Tag Archives: Mahatma Jotiba Phule

Dalit History Month – Remembering Ayyankali


Today in Dalit History we honor Ayyankali, the Dalit firebrand in Kerala who fought Caste apartheid through innovation and resistance that inspires even till today. A contemporary of Ambedkar he was born into the Pulaya community in Thiruvananthapuram. He burned with the injustices his community faced. Dalits were landless and exploited, punished for crossing into caste hindu areas, and both men and women were targets of violence forced to into draconian states of undress.

Ayyankali

Ayyankali

In the face of this violence Ayyankali took it as his life mission to challenge every form of Caste discrimination. His rebellion began with an ox-cart. Ayyankali dared to break the Caste restrictions by riding on the public road while also wearing caste hindu clothes. Though attacked by the Upper Castes, his bold move launched the Southern Kerala movement for Dalit Rights that eventually won in 1900 the right for Dalits to walk along the public roads.

Ayyankali went further and launched the first schools for Dalits with Dalit teachers. Though the school was destroyed by upper caste thugs, this educational revolution could not be stopped. In 1907 the Travancore government passed an order mandating that all Dalit children be admitted into the schools. Despite this law, Upper Castes blocked its implementation to which Ayyankali led a statewide Dalit strike.

Through much difficulty the strike held and the battle for education extended to Dalit rights as exploitative landlords started whipping workers who dared to wear clothing and who also protested the landlords’ sexual exploitation of Dalit women. The outraged landlords started setting the homes of workers on fire. Ayyankali responded by setting the landlord houses on fire. Stricken with fear, never knowing when they might be attacked, the landlords sued for peace.

Through this and all his efforts he constantly faced terrible violence and a state that abetted caste perpetrators. He often did not hesitate to retaliate with violence seeing it as a form of raw protest of the oppressed. He even banded together teams of brave Dalit men and women and organized martial arts training for them. This group became the “Ayyankali Pada” (Ayyankali’s Army). With the failure of the state implementing the rule of law for all, he then established his own people’s courts, including a supreme court!

Finally, he took on the Caste apartheid dress code for Dalit women where Caste hindus insisted Dalit women could not cover their upper bodies. His challenge overturned this measure in 1916 and sent a message that the upper caste sexual exploitation of Dalit communities was unacceptable.

To his enduring spirit of rebellion we salute Ayyankali! JaiBhim!

Please share the information with your friends. Follow the Dalit History Month on Facebook from here and check www.dalithistory.com

Check also –

Leave a comment

Filed under Dalit History, Dalit History Month, Dr B R Ambedkar, Today in Dalit History, Today in History

The Greatness of Mahatma Jotiba Phule


An Introduction:

In India, Maharashtra a state with cultural heritage and is also land of social thinkers, social reforms and social revolutionaries who have not only molded and enriched all facets of life of Maharashtra but have also made singular contribution to growth and development of India .In this website of the great social reformer – Mahatma Phule, contempory of KARL MARX, we have the “patria protesta” of the Indian social revolution and the first leader of peasants.

Mahatma Jotiba Phule

Mahatma Jotiba Phule

In those days there was a conflict between the rationalist and the orthodox. His period can, therefore, be a aptly described as the dawn of revolution in the history not only of Maharashtra but of the country as a whole in the various fields like Education, Caste Systems, Agriculture, Economics, Women and widow upliftment , Human Rights, Untouchability ,Social Equality.

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

MAHATMA JYOTIRAO GOVINDRAO PHULE occupies a unique position among the social reformers of Maharashtra in the nineteenth century. While other reformers concentrated more on reforming the social institutions of family and marriage with special emphasis on the status and rights of women, Jotirao Phule revolted against the unjust caste system under which million of people had suffered for centuries. In particular, he courageously upheld the cause of the untouchables and took up the cudgels for the poorer peasants. He was a militant advocate of their rights. The story of his stormy life is an inspiring saga of a continuous struggle, which he waged relentlessly against the forces of reaction. What was remarkable was his ability to stand up against all kinds of pressure without faltering even once and act always according to his convictions. Though some keen observers of the social scene in Maharashtra like Narayan Mahadeo Parmanand did acknowledge his greatness in his lifetime, it is only in recent decades that there is increasing appreciation of his service and sacrifice in uplifting the masses.

Read also – What Mahatma Jotiba Phule Said

Childhood:

Jotirao Phule was born in 1827. His father, Govindrao was a vegetable vendor at Poona. Originally Jotirao’s family, known as Gorhays, came from Katugan, a village in the Satara district of Maharashtra. His grandfather Shetiba Gorhay settled down in Poona. Since Jotirao’s father and two uncles served as florists under the last of the Peshwas, they came to be known as ‘Phules’. Jotirao’s mother passed away when he was hardly one year old. After completing his primary education, Jotirao had to leave the school and help his father by working on the family’s farm. Jotirao’s marriage was celebrated when he was not even thirteen.

Continue reading

5 Comments

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

Dalit History Month – Remembering “Adi Movements”


Today’s ‪Dalit History‬ month post is on the Adi-movements of the 1920’s. For Dalit history, ‘Adi’ ideologies are highly significant as they bear testament to our earliest assertion of equal rights, humanity and citizenship on level with other castes.

