Bollywood’s 10 Lady Gangsters Or Underworld Dons Who Called The Shots

Bollywood’s 10 Lady Gangsters Or Underworld Dons Who Called The Shots

30 Aug 17 @ 5:07 PM | By Ravi

Whenever we think of real-life underworld dons, names of Dawood Ibrahim and Chhota Shakeel instantly pop up in our mind. Bollywood has often shown men gangsters ruling the underworld where women are relegated to wives, molls or 'keep's supporting their gangster husbands. Coming to think of underworld lady gangsters in Bollywood, there have been a few of which some were based on real life characters and some fictitious. Though our filmmakers have been inspired several times bringing alive lady dacoits on screen in the 70’s and 80’s, of late quite a few lady gangsters and lady don's have emerged to play central characters on screen. These female don's have not just been spot on by playing dreaded powerful characters on screen but also have grabbed the limelight. Let’s take a look at 10 Bollywood actresses who played lady gangsters on screen who ruled the underworld, in one way or another.

  1. Shraddha Kapoor in Haseena Parkar (2017)

    Shraddha Kapoor plays Dawood Ibrahim's sister in 'Haseena Parkar.' The biopic showcases the life and times of Dawood’s sister who took over the reins of Mumbai’s underworld after the formers escape after the Mumbai blasts. Shraddha Kapoor as the lady gangster and Dawood’s sister looks every bit the character in the film where she is shown as a young married woman and mother to four kids. 

    Shraddha Kapoor as lady gangster in Haseena Parkar
    Shraddha Kapoor as lady gangster in Haseena Parkar
  2. Madhuri Dixit in Gulaab Gang (2014)

    Madhuri Dixit played Rajjo in ‘Gulaab Gang’, a fearless woman who heads the fight for social injustice meted out towards women in her village. Madhuri Dixit as the lady head of the gang is outright smart, intelligent, bold and violent when it comes to bringing justice to the oppressed women in the village. Her favourite dialogue in the flick - ‘rod is god’ sums her act as the head of ‘Gulaab Gang.'

    Madhuri Dixit lady don in Gulaab Gang
    Madhuri Dixit lady don in Gulaab Gang
  3. Supriya Pathak in Goliyon Ki Raasleela: Ram Leela (2013)

    Actress Supriya Pathak showed that playing a woman don in a male-dominated society isn’t easy. Her act of Dhankor 'Baa' Sanera in director Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s ‘Goliyon Ki Raasleela: Ram Leela’ is one of the best portrayals of lady dons on screen by a Bollywood actress. She nailed it as the lady head of the Sanera clan in the flick.  

    Supriya Pathak as lady don in Goliyon Ki Raasleela: Ram Leela
    Supriya Pathak as lady don in Goliyon Ki Raasleela: Ram Leela
  4. Richa Chadda in Fukrey (2013)

    Talking of Bollywood’s lady gangsters, who can forget the ruthless Bholi Punjaban played by Richa Chadda in ‘Fukrey’? Her adaptation of the character brought in a lot of style and elegance which was quite unique to other lady gangster characters shown on screen. Richa’s portrayal of Bholi Punjaban was funny in parts which complimented the other characters in ‘Fukrey’. The sequel of ‘Fukrey’, ‘Fukrey Returns’ is expected to take her story forward.  

    Richa Chadha as lady gangster in Fukrey
    Richa Chadha as lady gangster in Fukrey
  5. Madhu Shalini in Department (2012)

    Madhu Shalini too played a lady don named Naseer in Ram Gopal Varma’s ‘Department’ which released in 2012. Madhu played gangster D.K.'s (Abhimanyu Singh) gun moll in this gangster flick which boasted of a star cast like Amitabh Bachchan, Sanjay Dutt and Rana Daggubati. Though Madhu did have a more prominent role than the other female leads in the film, she vanished without a trace after the film bombed at the box-office.

    Madhu Shalini as lady gangster in Department
    Madhu Shalini as lady gangster in Department
  6. Isha Koppikar in Shabri (2011)

    Isha Koppikar played the central character of ‘Shabri’ in this gangster flick produced by Ram Gopal Varma and directed by Lalit Marathe. Isha’s story in the film starts as a ragpicker but eventually takes up the gun to avenge his brother’s death who gets killed in a cop encounter. Though Isha’s act as the lady gangster was applauded by the critics but the film went unnoticed at the box-office due to lack of proper promotions.

    Isha Koppikar as lady gangster in Shabri
    Isha Koppikar as lady gangster in Shabri
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  8. Neha Dhupia in Phas Gaye Re Obama (2010)

    Director Subhash Kapoor’s gangster comedy ‘Phas Gaye Re Obama’ had Neha Dhupia as a lady gangster named Munni who had her own ways of extracting extortion money. The film was a take on the recession that took place during the tenure of President Obama when many NRI’s lost their jobs and had to return to India to sell their property in order to survive in the USA. Neha’s portrayal as Munni was funny as well as ruthless which added sheen to the narration. 

    Neha Dhupia as lady don in Phas Gaye Re Obama
    Neha Dhupia as lady don in Phas Gaye Re Obama
  9. Pratima Kazmi in Waisa Bhi Hota Hai Part II (2003)

    Pratima Kazmi played Gangu Tai in this gangster flick which also starred Arshad Warsi, Prashant Narayanan and Sandhya Mridul. Gangu Tai wasn’t based on any real life lady gangster but she played the head of a gang who is at loggerheads with her rival gang headed by Ganpat. Pratima nailed it as the ruthless and dreaded lady gangster, Gangu Tai.

    Pratima Kazmi as lady gangster in Waisa Bhi Hota Hai Part II
    Pratima Kazmi as lady gangster in Waisa Bhi Hota Hai Part II
  10. Nandita Das in Supari (2003)

    Set in Mumbai’s underworld amidst the drug mafia, Nandita Das played Mamta Shekari in this Padam Kumar directorial released in 2003. Nandita Das as the beautiful female don in the film was the only saving grace in this otherwise long forgotten gangster flick which bombed despite having a decent star cast of Uday Chopra, Rahul Dev, Nauheed Cyrusi, Irrfan Khan and Purab Kohli. 

    Nandita Das as lady gangster in Supari
    Nandita Das as lady gangster in Supari
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  12. Shabana Azmi in Godmother (1999)

    Shabana Azmi played Santokben Jadeja, the real life underworld lady gangster of Porbandar, Gujarat who rose to notoriety after her gangster husband dies. Director Vinay Shukla showed Shabana as a hardcore female don who smokes and drinks while maintaining fear among her rivals. ‘Godmother’ is considered one of Shabana’s finest performances to date which helped her fetch that year’s National Award for Best Actress. 

    Shabana Azmi as lady don in Godmother
    Shabana Azmi as lady don in Godmother