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Phoolan Devi

(1963 - 2001)

by Prakash Kona

third world womanhood
of the utterly exploited
and destitute
woman that rejects the peace of unequals
woman that screams and curses and rages
hysterical and murderous
woman that does not stand a chance
in the world of men
and left to fight or die
chooses to die fighting
finite person
with infinite potential to organize
and strike back

[Author’s note] Phoolan Devi, popularly known as the Bandit Queen, is a woman revolutionary in India. She is a mixture of Emiliano Zapata and Rosa Luxemburg, someone who came from the wretched of the earth and resisted the right-wing male chauvinist social order, which is what India is all about.

You can learn more about her at this website.

The meaning of the name Phoolan Devi is ‘goddess of flowers’. It might remind you of the flowers in the works of Jean Genet, where beauty and frailty coexist with great strength and the power to transform the world.

Copyright © 2007 by Prakash Kona

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