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First Woman Teacher of India: Krantijoti Savitri Bai Phoolay
Dalitbahujan Renaissance

First Woman Teacher of India: Krantijoti Savitri Bai Phoolay

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In the middle of 19th century one of the most respected personality, father of the Indian Social Revolution Jyoti Rao Phoolay and his life Partner Krantijot Savitri Bai Phoolay revolted against Brahminical system and hegemony of the Brahmins in all spheres of life. An incident in 1848 made young Phule aware of the inequities of the caste system and the predominant position of the Brahmins in the social set-up.

As a bridegroom was being taken in a procession, Jyotiba was accompanying him along with the relatives of this friend. Upon knowing that Jyotiba belonging to “Mali” caste which was considered to be inferior. The relatives of the bridegroom insulted him for taking part in that auspicious occasion. This incident triggered young Jotirao’s impressionable mind to defy the caste system and to serve the Shudras and women who were deprived of their rights as human beings under the caste system throughout his life.

Jotirao Phoolay and Krantijot Phoolay boldly attacked the stronghold of the Brahmins, who prevented others from having access to all the avenues of knowledge. They denounced them as cheats and hypocrites. They organised the untouchables and women and started the anti-Brahmin movement. They opened schools for the untouchables and women and gave the message of equality then high caste Hindus ostracized him and demolished his house. Phule launched a jihad against the priesthood and brahminical supremacy with a deep sense of commitment. They declared that social slavery is worst than political slavery. Phoolay wrote a book Gulamgiri for the salvation of Shudras and Ati Shudras in which he gave a clarion call to the Shudras and Ati Shudras for waging a decisive war against social system of the Hindus. They formed a Satya Sodhak Samaj for this purpose.