About Jyotiba Phule
- In 2020, the 130th death anniversary of Jyotiba Phule was observed.
- He was a prominent social reformer and thinker of the nineteenth century
- He was born in the Satara district of Maharastra in 1827.
- His family belonged to the 'mali' caste of gardeners and vegetable farmers.
- At the age of thirteen years, Jyotirao was married to Savitribai.
- After reading Thomas Paine's famous book 'The Rights of Man'(1791), Jyotirao was greatly influenced by his ideas.
- He believed that enlightenment of the women and lower caste people was the only solution to combat the social evils.
- He was bestowed with the title of Mahatma by Vithalrao Krishnaji Vandekar in 1988 and passed away in 1890.
- Efforts Towards social reform
- Phule suggested compulsory, universal, and creative education
- He and his wife Savitrirao Phule opened the first-ever school for Dalit girls at Bhide Wada, Pune, in 1848.
- The curriculum of the school was based on western education and included mathematics, science, and social studies.
- Savitribai took a teachers' training course and became a qualified teacher in 1847.
- Jyotiba believed in the equality of men and women. He stressed women's education and the emancipation of women.
- He brought women into public life. He strongly opposed social evils like child marriage and female infanticide.
- In 1863, Jyotirao and Savitribai started the first-ever infanticide prohibition home in India called Balhatya Pratibandhak Griha. It helped pregnant Brahmin widows and rape victims deliver children.
- Jyotiba realized the pathetic conditions of widows and established an ashram for young widows and eventually became an advocate of the idea of Widow Remarriage.
Against Caste System
- In the 19th century, Jyotiba Phule was the most radical opponent of untouchability and the caste system as he called for the complete demolition of its oppressive structure.
- He was the first person to coin the term 'Dalits' to apply to all people considered lower caste and untouchables.
- He condemned the Vedas and held Brahmins responsible for framing exploitative and inhuman laws in order to maintain their social superiority.
- He was a source of inspiration for Maharshi Shinde, Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar, Gadgebaba, and Sahu Maharaj.
- In 1873, he formed the Satya Shodhak Samaj (Society of Seekers of Truth) in Pune.
- It was a social reform society that fought for equal rights for the depressed classes.
- The community included Muslims, non-brahmins, Brahmins, and government officials.
- He wrote 16 books that contributed to the social awakening of the downtrodden masses who were subject to the atrocities of the upper castes and the British administrators at that time.
- His notable published works are
- Tritiya Ratna
- Brahmananche Kasab
- Powada : Chatrapati Shivajiraje Bhosle Yancha (Life of Shivaji)
- Manav Mahammand (Muhammad) (Abhang)
- Satyashodhak Samajokt Mangalashtakasah Sarva Puja-vidhi
- Sarvajanic Satya Dharmapustak
- Shetkaryacha Asud