Gangubai Kathiawadi: An inspiring Journey of a Brothel Head and a Political Leader of Kamathipura

The girl left the house to be the movie’s heroine, but fate’s cruelty was in the brothel. Gangubai accepted that life and became the voice of thousands of helpless women! Gangubai could not be the movie’s heroine, but today Sanjay Leela Bansali is making a movie with that unfortunate woman’s story.

This is the story of a struggling woman, the story of a warrior, the fear of a girl becoming a leader. This story is about courage, not giving up, realizing one’s rights. This story is about Gangubai Kathiawadi, whom Indians want to forget, but India’s history will not let them forget.

The girl was very fond of watching movies. In conservative Indian society in the 1940s, where it was difficult for girls to set foot outside the home, the teenager would ride a bicycle to the cinema hall four kilometers a week to watch new movies.

Sometimes the companion was the younger brother, sometimes the friend. The girl left home with the hope of becoming a heroine of the color screen and settled in Bombay, but fate made her a prostitute!

She did not become the heroine, but now the film is being made with her life story. Gangubai Kathiawadi’s life is actually more thrilling than the movie. There are dreams, hardships, sorrows, and many difficult chapters of continuous struggle in that life.

Earlier Story of Gangubai Kathiawadi

Ganga was born in 1939 in Gujarat, British India, to an aristocratic family. Her father named her Ganga Harjivandas Kathiawadi. From the time she went to school, she became a movie bug and fell in love with Madhubala like crazy.

A young man from South India, named Ramlal, was hired to look after their family business. Before coming to Gujarat, Ramlal spent some time in Bombay, telling the city’s story and the film world to the Ganga. Hearing this, the eyes of the dreamer would become bigger!

Her Husband sold her!

Naturally, Ganga fell in love with Ramlal. But the teenage girl was not even imagined; Ramlal has conspired to abuse her. With the dream of becoming a movie heroine, she left the house holding Ramlal’s hand. On the way, they got married. Then they moved to Bombay, the city where Ganga had long dreamed of coming. Ramlal brought her to a place like a hut; she woke up the next morning and could not find her husband anywhere else.

The sky fell over her head when she found out that this place was actually a brothel! Ramlal had sold her here for 500 rupees!

Ganga started a different life in the red light area of ​​Kamatipura. The brothel’s head Shila Masi explained to Ganga that she had nowhere to go. Society won’t accept her anymore. Ganga still tried to escape a couple of times, failed, and returned to Kamathipura, surrendering herself to Shila Masi.

Sheila Masi prepared Ganga with her own hands; the color of Kajal was floating in tears, the unruly drops of tears could not be handled again and again. The name of the teenage girl from Ganga became Gangubai.

Everyone’s story was almost the same!

The stories of all the girls who came to Kamathipura are almost the same. Some have been deceived and taken refuge here, while others have not been able to bear the brunt of poverty. Gangubai was the most educated, tasteful, and beautiful of the house, so her name was at the top of the customers’ demand.

The Rakhi sister of Karim Lala

In the meantime, an unfortunate incident took place one day when a gangster gang-raped Gangubai against her consent. Such incidents often happen with Kothi girls; against their consent, they had to sleep with influential people and gangsters from time to time. But Gangubai was made of another metal. She ran to the gangster boss Tara Karim Lala with an injured body. Karim Lala the name that everyone in the Bombay mafia world used to pronounce with fear and panic.

Karim Lala The Don

Hearing all this, Karim Lala unbuckled his belt in front of everyone and beat that gangster like an animal. He told everyone that “Ganga is like my own sister so that no one tries to look at her.” Gangubai came back to the house, and there was a response in Kamatipura; no one was left to know the news of Karim Lala and Ganga’s new relationship. From then on, everyone started looking at Ganguly with respect.


Becameing the President of Kamathipura

After the death of Sheila Masi, Gangubai became the Sardarni of Kamathipura. She also started changing the rules and regulations of the red light area little by little. No one was forcibly detained here, and if anyone wanted to leave, she was allowed to go with dignity. Even if a relative or boyfriend sold it, Gangubai would send that girl home on her own. Ganga herself came here as a victim of deception, could not escape; life has become different. She did not want anyone else to have the same fate.

So far, there has been no turning point in Gangubai’s life. This is the life of the princesses of the brothel; everyone’s stories are very similar.

However, Ganguly separated herself from an incident and became the leader of the masses, especially in the eyes of the women of the brothel.

Becoming the leader of the masses

IN 1947 India became independent. A few days later, an attempt was made to close down the brothels under the pretext of ‘social protection,’ or the youth were going astray for the dormitories. Thousands of women came down the road, who used to earn two paise by using their bodies. They have nothing but this body. They may be able to do other things, but Indian society will not accept brothels’ girls. When the brothel is closed, they will have no choice but to die without eating!

Being a Poster of the protest

From Bombay to Delhi, Far West Bengal, or Chennai – protests began everywhere, with girls working in the streets taking to the streets, whom society called ‘whores’. But even if they are prostitutes, they are human beings; they also feel hungry, they get sick – what is the solution?

In front of these women was seen a familiar face – that of Gangubai. On the train, he organized the girls of Kothi around Bombay-Delhi, keeping in touch with the upper class. She was the only one of these women who was educated, so Gangubai handled every problem with a cold head throughout the movement.

Meeting with Jawaharlal Nehru

Jawaharlal Nehru was then the Prime Minister of India. Ganguly invited her to a rally in the red light area of ​​Kamatipura when the government was slowly thinking of taking a stand against the protesters. Nehru also broke protocol and went there to hear what they had to say. In a fiery speech in front of Nehru, Ganguly asked, “What alternative income arrangements have been made for these people who are thinking of closing down brothels and brothels?” What will they eat tomorrow afternoon if the brothel is closed today – is it in the government’s head?

‘Will you Marry me Mrs Nehru?’

Jawaharlal Nehru was surprised to hear Ganguly’s eloquent speech. He did not expect such irritating words from the mouth of a lady type of housekeeper. On the same day, he promised Ganguly that not a single house in India would be closed without rehabilitation. Before leaving, he told Ganguly, ‘I wish you a bright future. After the brothel closes, you will surely find a wonderful life partner. ‘ Gangubai: Quickly asked- ‘Will you marry me Mr Nehru?’ Nehru became silent on hearing the question. This time Gangubai said, ‘It is very easy to say, sir, it is very difficult to do. Only kindness can be shown to us here; love cannot go.’

Gangubai has been dead for more than four decades. The people of India may have forgotten Ganguly. What will happen if one remembers a prostitute? However, Sanjay Leela Bhansali has not forgotten that his new movie ‘Gangubai Kathiawadi‘ has been made with the story of Gangubai. Alia Bhatt has played the role of Gangu, I have been practicing it online all day long. A movie has been made about the life of the girl who came to Bombay with the dream of becoming a heroine and whose life changed miserably.

It’s just a pity, Gangubai, you’ll never see that movie…!

Recently Teaser Has been released, You can see:

Gangubai Kathiawadi | Official Teaser | Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Alia Bhatt | 30th July 2021