Tag Archives: Jyotirao Phule

1st June (1873) in Dalit History – Mahatma Jyotirao Phule published Gulamgiri book


Mahatma Jyotirao Govindrao Phule published Powada: Chatrapati Shivajiraje Bhosle Yancha on 1st June 1869 and Gulamgiri on 1st June 1873.

Get – Slavery/Gulamgiri book by Mahatma Jotiba Phule in Hindi and English

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Mahatma Jyotirao Govindrao Phule

 

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Filed under Dalit History, Dr B R Ambedkar, Mahatma Jotiba Phule, Today in Dalit History, Today in History

What Saint Tukaram Said


He’s not a Brahman who abhors
the touch of a mahar,
What retribution can he pay?
he won’t throw his life away!
A chandal drives him wild,
it’s his heart that’s defiled.
Tuka says, his caste’s defined
by what fills his mind.

– Saint Tukaram

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Saint Tukaram

Saint Tukaram

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Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar – Marathi Songs


 

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28th January in Dalit History – First ever infanticide prohibition home of India was started by Savitribai Phule


28 January 1853: First ever infanticide prohibition home of India was started by Savitribai Phule[1].

Due to the Brahminical Social Order, those were the days when women irrespective of their caste and class were very much oppressed in all fields of life. There were many patriarchal and brahmnical traditions, values and rituals which were against women. Savitri Bai Phule, in Pune, worked hard in this regard too (apart from the education field). To resolve the dowery problem, she started organizing simple group marriages. When a women at any age happened to be widow (even girl child widow), she was forced to have her hair cut so that she could easily be identified as a widow.  In this regard, she met with the people of barber community and requested them not to cut hair of widows. After a long pursuance, they got convinced. They boycotted the hair cut ceremonies of widows. The upper caste communities got infuriated with Savitribai due to the step taken by the barbers.

There were a large number of widows in the Pune City and the nearby villages during days. Adolescents and young girls were happened to more among in the widows. These widows were boycotted publicly and with meger financial support they were clandestine subjects to sexual exploitation. They happened to be pregnant due to lack of contraceptives or other measures. So they had to be victimized for the reason for which they had not been responsible. Women had to lose their life due to unhealthy ways of abortion. Many newborns were been killed after delivery by widows to avoid social ostracism. Many a times they had to leave their home.

On 28 January 1853 Savitribai started a shelter for such women – infanticide prohibition home – the first of its kind in India. In this shelter widows could give birth to their children and leave them there. Sixty six women gave birth to their children in that shelter upto 1873.This was a great historical work that Savitribai did at that time – in the dark ages. Later on this shelter started working as a hospital. Savitribai did not remain as one who served to widows but she went further in this regard. She adopted a child from a Brahmin widow (Kashibai) and thereby gave a message to the progressive people of the society. This adopted child was named Yashwant Rao who later became a doctor.

Savitribai Phule

Savitribai Phule

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Documentary on Bhima Koregaon – Must Watch


Must read also the full story of Bhima Koregaon battle and about the upcoming movie 500 – The Battle of Bhima Koregaon 

Bhima Koregaon

Bhima Koregaon

Please like/share/tweet/email it to your friends! Thank you.

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Filed under Caste Discrimination, Dalit-Bahujans, Documentary, Dr B R Ambedkar, Equal Rights, Movie, Today in Dalit History

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.

 ——

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Stop Attacking Dalit Statues and Dalit Pride


If you want to destroy a society, destroy its history and the society will get destroyed automatically – Dr. Ambedkar.

On 26th July, a statue of Behan Mayawati was broken in Lucknow; a day later, three statues of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar were broken in Azamgarh and on 30th July, another statue of Dr. Ambedkar was vandalised in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh. All this is not new and has been happening to Dalit leaders’ statues, Dalit idols or icons, Dalit places and Dalit history since ages. Numerous Dalit saints/gurus were killed – such as Sant Chakardhar, Sant Namdev, Sant Tukaram, Guru Ravidas, Sant Chokhamela; people even tried to kill Mahatma Jyotiba Phule & Shahuji Maharaj. Dalit history has been maligned and distorted since ages. Historians are supposed to be free from fear, to be sincere, open minded, open hearted truth seekers & also courageous enough to show the truth at any cost. But it is the misfortune of Dalits of India that historians have shown a distorted picture & never showed truth to the people. Being Dalit, we have been taught to hate ourselves, we have been taught that Dalits’ don’t have any history; we have been taught Dalits can’t do any good. Who taught you all this? Upper caste people did.

