Phoolan Devi, the outlaw-turned-lawmaker portrayed in the movie "Bandit Queen," was assassinated yesterday outside her New Delhi home. Forced to marry at the age of 12, Devi fled her abusive husband and then joined a gang of outlaws who robbed from members of the upper castes and protected the lower castes, especially women. After Devi was kidnapped and gang raped in 1980 by the land owners of Behmai, Deviís gang returned to the village and murdered 22 upper caste men. In 1994, Deviís story was mythologized in the movie "Bandit Queen." Her story of fighting gender and caste oppression through brutal crime was controversial.
For the past six years, Devi served in the Indian parliament as a representative of the Samajvadi Party. While some have speculated that her murderers were avenging the Behmai killings, they may have been politically motivated as well. Samajvadi Party leader Amar Singh remarked, "There seems to be a political design behind her killing, as it comes hardly a few months before the elections."
Media Resources: The Washington Post, July 26; The New York Times, July 26
5/27/2015 California Passes Reproductive FACT Act - The California State Assembly passed the Reproductive Freedom, Accountability, Comprehensive Care and Transparency (FACT) Act yesterday.
AB 775, or the FACT Act, passed 48-25 in a vote, and requires that unlicensed facilities in California that provide pregnancy-related services disclose that they are not licensed medical providers. . . .
5/26/2015 Ireland Votes Overwhelmingly to Legalize Same-Sex Marriage - Over the weekend, the people of Ireland voted overwhelmingly to pass a national referendum legalizing same-sex marriage.
Ireland became the first country in the world to pass marriage equality through popular vote on Friday. . . .