Mahatma Jyotiba Phule’s name stands out among those who campaigned against caste and social inequalities in India. Jyotiba Phule was a social worker, thinker, and writer who sought to abolish social problems such as untouchability and empower the country’s disadvantaged sectors, particularly in Maharashtra. For this purpose, Jyotiba was likewise successful in enlisting the support of all segments of society and in effecting significant change. Today marks the 28th anniversary of Jyotiba Phule’s death.
Struggle for the betterment of the lower classes
Jyotirao Govindrao Phule was born on April 11, 1827, in Pune to a Mali caste family. His family was originally from Sitara, and he worked as a gardener in Pune. He worked for the empowerment of society’s poorer classes. He had to go against the existing rules and conventions to do this. She also had to contend with a British restriction regarding women’s education.
Education for women
Jyotiba Phule is well-known for not only eradicating casteism in society. To better women’s conditions, a school was established in 1854 to be educated and develop their own identities. This was the country’s first female-only school. When he couldn’t locate a female teacher for this school, he taught his wife Savitri and trained others to teach.
An arduous struggle of Jyotiba Phule
Jyotiba had to work just as hard for her works. Some people put pressure on their father and got him and his wife out of the house as part of their fight for women’s empowerment. Despite this, Jyotiba persevered and established three girls’ schools.
Mahatma Gandhi’s title Jyotiba also created the Satyashodhak Samaj in 1873 to offer justice to the underprivileged and downtrodden. In recognition of his humanitarian contribution, he has conferred the title of Mahatma during a large assembly in Mumbai in 1888. Jyotirao was the first person to use the term Dalit.
The marriage program provided motivation
It is reported that a significant transformation occurred in them when they attended their friend’s wedding ceremony. On the other hand, his friend’s parents urged him to remain away from the ceremony because he belonged to the Shudra caste and disliked him. This motivated him to work against the caste system’s injustice. He pioneered administering marriage rites without the presence of a Brahmin priest, which the Bombay High Court later accepted.
He was an outspoken opponent of child marriage and an advocate of widow marriage over infanticide. In 1863, he established a facility for upper-class pregnant widows to securely give birth to their children. He started a campaign to end feticide and infanticide, as well as an orphanage.
Jyotiba was also a writer, and his works included the third pearl, Chhatrapati Shivaji, Raja Bhosala’s fortnight, Brahmin’s tact, farmer’s lash, and untouchables. By criticizing the caste system and idol worship, he advocated simple religious beliefs and healthy customs and opposed the need for priests.