A Messiah for Women: Helping Girls Escape Abusive Marriage in India

By Homuth, Madelyn; Shimon, Heather et al. | Feminist Collections: A Quarterly of Women's Studies Resources, Spring 2011 | Go to article overview

A Messiah for Women: Helping Girls Escape Abusive Marriage in India


Homuth, Madelyn, Shimon, Heather, Young, Melissa A., Feminist Collections: A Quarterly of Women's Studies Resources


PINK SARIS. 96 mins. Directed by Kim Longinotto, 2010. Hindi with English subtitles. Distributed by Women Make Movies, 462 Broadway, Suite 500WS (at Grand Street), New York, NY 10013; phone: (212) 925-0606; fax: (212) 925-2052; website: http://www.wmm.com. DVD. Purchase: $350.00 for universities, colleges, & institutions, $89.00 for K-12, public libraries, & select groups; rental: $120.00.

Round Two: Last year, some of the staff of the Womens Studies Librarians Office got together to watch and review a film from the Wisconsin Film Festival. We enjoyed the process so much that we decided to do it again. This year, we chose Pink Saris, a documentary about the Gulabi Gang (who identify themselves by wearing hot pink saris) from the Uttar Pradesh region of Northern India, a place of extreme poverty. The film focuses on the groups leader, Sampat Pal, a member of the Untouchable caste who broke free of her husbands abusive family and now works to help young girls trapped in similar situations. We all found the film powerful and moving, but some of us were left with questions about the Gulabi Gang and its leaders dependability.

Heather: What were your general impressions of the film?

Madelyn: I really liked it. I have a well-rounded background regarding the Gulabi Gang, so this film was a nice representation of them, as opposed to just information about them. I have seen the documentary that AI Jazeera English did on them, and it was more of a history rather than showing them interacting. I appreciated the unaltered images in Pink Saris of what they do.

Heather: I wish the film would have had some background about the Gulabi Gang as an organization: where the money came from, its structure and activities.

Melissa: I came into it without knowing much about the group, but I liked how complex and human Sampat Pal was. Seeing these girls come to her in the middle of the night--even though she couldn't fix everything--made a huge impression on me.

Madelyn: I wondered how people knew about Sampat. Even though the Gulabi Gang is a large organization in Uttar Pradesh, and they have a hundred thousand members amongst a population of a few million, how do people find Sampat? Its unclear how that word-of-mouth transfer happened; how people knew to look for her or where to find her.

Heather: I wondered if Sampat's act ions were influenced by the cameras.

Madelyn: Her partner, Babuji, talked about that. He said that Sampat had changed by getting into activism, and that she played to the media because she wanted the attention of the newspapers and cameras following her.

Melissa: I was suspicious, but there's definitely a genuine quality there. Sampat is definitely passionate. Sometimes she would become enraged at people and would forget the cameras were there.

Madelyn: Shes actually less civilized and more violent in her everyday activities. The Gulabi Gang is famous for carrying giant sticks and fighting back.

Melissa: She even said if a man misbehaves, beat him. That surprised me.

Madelyn: I saw a news clip of the Gulabi Gang hitting a man for beating his daughter-in-law; they clearly are not "tame." Sampat was more words and less action in the film because she knew people were watching. But she is not a believer in non-violence.

Heather: This movie touched upon the status of women in India, especially die very poor, and it was quite disheartening.

Madelyn: It portrayed the child marriages and the expectation that a woman will kill herself if she loses her husband.

Heather: The women appeared to be hopeless and to have no options.

Madelyn: Sampat is their only option. No one has ever effectively challenged the status quo. There are female representatives in Parliament, but they do not pass laws that have teeth or that actually change the options women have. People still choose to have their daughters stay home while they send their sons to school, even though that might be disadvantageous or even against what the local authorities expect you to do. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • A full archive of books and articles related to this one
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

A Messiah for Women: Helping Girls Escape Abusive Marriage in India
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.