroine of the poor. She became a politician for a left-wing party, converted to Buddhism, and has since rejected violence. In 2001, she was murdered by a cousin of a slain rapist.

The flower (meaning Phoolan) was only 38 years old. And I wonder … how did an uneducated girl, who could neither write nor read and was socially excluded, who went through humiliations, suffering and agonies,

to stand up for herself, to stop accepting injustice and humiliation … to fight back? Of course, violence must not be followed by violence, but perhaps that was the only thing Phoolan Devi could do to counter it all.

Anger was all she had left.