Today, 2020 April 11 remarks the 193rd birth anniversary of Mahatma Jyotirao Phule.
Mahatma Jyotirao Govindrao Phule (11 April 1827 – 28 November 1890), also known as Jyotiba Phule, was an anti-caste social reformer and writer from Maharashtra. His remarkable influence was apparent during the old ages when Dalits and marginalized sections of society were denied their rights. Phule’s work extended to many fields including eradication of untouchability and the caste system, and women’s emancipation. He is mostly known for his efforts in educating women and lower caste people. Phule and his wife, Savitribai Phule, were pioneers of women education in India.
Read the selected quotes of Phule here:
- “Without education, wisdom was lost; without wisdom, morals were lost; without morals, development was lost; without development, wealth was lost; without wealth, the Shudras were ruined; so much has happened through lack of education.”
- “Brahmins say that education has made them repentant. In fact, they reform themselves only to secure themselves in good positions with the British. While at home they continue to worship pieces of stone.”
- “If the Brahmans really wish to unite the people of this country and take the nation ahead, then first they must drown their cruel religion, which is customary amongst both the victors ( Brahmans) and the vanquished (Shudras), and they publicly and clearly, must cease using any artifice in their relationship with the Shudras, who have been demeaned by that religion, and trample on inequality and the Vedanta opinion, and till a true unity is established, there will be no progress in this country.”
- “Let there be schools for the Shudra in every village, but away with all Brahmin school masters! The Shudras are the life and sinews of the country, and it is to them alone and not to the Brahmins that the Government must ever look to tide them over their difficulties, financial as well as political. If the hearts and minds of the Shudras are made happy and contented, the British Government need have no fear for their loyalty in the future.”
“Truth is the original home of us all,
It is the foundation of all religion.
All happiness in this world is,
The result of that Eternal Truth.
Truth is the shelter of happiness,
All else is sheer darkness.
Truth is almighty,
It destroys all sham, deceit or untruth.
That which is rooted in Truth
Easily exposes or destroys hypocrites.
Realizing the might of Truth,
The impostors or pretender is
Mortified or anguished in his heart.
A real happiness is not to pretender
As he tries to supplant the God of Truth.
Joti prays humbly to all,
Not to give shelter to hypocrisy.”
- “There cannot be a ‘nation’ worth the name until and unless all the people of the land of King Bali – such as Shudras and Ati-Shudras, Bhils (tribals) and fishermen, etc, become truly educated, and are able to think independently for themselves and are uniformly unified and emotionally integrated. If a tiny section of the population like the upstart Aryan Brahmins alone were to found the ‘National Congress’ who will take any notice of it?”