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Pink Sari Revolution: A Tale of Women and Power in India Hardcover – August 5, 2013

ISBN-13: 978-0393062977 ISBN-10: 039306297X Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 1 edition (August 5, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 039306297X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393062977
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.7 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #731,182 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

In this prescient look at contemporary Indian society, Mumbai-based Fontanella-Khan follows the case of a young woman arrested on charges of theft who claims she was, in fact, raped by her accuser. Her salvation comes at the hands of a basically illiterate former child bride who is the de facto leader of a grassroots organization of women, the Pink Gang. These primarily poor women in their distinctive saris bring attention to abuses of power on the part of elected officials, private individuals, and the police. They defend the victim and make her a cause célèbre, and soon her case rivets the nation. This story alone makes this title appealing, but Fontanella-Khan also peels back the layers of these women’s lives, revealing private struggles and the insidious manner in which politics and corruption are woven into daily Indian life in a society with no regard for personal rights and a disastrously dysfunctional legal system. Fontanella-Khan masterfully exposes the complications of Indian life and the ongoing struggle for women to be heard. --Colleen Mondor

Review

“With her usual deep reporting, humane storytelling, clarity of explanation, and wry humor, Fontanella-Khan brings to life a group of women who have overcome origins and odds most of us can not even imagine to create a movement that might very well change India—and the West’s image of what it means to be a woman in the Third World.” (Hanna Rosin, author of The End of Men: And the Rise of Women)

“Riveting, inspiring, and relevant…. A fast-paced, powerful, and sympathetic portrait of a victim and her subaltern champion in the dusty heart of northern India.” (Meenakshi Venkat - New York Journal of Books)

“A powerful, engrossing portrait of one woman’s fight for female empowerment in India. Sampat Pal’s extraordinary courage will inspire you, delight you, and fill you with hope.” (Sonia Faleiro, author of Beautiful Thing: Inside the Secret World of Bombay’s Dance Bars)

“Having interviewed the principals and reviewed available newspaper accounts, Fontanella-Khan brings a novelist’s pacing to a timely page-turner that is essentially political; party politics, political corruption, and the wretched treatment of rape victims are her true subjects.” (Publishers Weekly)

“An inspiring profile… highly recommended for all applicable collections.” (Library Journal)

“This beautifully rendered book is a call to women everywhere to take the world into your hands, to rise and resist.” (Eve Ensler, author of The Vagina Monologues and In the Body of the World)

“A fine tribute to a remarkable woman, a close look at an India that still exists beneath the economic boom of recent years, and a rousing reminder that formidable will can make a difference.” (The New Republic)

“A nuanced humanizing portrait of a teenage-mother-turned-social-crusader who is loud, boastful and blessed with a wicked sense of humor.” (John McMurtrie - San Francisco Chronicle)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Gamaliel Isaac on August 13, 2013
Format: Hardcover
This is an inspiring story about women with tremendous courage who rose against exploitation in order to defeat it. The most remarkable woman in this story is Sampat Pal a woman who rose out of poverty to become a mighty force to be reckoned with. If only we had her kind of courage in the West the world would be a much better place. It makes me wonder, "Where are the feminists in the West? Why aren't they standing with Sampat Pal? Why aren't they at least raising money for her? Why do Western feminists who have it so good exaggerate their problems while ignoring their sisters who are suffering?"
This book is well written and for the most part the author lets the story tell itself without interjecting her biases. I have been to India several times but had difficulty understanding the country and the people there. I understand the country a lot better as a result of having read this book. I recommend this book for people who want to understand India, and for those who want to read an inspiring tale about women in revolt against corruption and exploitation.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Laurie Pollock on October 21, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I wish it were better written, but the story and the people are fascinating. Did you know the police force of Uttar Pradesh is considered the biggest crime organization in the world? For better writing, read "Behind the Beautiful Tomorrows" but this concerns one woman and what she's doing to correct things, so it's uplifting, not depressing.
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Format: Hardcover
This critical, powerful and well-written book is so necessary now.

I leave you with Fontanella-Khan's words:

"There is no doubt that a strong Pink Gang is needed now more than ever. The challenge criminal politicians pose is a national problem.

This may be the main reason why life in India is steadily worsening for women, who suffer the most when the police and judiciary systems are corrupted. In the past four decades, the number of reported rapes has shot up by 792 percent. Conviction rates, however, are dropping. A similar story is found in domestic violence, which has climbed by 30 percent in the same time period. Across the board, crimes against women have been increasing.

The scale of the problem, which seems insurmountable, has made Sampat even more bent on social justice. She thinks she knows how it can be achieved. Drawing on the wisdom she learned when taking on powerful landlords as a mere child (and I must interject here - one of my favorite parts of the book!!) she says, "If the problem is big, we must become even bigger than it. In unity there is a lot of power."

Sampat is a true She-roe - and those of us in the Western world can learn a great deal from her courage.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Deirdre Anderson on January 28, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Although this is a story that needs to be told to the world, the book was not well written and was hard to follow at times. The author repeated herself throughout the book as well. For these reasons I would not recommend it.
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