India's Bandit Queen: True Story of Phoolan Devi

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9780002720663: India's Bandit Queen: True Story of Phoolan Devi

In February 1983, Phoolan Devi, a young woman of 26 and India's most wanted bandit, laid down her weapons before portraits of Mahatma Gandhi and the goddess Kali, and embraced the feet of the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh in an act of negotiated surrender. This ceremony, which took place in front of a crowd of more than 70,000 people in a remote village in northern India, had been organized by the local chief of Police with the full support of Mrs Gandhi, who was fighting her last election campaign. Basing her account on Phoolan Devi's diaries and letters on interviews with her and her family, police records and eye-witness accounts, Mala Sen tells the story of Phoolan Devi's extraordinary life from defence of her father's land rights as a child, through arranged marriage at 11, revolt at 18 and kidnap and rape by dacoits (bandits) at 21, to her sudden emergence as a gang leader and a living legend. Operating from the ravines along the Chambal River - the river of revenge - Phoolan Devi had much to avenge.

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. dw, 1991, 254pp

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Mala Sen
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Sen, Mala
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