Meet Phoolan Devi who killed 22 men as a revenge for being gang-raped
Also known as the Bandit Queen, Phoolan Devi was born in 1963 in the north of India into a poor low-caste family. She married at the age 11 to a man three times her age, but was abandoned by her husband and her family after the marriage broke down. At her 20s she was subjected to numerous sexual assaults and turned to a life of crime.
In 1979 she was imprisoned in Behmai, an obscure Thakur village. Each night for two weeks, a group of Thakur men gang-raped Phoolan, most times until she lost consciousness. After three weeks, she managed to escape and formed a gang.
Almost two years later, she stumbled upon Behmai to rob the villagers. What began as a robbery transformed into an inquisition when Phoolan recognized two of the men as part of the gang that had raped her. When the villagers failed to disclose the whereabouts of the gang leaders, an infuriated Phoolan assembled the men in a line and opened fire. Of the thirty men who crumbled, twenty-two died in what became known as the St. Valentine massacre, the largest massacre by bandits in Indian history.
Afterwards, police launched a huge manhunt using helicopters and thousands of men, but Phoolan Devi’s already high reputation among the poor was enhanced as she frequently outwitted them and evaded capture. She surrendered to the authorities in 1983 in poor health after most of her gang members had died. After serving her time in prison (11 years) she insisted that she was a reformed character and was elected to the Indian parliament. There she tried to establish a reputation as a champion of the oppressed in India. Phoolan Devi’s criminal record and subsequent rehabilitation was made into a successful feature film in India and the west.
On July 25, 2001, Phoolan Devi was fatally shot as she got out of her car at the gate of her New Delhi residence. Sher Singh Rana confessed to the murder, saying he was avenging the deaths of 22 Kshatriyas at Behmai.
“StreetMuseum makes creative use of Google Maps and geo-tagging to show users how London used to look. You can use it to check out pictures and info about nearby historic locations, which is has more of a straightforward walking tour feel. But the fun starts when you’re actually standing in front of a location in the database.”
John Peña, Jon Rubin, and Dawn Weleski have opened Conflict Kitchen, a Pittsburgh-based restaurant that only serves food from countries currently involved in a conflict with the United States. The restaurant plans to switch the theme every four months to a new country engaged in political turmoil with the US. (via Conflict Kitchen: Cuisine Promoting Cultural Awareness - PSFK)
From a list of words that once existed in the English language but no one uses anymore:
stelliscript: that which is written in the stars