Jyotiba Phule

Jyotiba Phule

Jyotirao Phule was a Maharashtra-based Indian social activist, thinker, anti-caste social reformer, and writer. 
 
Mahatma Phule was a prolific social activist and thinker who helped to establish women's education in India, particularly in Maharashtra.
 
He was born on April 11, 1827, in Katgun, Maharashtra's Satara District. His family was mostly illiterate and he belonged to the Mali caste of gardeners. His family was well-off as a result of his flower business success. Chimnabai, his mother, died when he was only 9 months old.
 
Phule went to primary school but later he was taken out of school and forced to work in the family business. However, after witnessing Phule's intelligence, a family friend persuaded his father to enrol him in an English missionary school. In 1847, Phule finished his English education.
 
Jyotiba Phule
 
FACTS ABOUT HIS LIFE:
Phule's organising principles were both inclusive and dichotomous as an iconic and revolutionary intellectual from Maharashtra. He referred to stree-shudra-atishudra (women, OBCs, Dalits, and tribals in today's jargon) as one category that was fighting Brahmanical supremacy in a dichotomous manner (he rarely used the words Hindu or Hinduism). Instead, he preferred Brahmanism).
 
In Marathi, he called it brahmanache varchaswa or brahmanvarchaswadi. Further more, Phule was the first intellectual to recognise that Brahmanism is a kind of ideological, religious (dharmic) (super) structure that perpetuates and naturalises the exploitation of the majority, not just the Brahman caste.
 
•    He taught his wife (Savitribai) to read and write and the couple went on to open Pune's first indigenously run school for girls, where they both taught.
•    He was a firm believer in gender equality, and he demonstrated this by including his wife in all of his social reform efforts.
•    The Phules had established three schools by 1852, but all of them had closed by 1858 due to a lack of funds following the Revolt of 1857.
•    Jyotiba recognised the plight of widows and established an ashram for young widows, eventually becoming an advocate for widow remarriage.
•    Jyotirao called orthodox Brahmins and other upper castes "hypocrites" and attacked them.
•    Jyotirao built a common bathing tank outside his house in 1868 to show his inclusive attitude toward all people and his desire to dine with anyone, regardless of caste.
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•    He began public awareness campaigns that later inspired stalwarts such as Dr. B.R. Ambedkar and Mahatma Gandhi to take major steps against caste discrimination.
•    Many people believe that it was Phule who coined the term "Dalit" to describe oppressed people who were often placed outside of the "varna system."
•    In Maharashtra, he worked to end untouchability and the caste system.
•    Liberty, Egalitarianism, and Socialism were the foundations of his ideology.
 
Jyotiba Phule
•    Phule was influenced by Thomas Paine's book The Rights of Man, and believed that the only way to combat social evils was for women and members of the lower castes to become educated.
•    Major Publications: Tritiya Ratna (1855); Powada: Chatrapati Shivajiraje Bhosle Yancha (1869); Gulamgiri (1873), Shetkarayacha Aasud (1881).
•    In order to achieve equal social and economic benefits for the lower castes in Maharashtra, Phule and his followers founded Satyashodhak Samaj in 1873, which means "Seekers of Truth."
•    He was appointed commissioner to the Poona municipality in 1883.
•    Title of Mahatma: Vithalrao Krishnaji Vandekar, a Maharashtrian social activist, bestowed the title Mahatma on him on May 11, 1888.
•    He died on 28th of November, 1890. In Phule Wada, Pune, Maharashtra, a memorial dedicated to him has been built.

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