Jyotiba Phule

  • Every year April 11 is celebrated as Jyotiba Phule Jayanti.

 Abput Jyotiba Phule

  • Jyotirao ‘Jyotiba’ Govindrao Phule was an Indian writer, social activist, thinker and anti-caste social reformer born in the Satara district of Maharashtra in 1827.
  • He was bestowed with the honorific Mahatma title by Maharashtrian social activist Vithalrao Krishnaji Vandekar in 1888.
  • He is believed to be the first Hindu to start an orphanage for the unfortunate children.

 Major Contribution

  1. Women Empowerment
  • Established an ashram for young widows.
  • Along with his longtime friend Sadashiv Ballal Govande and Savitribai, he started an infanticide prevention centre.
  • At home he began educating his wife Savitribai and opened a girl’s school in 1848 in Pune.
  1. Rights of Untouchables
  • Jyotirao Phule was the first person to coin the term ‘Dalits’ to apply to all people considered lower caste and untouchables by the Brahmins.
  • In 1868, Jyotirao constructed a common bathing tank outside his house to exhibit his embracing attitude towards all human beings.
  • In 1873, Jyotiba Phule formed the Satya Shodhak Samaj (Society of Seekers of Truth) which undertook a systematic deconstruction of existing beliefs and history, only to reconstruct an equality promoting version.
  1. Literary Works
  • Major Publications: Tritiya Ratna (1855); Powada: Chatrapati Shivajiraje Bhosle Yancha (1869); Gulamgiri (1873), Shetkarayacha Aasud (1881), ‘Brahmananche Kasab’, ‘Ishara’.
  • He also wrote books for the Satyashodhak Samaj that dealt with the history of Brahminism and outlined Puja protocols that the lower caste people were not allowed to learn.
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