Podcast: Gulabi Gang; A Discussion With The Director Nivedita Menon
These podcasts were recorded during a screening of Gulabi Gang an award-winning documentary film about rural woman’s activism in India followed by a discussion with Nivedita Menon the director of the film.
Nivedita Menon is a well known Malayali feminist theorist, author, and professor teaching political thought in Jawaharlal Nehru University, Centre for Comparative Politics and Political Theory.
She is the author of Recovering Subversion: Feminist Politics Beyond the Law (2004); and the editor of Gender and Politics in India (1999) and Sexualities (Women Unlimited, 2008).
In Bundelkhand, Sampat Pal Devi and a collection of women have formed the Gulabi Gang, a group created to empower themselves and take up the fight against gender violence in India as well as caste oppression and widespread corruption. They are challenging the existing patriarchy with organised social action which is attempting to unify women under this banner. This is a picture of rural India and depicts a common story about the masses of underprivileged women who suffer lack of agency and worse.
The director Nishtha Jain decided her story needed to be told after meeting Sampat Pal. Nishtha Jain, joined forces with the producer Torstein Grude from Norway. Torstein Grude had also previously developed a project on the Gulabi Gang. The film won several awards including the Best Film MuhrAsia Documentary at the Dubai International Film Festival. It remains an important social documentary of Indian culture.