The Lathi: Background information when reading Pink Sari Revolution

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Pink Sari Revolution

A Tale of Women and Power in India

By Amana Fontanella-Khan

Pink Sari Revolution
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  • Hardcover: Aug 2013,
    304 pages.
    Paperback: 25 Aug 2014,
    304 pages.

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Beyond the Book:
The Lathi

Throughout Pink Sari Revolution, the stick carried by the Gulabi Gang is referred to as a pink-painted "baton." More accurately it is a lathi stick – a traditional Indian weapon, made of bamboo, with a long history of martial use.

The lathi being used by police Lathi (pronounced LAH-tee) literally means "bamboo stick" in Hindi. It is widely considered to be one of the oldest weapons in the world, and its use can be traced to aboriginal times throughout what is now eastern India and Bangladesh. Made from the male bamboo, it is usually six to eight feet long and is sometimes bound at intervals with iron rings or tipped with a metal blunt. It is an inexpensive, readily available weapon that is extremely effective at close range, operated by swinging like a bat or twirling and thrusting. The Times of India says, "When moved back and forth like a sword and aimed at someone, it cuts through the air, lands with a thwacking sound, peels off a thin layer of skin and sends waves of pain through the body, even as ...

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