By the late 19th century, leaders like the social reformer Jyotirao Phule, had created a powerful anti-caste space, upholding non-Brahmanical thought and presenting the dream of a new egalitarian value system on which to model society on. Soon after, the early 20th century saw several archaeological discoveries being made in Mohenjodaro and Harappa in the North, pointing to the existence of an unexpectedly ancient civilization that was likely much older than Aryan migrations. These discoveries struck a profound chord with Dalits all over the subcontinent, who immediately began to identify as an indigenous population who were conquered and subsequently oppressed by an alien religion. Although, the evidence for Aryan conquests remains contested, these interpretation was so compelling that such “Adi” (Ancient/Old/Original) movements sprung up all over the nation completely independently of each other.

Check alsoDalit History Month – Jhalkari Bai – A Legendary Dalit Woman Warrior

Adi movement

The names of these movements are telling – Ad-Dharm in Punjab, Adi-Hindu in U.P. and Hyderabad, Adi-Dravida, Adi-Andhra and Adi-Karnataka in South India – all indicating a common claim to nativity and original inhabitation.

Read also – 

The provocative effects of the Adi-movements are best illustrated by an early Maharashtrian pre-Ambedkar Dalit leader, Kisan Faguji Bansode, who warned his caste-Hindu friends in 1909, stating: “The Aryans – your ancestors – conquered us and gave us unbearable harassment. At that time we were your conquest, you treated us worse than slaves and subjected us to any torture you wanted. But now we are no longer your subjects, we have no service relationship with you, we are not your slaves or serfs… We have had enough of the harassment and torture of the Hindus.”

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Dalit History, Dalit History Month, Dr B R Ambedkar, Today in Dalit History, Today in History

