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5 Documentaries On Indian Women You Must Watch

Posted: November 7, 2015

Here we talk about 5 documentaries on Indian women everyone must watch. There are many lives Indian women lead, these documentaries bring it to light

Documentaries are history written in moving photos.  Hundred years down the line, if we want to know an age, we can watch a documentary and understand it. Movies can act as the same, but documentaries are more reliable as they are non fictional. Here we write about 5 documentaries about Indian women, everyone should watch. These documentaries primarily talk about the many lives Indian women live.

Prostitutes of God

In India where everything is in contrast, religion and prostitution are geared together in the name of the Devadasi tradition of India.

Girls as young as 10 are given away to temples in the name of God, which in bitter reality makes little girls prostitutes and parents as pimps. As, one of the Devadasi says that if she goes to school, her family will go hungry.In olden times, the Devadasis were temple dancers, who had a high place in the society. However, as time passed by, they were reduced to street hookers, with the fear of AIDs and other STDs.

In this video, you will meet young girls, sold to landlords as Devadasis to old Devadasis who are scurrying for two meals a day.

As, an old Devadasi say, “It has to end with us.”


Gulabi Gang

Satbodh Saindata founded the Gulabi Gang, who was a former child bride, a mother of 5 and a Govt. health worker after having beaten an abusive husband. After that a lot of women joined her intending to punish abusive husbands. They either scolded, publicly humiliated or threatened to beat up with lathis, if the husband would not stop abusing his wife.

They wear pink as a uniform. Most of the women are from a poor background and the lowest caste, the Dalit. The gang makes no discrimination based on gender, as they fight against male oppression too. Crimes like dowry, dowry beatings, rape, child marriages, domestic abuse, dowry death,  desertion, depriving one of an education, child molestation, and sexual harassment are all watched for and punishable by the gang.

This documentary features the everyday life of the Gulabi gang.


The World Before Her

This documentary takes up two women who live contrasting lives in two training camps. Ruhi Singh, who aspires to be a Miss India and the other Prachi Trivedi, a Hindu Nationalist with Durga Vahini. This documentary brings in the contrast of the rural and urban India. The two contrasting Indias that co-exist together.  It shows the confusion of the old values and the new ideas. It vividly showcases the contrast that India lives each day when it comes to women and religion.  This documentary is a glaring commentary on the India we are living today.


Ladies Special

This documentary explores the ladies compartment of the Mumbai local trains that takes 3 million people to and from their work places. The compartment is vibrant, often transforming to a kitchen where a woman is chopping her vegetables or to a beauty parlor where a woman is doing her manicure. Gossips are exchanged, counseling sessions happen, song and dance happens and festivals are celebrated. This documentary very brilliantly explores a women’s world that exists inside the ladies special compartment.


Tales of the Night Fairies

This is a documentary on the lives of the sex workers of Sonagachi Kolkata. However, it is not a story of pain or shame that we might want think on hearing the name ‘Sex worker.’ This story vibrantly talks and shows about the lives of the sex workers who are normal human beings like us. The sex workers in this documentary are empowered under Sonagachi sex workers association. The can negotiate with the local police on raids, fines or any brutality meted out to them. This documentary will want you question if prostitution should be legalized in India.


Proud Indian. Senior Writer at Women's Web. Columnist. Book Reviewer. Street Theatre - Aatish. Dreamer.

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