April 11 - Happy Birthday, Jyotirao Phule

Posted on April 11, 2018

Today we celebrate the memory of - not only today's famous birthday, Jyotirao Phule - but also his wife, Savitribai Phule. They lived in India during the 1800s. 

Jyotirao was born on this date in 1827. 

They were both writers. Thinkers. Activists. Reformers. Pioneers in human rights. 

What a nice list of things to be!

What did the Phules try to reform?

  • The caste system.
This Indian social system dictates that people are born into a particular class that not only puts them into richer or poorer groups but also indicates what sort of work / jobs / career they will do. The caste system began in ancient times. People born into lower castes face a lot of discrimination, and the so-called "untouchables" are completely set apart (segregated) away from the rest of society.

The Phules called for equal human rights and educational opportunities for people born into lower castes and, indeed, an end to the caste system.
  • Women's roles in society.

    Jyotirao and Savitribai Phule also worked for women to have equal human rights and educations, and they started a school for girls.

Jyotirao Phule also was a businessman who called himself a merchant, a cultivator (he owned a 60-acre farm), and a municipal contractor (someone who builds or supplies building materials for city building projects). His businesses helped build a dam, a jail, and a tunnel. 

J. Phule was appointed to be a council member of a city, as well.

Savitribai Phule has been honored with a bust displayed
in Pune, above, and a Google doodle, below.


Also on this date:

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