Rashtrapita Jotiba Phule’s memorial address to the education commission


[Jotiba Phule‘s deposition before the Education Commission in 1881 (also known as the Hunter Commission) is reproduced here from the book, Selected Writings of Jotirao Phule; this extract is recorded between pages 140-145 in Education Commission, Bombay, Vol II, Calcutta, 1884 – Round Table India]

~~~

My experience in educational matters is principally confined to Poona and the surrounding villages. About 25 years ago, the missionaries had established a female school at Poona, but no indigenous school for girls existed at the time. I, therefore, was induced, about the year 1854[1], to establish such a school, and in which I and my wife worked together for many years. After some time I placed this school under the management of a committee of educated natives. Under their auspices two more schools were opened in different parts of the town. A year after the institution of the female schools, I also established an indigenous mixed school for the lower classes, especially the Mahars and Mangs. Two more schools for these classes were subsequently added, Sir Erskine Perry, the president of the late Educational Board, and Mr. Lumsdain, the then Secretary to Government, visited the female schools and were much pleased with the movement set on foot, and presented me with a pair of shawls. I continued to work in them for nearly 9 to 10 years, but owing to circumstances, which it is needless here to detail, I seceded from the work. These female schools still exist, having been made over by the committee to the Educational Department under the management of Mrs. Mitchell. A school for the lower classes, Mahars and Mangs, also exists at the present day, but not in a satisfactory condition. I have also been a teacher for some years in a mission female boarding school. My principal experience was gained in connection with these schools. I devoted some attention also to the primary education available in this Presidency and have had some opportunities of forming an opinion as to the system and personnel employed in the lower schools of the Educational Department. I wrote some years ago a Marathi pamphlet exposing the religious practices of the Brahmins and incidentally among other matters, adverted therein to the present: system of education, which by providing ampler funds for higher education tended to educate Brahmins and the higher classes only, and to leave the masses wallowing in ignorance and poverty. I summarised the views expressed in the book in an English preface attached thereto, portions of which I reproduce here so far as they relate to the present enquiry:

”Perhaps a part of the blame in bringing matters to this crisis maybe justly laid to the credit of the Government. Whatever may have been their motives in providing ampler funds and greater facilities for higher education, and neglecting that of the masses, it will be acknowledged by all that injustice to the latter, this is not as it should be. It is an admitted fact that the greater portion of the revenues of the Indian Empire are derived from the ryot’s labour from the sweat of his brow. The higher and richer classes contribute little or nothing to the state exchequer. A well informed English writer states that our income is derived, not from surplus profits, but from capital; not from luxuries, but from the poorest necessaries. It is the product of sin and tears.”

Check also – Books by Mahatma Jotiba Phule

Mahatma Jotiba Phule

Mahatma Jotiba Phule

”That Government should expend profusely a large portion of revenue thus raised, on the education of the higher classes, for it is these only who take advantage of it, is anything but just or equitable. Their object in patronising this actual high class education appears to be to prepare scholars who, it is thought would in time vend learning without money and without price. If we can inspire, say they, the love of knowledge in the minds of the superior classes, the result will be a higher standard, of morals in the cases of the individuals, a large amount of affection for the British Government, and unconquerable desire to spread among their own countrymen the intellectual blessings which they have received.”

Continue reading

2 Comments

Filed under Dr B R Ambedkar, Equal Rights, Mahatma Jotiba Phule

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


Download Slavery/Gulamgiri book by Mahatma Jotiba Phule in Hindi from following link – 

Gulamgiri 

Download Slavery/Gulamgiri book by Mahatma Jotiba Phule in English from following links –

Mahatma Jotiba Phule

Mahatma Jotiba Phule

Check Also  – 

Mahatma Jotiba Phule and Savitribai Phule’s contribution towards women empowerment

What Mahatma Jotiba Phule Said

Books by Mahatma Jotiba Phule

6 Comments

Filed under Books, Dr B R Ambedkar, Mahatma Jotiba Phule, Savitribai Phule

Life Sketch of Mahatma Jyotiba Phule


Life Sketch of Mahatma Jyotirao Phule

Mahatma Jyotiba Phule

Mahatma Jyotiba Phule

Events Year
Birth of Mahatma Jyotirao Phule. 11th April, 1827
Marathi education in Panthoji’s school. 1834 to 1838
Married to Savitribai, the daughter of Khandoji Nevase at Naigaon. 1840
Primary education(English) in Missionary School. 1841 to 1847
Study of Thomas Paine’s book ‘Rights of Man’. 1847
Humiliation at marriage procession of upper caste friend. 1848
Started school for girls of shudra and atishudra. 1848
Left home with wife because of oath taken to educate the Shudras. 1849
Started girls school at Chiplunkar’s wada 1851
Major Candy felicitated Jyotiba Phule for his contribution in the field of education. 16 Nov. 1852
Joined a Scottish school as a part time teacher. 1854
Started night school. 1855
Took retirement from the management board of school. 1858
Helped in the remarriage of widows. 1860
Started Infanticide Prohibition Home. 1863
Death of Jotirao’s father Govindrao. 1868
Opened the well of his house to the untouchables. 1868
‘Chatrapati Shivaji Raje Bhonsle yancha povada’. 1st June, 1869
Gulamgiri. 1 June 1873
Formation of ‘Satya Shodhak Samaj’. 24 Sept. 1873
Procession of Dayanand Saraswati. 1875
Report of Pune’s branch of Satya Shodhak Samaj. 20 March 1877
Member of Pune Muncipality. 1876 to 1882
Made presentation to Hunter Education Commission. 19 Oct. 1882
Written the most famous book ‘Shetkarayacha Aasud (Cultivator’s Whipcord)’. 18 July 1883
Published the book ‘Ishara’ 1 Oct.1885
Junnar Court’s decision in favour of villager’s right 29 March 1885
Felicitated by Duke of Connaught. 2 March 1888
Felicitated by public and was honoured with the title of’ MAHATMA’ 11 May 1888
Started writing the book ‘Sarvajanik Satya Dharma Poostak’ 1st April 1889
Death of Mahatma Jotirao Phule. 28 Nov 1890

Check also –

Leave a comment

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

Books/work by Mahatma Jotiba Phule


Mahatma Jyotiba Phule

Mahatma Jotiba Phule

Drama: Trutiya Ratna (1855)

Powada: Chatrapati Shivaji Raje Bhonsle Yancha (1869)

Powada: Vidyakhathatil Bramhan Pantoji (1869)

Brahmananche Kasab (1869)

Gulamgiri (1873)

Pune Satya Shodhak Samaj Report (1877)

Request letter regarding Famine (1877)

Memorial Addressed to The Hunter Education commission (1882)

Shetkarayacha Asude (1883)

Letter to Marathi Granthkar Sabha (1885)

Gramjoshya sambhandi jahir kabhar (1886)

Letter to Mama Parmanand (1886)

Sataya Shodhak Samaj-sarva puja vidhi.

Sarvajanik Satya Dharma Poostak (1891)

Letters of Mahatma Phule

Will of Mahatma Phule

Check also –

Mahatma Jotiba Phule and Savitribai Phule’s contribution towards women empowerment

What Mahatma Jotiba Phule Said

2 Comments

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

April – Dalit History Month


Did you know? April is celebrated as Dalit History Month. Those who don’t know history can’t make history. We must remember our heroes and celebrate. It’s a time to remember also the struggle and sacrifice that our forefathers made so that we can live better.

10410279_10154019101472195_6672953509256343706_n

We need to find more about the “truths of our rich history”, “our role models”, “our culture”, and “realities of caste” etc. Only then we can do something better for our society.

There are many things those are kept hidden from all of us (Read here few) What I see as the purpose of hiding all these facts and great achievements of Dr Ambedkar is that it is aimed at distracting Dalit-Bahujans from the right path. And that Dalit-Bahujans don’t get inspiration from their own history and smash the upper caste hegemony. As Dr Ambedkar said, “Let the slave know that he is a slave and he’ll break the chains of slavery.”

It is a time to pay tribute to all those heroes and ideals.

Read about Dalit History from here and also join the conversation on Facebook at DALIT HISTORY MONTH

Also read more about Dalit History Month from here.

Please share the information with your friends.

2 Comments

Filed under Dalit History Month, Dr B R Ambedkar, Equal Rights, Today in Dalit History, Today in History