18th July (1883) in Dalit History – Mahatma Jyotiba Phule completed writing of the famous book ‘Shetkarayacha Aasud (Cultivator’s Whipcord)’
Gail Omvedt and Bharat Patankar describe the work as follows –
The work is in the form of a major critique of the joint exploitation of the Shudra and Ati-Shudra peasantry by the British and Brahmin alliance in the bureaucracy. The book is the most comprehensive of Phule’s work: it gives an account of the extortion by Brahmins in religious festivals throughout the year; of the Aryan defeat of the indigenous inhabitants (Phule was perhaps the first to turn the “Aryan theory” upside down and use it to explain Brahmanic control; though we should note that Dr. Ambedkar disagreed with him), then of the exploitation of “Shudra and Ati-Shudra farmers” by the British and Brahmin bureaucracy, then a minute description of the living standards of his farmers; then his own suggestions along with a condemnation of the swadeshi movement which was beginning at that time.
A word about Phule’s language: it is raw, powerful, not simply colloquial Marathi but very cutting, so much that RSS-wallas even today have called it “obscene.” But his use of language is excellent and his vocabulary extensive. Even more, his power of description is often extremely minute; as the description of peasant households given in chapter 4 will show.