Dr. Ambedkar’s followers were putting up statues of him in slums and villages even when he was alive but the first official statue of Dr. Ambedkar was set up in 1962, in Mumbai (Bombay) at the Institute of Science crossing. And then came the moment when Dalits started asserting and in 1966, Dr. Radhakrishnan (President of India) inaugurated Dr. Ambedkar’s statue in the Parliament building complex (New Delhi). In Uttar Pradesh, one research study shows that the very first Dr. Ambedkar statue was installed with the contribution of Dalits in around 1966 on the outskirts of Allahabad, and Dalits of Kanpur didn’t take much time to install another statue on the same lines. We must not forget that many installations of Dr. Ambedkar’s statues were opposed by upper caste people with stone pelting or boycotts but Dalits showed courage and didn’t move back. Dalits knew that statues of Dalit idols will stand as a major feature in the Dalit-Bahujan movement. And in all those statues Dr. Ambedkar will stand aloft. How can we forget the struggle and sacrifice of our forefathers?

Dr. Ambedkar Park, Lucknow, India

Dr. Ambedkar Park, Lucknow, India

Statues of Dalit icons are built by Dalit people with their own money and contributions, not with the money from the state as Gandhi-Nehru statues are being made in India. So, why are Dalit icons’ statues being broken and damaged? Statues represent a crucial point in the aspirations of Dalits towards democracy, aspirations of Dalits towards equality and justice. Dalits gather around these statues, get organised, organising functions and all these gatherings give them strength to believe in themselves and get inspired by other fellow Dalits. All these attempts to demolish Dalit icons’ statues is an attempt to demoralise Dalits, deprive Dalits of their rich history and rob them of what Dalits have been able to gather after years of struggle.

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11th April (1827) in Dalit History – Birth anniversary of the Mahatma Jyotirao Phule


“Lack of education lead to lack of wisdom,

Which leads to lack of morals,

Which leads to lack  of progress,

Which leads to lack of money,

Which leads to the oppression of the lower classes,

See what state of the society one lack of education can cause!”

Mahatma Jyotiba Phule

Mahatma Jyotiba Phule

Jyotirao Phule is the Mahatma of modern India. His remarkable influence was apparent during the dark ages when women and shudras were denied their rights. His pioneering work in fields like education,agriculture, caste system, women and widow upliftment and removal of untouchability is remarkable.

Read also – What Mahatma Jotiba Phule Said

Jyotirao Govindrao Phule was born in Satara district of Maharastra state in India in a family belonging to Mali caste [shudra varna of Hindu religion] perceived to be inferior. His father, Govindrao, was a vegetable vendor. His mother died when he was nine months old. He was married at the age of 12 to Savirti Bai. His intelligence was recognised by a Muslim and a Christian neighbor, who persuaded his father to allow Jyotirao to attend the local Scottish Mission’s High School, which he completed in 1847.

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

In 1848, an incident took place in his life that later sparked off the dalit-revolution in the Indian society. Jyotirao was invited to attend a wedding of one of his Brahmin friends. Knowing that he belonged to inferior caste, the relatives of bridegroom insulted and abused him. Jyotirao left the procession and made up his mind to defy the prevailing caste-system and social restrictions. He then started his campaign of serving the people of lower strata of society who were deprived of all their rights as human beings.

Check also – Plight of the peasants speech by Mahatma Jyotiba Phule

In 1848, he along with his wife started a school for girls in Pune– the first ever formal school for girls in India. The orthodox of the society were furious at the activities of Jyotirao. They blamed him for vitiating the norms and regulations of the society. Many accused him of acting on behalf of Christian Missionaries. But Jyotirao was firm and continued the movement. Interestingly, Jyotirao had some Brahmin friends who extended their support to make the movement successful. However he was made to leave his house with his wife for the “crime” he had performed.

Check also – Life Sketch of Mahatma Jyotiba Phule

Jyotirao had to suffer a lot many difficulties for the mission he had undertaken. The very first one of it was he did not have any female teacher to teach the girls. There was no question of a female teacher as the girls were not allowed to have education till then. Jyotirao took a bold step and educated his wife Savitribai at home who would be the first female teacher of India. Savitribai had to suffer a lot of miseries during this course. She was ridiculed by the orthodox people, mostly the priest Brahman class, on her way to school. They even did not hesitate to throw mud or cow-dung on her. That great lady took all that humiliation as a part and parcel her mission and would go to school with two sets of clothes—one to wear on roads while going to school and then another to wear at school.

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