"Bandit Queen" Phoolan Devi shot dead in New Delhi
July 25, 2001 3:00 AM   Subscribe

"Bandit Queen" Phoolan Devi shot dead in New Delhi The plot summary of the movie about her life said she wanted to enter politics. An untimely passing.
posted by allaboutgeorge (7 comments total)
i believe she had entered politics - npr this morning said she was an MP. i'm completely fascinated by this story, for no apparent reason...
posted by judith at 9:23 AM on July 25, 2001

She was an MP. Last year my mom saw her at the Beijing +5 U.N. Women's conference in NY. She walked like a rockstar with everyone crowding her. She is/was extremely popular in the women's rights circles.
posted by tamim at 9:40 AM on July 25, 2001

I never understood how she managed to become an MP. In civics we were taught that people with a criminal record are not allowed to hold a government job. It has always been a mystery to me to see so many politicians with criminal records.

Yes I know various older politicians went to jail too, but that was prior to independence, and they were sent to jail because they were freedom fighters. While Phoolan Devi was the Bandit Queen.
posted by riffola at 10:55 AM on July 25, 2001

posted by clavdivs at 12:47 PM on July 25, 2001

Greatest ever bandit imprisoned and then an MP definitely Michael Collins. Any contenders? Nelson Mandela comes to mind. It's so hard to be a bandit these days. That's why we need to inhabit other planets.
posted by Zootoon at 3:03 PM on July 25, 2001

I've seen the movie and I don't know how accurate that movie is. I mean I'm sorry she had a terrible life (married at a young age/raped by husband--thugs--outlaws/shunned by family) but, unfortunately, this is life as usual for most lower caste /poor (female) villagers in India. It's a sad reality, and what made her different was that she got into a life of crime, and raided/plundered villages.

Then I guess someone decided to make her life story into a movie, and the rest, as they say, was history. Because of her celebrity status, she got special treatment: Her jail sentance was grately reduced, the Samajwadi Party -- party of the downtrodden/lower/backward caste-- asked her to join and run for a seat from the state of Utter Pradesh (in north India) and of course, the great Indian masses, who only saw her as a movie idol, elected (and re-elected) her. It's a sad commentary on the Indian society. I think she killed quite a few many people -- and NOT all of them were evil as portrayed in the movie.

I have no idea who killed her. Maybe it was a political conspiracy. Or maybe it was revenge for one of the may people she killed -- before her days as a Bandit celebrity. I just hope they don't make a martyr of her!
posted by Rastafari at 6:00 PM on July 25, 2001

Phoolan Devi was a legend even before the movie. When you talk about dacoits, her name would be one of the first to be mentioned. I think in the pre-terrorism '80s Phoolan Devi and Charles Sobraj were the two most popular criminals in India.
posted by riffola at 6:24 PM on July 25, 2001

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