Amidst the outrage in India over the brutal gang rape of a young woman travelling on a bus home with her friend, we would like to highlight a respected Indian woman who dealt with the utmost brutality from men in India.

The story of Phoolan Devi who stole from the rich and gave to the poor. Phoolan evolved from being a member of a “lower” Indian caste, being forced into marriage at the age of 11, she was raped and tortured … First by her husband, then by the police, and later by upper-caste members of her village. She escaped, and took revenge upon her tormentors (she stabbed her husband and dragged him out to the village square; later, she shot dead the villagers who raped her).

She proceeded to fight the caste wars as a field revolutionary, was charged with crimes and went to jail, and later on entered politics representing the lower-caste Samajwadi Party as an MP. Hated by some, she was a hero and a legend to many she represented.

Phoolan Devi was assassinated in 2001 by three masked men in New Delhi.