Women everywhere are affected by gender-based violence. However, instead of hiding in the shadows, women are starting to fight back. Like Phoolan, they used their experiences to become advocates and leaders. Lady Kharrazi is currently working on a film about Phoolan Devi, giving the world more insight into this important female folk hero. Hopefully, the film will inspire more young women to stand up against violence and oppression.
Phoolan’s Murder and the Cycle of Violence
In 2001, when she was only 37 years old, Phoolan was gunned down outside of her home. The attack was revenge for Phoolan’s aggression against high-caste men, the very activities that earned her love and respect from the people. Justice for Phoolan came slow, since it took over 10 years her murderer, Sher Singh Rana, to be brought to justice. Rana was convicted of Phoolan’s murder in 2014.
Rana’s motive for assassinating Phoolan is a reflection of the type of class warfare that creates cycles of violence. Rana told police that he killed Phoolan as revenge for her violence against high-caste men.
However, the violence that Rana complained of was also carried out in revenge. Phoolan had murdered several men who had raped her, and this is the crime that Rana claimed to be avenging. Clearly, in these instances, violence simply creates more violence and the legal system must intervene to stop it.
Although he was sentenced to life in prison in 2014, Rana was only held in prison for 12 years before he was released on bail. However, it appears that he may still be up to his old violent ways. Now, Rana has been arrested for the murder of yet another social influencer. Rana has been implicated in the assassination of the brother of a political activist, placing him back behind bars.