Jotirao Phule: Shetkaryaca Asud (Introduction)

 

Translated by Gail Omvedt and Bharat Patankar

Jyotiba_PhuleA brief introduction to Phule:

Jotirao Phule (1827-1890) is considered a founder not only of the anti-caste movement; in Maharashtra he is also looked upon as father of the farmers' movement, the women's movement, and a bahujan-oriented environmental movement. He was born in a Mali (gardener jati) community of Maharashtra, and educated first in his village, then in Pune, a city which had been formerly the capital of the Brahman-dominated independent regime, but which was at that time the centre of cultural and politicaL stirrings. He quickly became disillusioned with the Brahman leadership of the nationalist movement, and instead embarked on a career as social reformer intending to awaken the "Shudras and Ati-Shudras" to their slavery and their destiny. His initial efforts involved starting schools for untouchables and girls. Then in 1875 he founded the Satyashodhak Samaj or "Truth- Seekers" society, his answer to the various Prarthana and Brahmo Samajes which he continuously mocked. Its purpose was to encourage the education of both boys and girls, fight priestly domination, especially by organising social-religious ceremonies without them. This gained some influence in Bombay and in Pune district, and he collected around him a group of young radicals, mainly Malis in the city, but Maratha-Kunbis from the rural areas. In 1881 his major critique of the joint exploitation of the Shudra and Ati-Shudra peasantry by the British and Brahman alliance in the bureaucracy, Shetkaryaca Asud ("The Whipcord of the Cultivators") was published.

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The Mahar Movement's Military Component

 

Richard B. White

[I]n the Bombay Army, `the Brahmin stands shoulder to shoulder in the ranks, nay sleeps in the same tent with his Parwari [Mahar] soldier, and dreams not of any objection to the arrangement.'

--Brigadier John Jacob, Views and Opinions, 1858.

 

Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar, is famous for being "the most highly educated Untouchable in India." His education,[109] encouraged and financed largely by the Gaikwad of Baroda, led to his role as the Untouchable's chief spokesman, the founder of a political party for Untouchables, and the moving spirit behind organizations, schools, and colleges established for their uplift. One of Ambedkar's final acts was the initiation of a Buddhist conversion movement that ultimately attracted more than 3 million Untouchable adherents.[110]

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The Dravidian movement

By Gail Omvedt 

``SO MANY movements have failed. In Tamil Nadu there was a movement in the name of anti-Brahmanism under the leadership of Periyar. It attracted Dalits, but after 30 years of power, the Dalits understand that they are as badly-off - or worse-off - as they were under the Brahmans. Under Dravidian rule, they have been attacked and killed, their due share in government service is not given, they are not allowed to rise.'' 

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Biography of Mahatma Phule

Dr. Y.D. Phadke.


Jyotiba PhuleThis brief Life Sketch of Mahatma Jotirao Phule is written by the noted the scholar Dr.Y.D. Phadke. He is the editor of the 'Collected Words of Mahatma Phule' in Marathi. He is also an eminent scholar of Mahatma Phule and the Satyashodhak Movement.

JOTIRAO GOVINDRAO PHULE occupies a unique position among the social reformers of Maharashtra in the nineteenth century. While other reformers concentrated more on reforming the social institutions of family and marriage with special emphasis on the status and rights of women, Jotirao Phule revolted against the unjust caste system under which millions of people had suffered for centuries.

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A Tribute to Babu Jagjivan Ram

roundtableindia

 http://thm-a02.yimg.com/image/03d463317bae5ef2'Today is 24th death anniversary of Babu Jagjeevan Ram.

For many, both in the Dalit movement and outside it , Jagjeevan Ramji is a puzzle, a subject of intense debate/discussion.

There are people and political parties who will claim he is the tallest Dalit leader, of equal stature, if not bigger, as Dr. Ambedkar and there will be people/political parties, who may criticise him and question his contribution to the Dalit movement and Dalit empowerment and there will be people for whom he is at best a past, neither to be criticised, nor to be praised, a forgotten , towering personality, who had a lot of potential, achieved tremendous success, but failed to deliver to his people.

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Untouchable Ambedkar—the Saga of his Discrimination in America

BY A K VISWAS

The 119th birth anniversary of Dr Babasaheb Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar has been observed on April 14 this year. On this occasion we offer our sincere homage to that towering personality by publishing the following article and a piece that N.C. wrote on him in 1990 when the Bharat Ratna was posthumously conferred on Dr Ambedkar.

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Ayyankali: A Pioneer. A Revolutionary. A Hero.

 

(First published in INSIGHT blog)

ayyan

He was born on 28 August 1863 in Travancore, Kerala. He was one of the seven children of Ayyan of Pulaya caste (agricultural labour). Ayyankali grew up to be a tall, well built and handsome young man. He was known for his physical prowess and proficiency in the martial arts.

One particular child hood incident made Ayyankali aware of the caste prejudices prevalent in Travancore society. While playing football with children of his age the ball kicked by Ayyankali fell on the roof of a Nair house. The Nair warned him not to play with diku young men. Deeply hurt, he took oath never to play with them.

Then he went into a period of deep thought. He came out of a month of contemplation, a la Buddha, with a secret agenda - civil liberties for the untouchables.

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