Few poems by Savitribai Phule

Savitribai Phule was the first Dalit women, in-fact first women whose poems got noticed in the British Empire. Savitribai Phule was the mother of modern poetry stressing necessity of English and Education through her poems. Here are few of her poems from “Kavyaphule”, Collection of Savitribai’s poems, 1854.

Read Savtribai Phule’s Poems in Hindi from – विद्रोह की मशाल से समाज को रोशनी – कवियित्री भी थी सावित्री बाई फुले

If you have no knowledge, have no education,

And you yearn not for the same,

You posses intellect but work not on the same,

How then can you be called a human being?


Birds, animals, monkeys, human beings too,

All go through life and death

But if you gain no knowledge about this,

How then can you be called a human being?


The Plight of the Shudras

Haunted by ‘The Gods on Earth’,

For two thousand years,

The perpetual service of the Brahmins,

Became the plight of the Shudras.

Looking at their condition,

The heart screams its protest,

The mind blanks out,

Struggling to find a way out.

Education is the path,

For the Shudras to walk,

For education grants humanity

freeing one from an animal-like existence


Read also – Mahatma Jotiba Phule and Savitribai Phule’s contribution towards women empowerment

Photo credit: www.mahatmaphule.com

So says Manu…

“Dumb are they

who plough the land,

Dumb are the ones

who cultivate it”,

So says Manu.

Through religious diktats,

The Manusmriti to the Brahmin tells,

“Do not your energy, on agriculture, waste!”

“Those born as Shudras,

All these Shudras!,

Are paying in this life,

For the sins of their past lives”

Thus they create

A society based on inequality,

This being the inhuman ploy,

Of these cunning beings.


Read also – ‘First Lady’ Teacher of India: Savitribai Phule

Go, Get Education

Be self-reliant, be industrious

Work, gather wisdom and riches,

All gets lost without knowledge

We become animal without wisdom,

Sit idle no more, go, get education

End misery of the oppressed and forsaken,

You’ve got a golden chance to learn

So learn and break the chains of caste.

Throw away the Brahman’s scriptures fast.


Rise, to learn and act

Weak and oppressed! Rise my brother

Come out of living in slavery.

Manu-follower Peshwas are dead and gone

Manu’s the one who barred us from education.

Givers of knowledge– the English have come

Learn, you’ve had no chance in a millennium.

We’ll teach our children and ourselves to learn

Receive knowledge, become wise to discern.

An upsurge of jealousy in my soul

Crying out for knowledge to be whole.

This festering wound, mark of caste

I’ll blot out from my life at last.

In Baliraja’s kingdom, let’s beware

Our glorious mast, unfurl and flare.

Let all say, “Misery go and kingdom come!”

Awake, arise and educate

Smash traditions-liberate!

We’ll come together and learn


Slumber not but blow the trumpet

O Brahman, dare not you upset.

Give a war cry, rise fast

Rise, to learn and act.


Read also – Book Review of “A Forgotten Liberator : The Life and Struggle of Savitribai Phule”

The Greatest Wealth

Early in the morning,

Perform your ambulation,

Having become clean and tidy,

Pay your respects to parents and elders.

Remembering the name of God,

Immerse yourself in studies,

Waste not these precious days,

by insisting on going home.

Study hard, get educated,

Treat knowledge as your God,

Diligently take advantage of it,

Concentrating with all your heart.

Knowledge is wealth,

Greater than all riches,

Wise is considered he,

Who acquires it.


Learn English

Make self-reliance your occupation,

Exert yourself to gather the wealth of knowledge,

Without knowledge animals remained dumb,

Don’t rest! Strive to educate yourself.

The opportunity is here,

For the Shudras and Ati Shudras,

To learn English

To dispel all woes.

Throw away the authority

Of the Brahmin and his teachings,

Break the shackles of caste,

By learning English.


Filed under Dr B R Ambedkar

16 responses to “Few poems by Savitribai Phule

  1. Pingback: 5 Indian Women who Rewrote History – Just be with me

  2. Pingback: Celebrating Savitribai Phule: The First Female Teacher in India – The IIMM Times

  3. Pingback: January 3 – Savitribai Phule | Literary Birthdays Blog

  4. Pingback: Literary Birthdays January 3 – 9 | Literary Birthdays Blog

  5. Pingback: Savitribai Phule’s 186th birth anniversary commemorated by Google Doodle - Tech News

  6. Pingback: ‘First Lady’ Teacher of India: Savitribai Phule

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.