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India’s Pink Gang Rages Against the Patriarchy in This Short Documentary

“We are not a gang in the usual sense of the term, we are a gang for justice.”

Photo via Grain Media's Facebook page.

The Gulabi Gang is a group of feminist Indian women founded in 2006 by Sampat Pal in the Banda District of Uttar Pradesh in Northern India, a district renowned for its hardcore patriarchy. The women are famed worldwide for donning pink saris, wielding bamboo sticks, and standing up to oppressive husbands, fathers, and men in the community. “We are not a gang in the usual sense of the term, we are a gang for justice,” said Sampat.


We Are Fire is a short documentary about the Gulabi Gang by director Orlando von Einsiedel (Virunga). Released in December of 2014, the doc follows a widow named Champa as she joins the Gulabi sisterhood and fights for women’s rights.

“Gulabi gang!” they chant en masse, patrolling the streets of their district. “Long live! To give respect to our sisters! Gulabi gang is with you! Gulabi gang! Long live! We are women of India! Not just women, we are fire!”

Watch We Are Fire, compiled from footage shot for the Al Jazeera ad campaign Hear the Human Story, here.

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