Mahatma Jyotiba Phule : A Modern Indian Philosopher By Dr .

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Mahatma Jyotiba Phule : A Modern Indian Philosopherby Dr. Desh Raj Sirswalअक्टूबर 1 4, 201 3JOTIRAO GOVINDRAO PHULE occupies a unique position among the socialreformers of Maharashtra in the nineteenth century. While other reformersconcentrated more on reforming the social institutions of family and marriage withspecial emphasis on the status and right of women, Jyotiba Phule revolted againstthe unjust caste system under which millions of people had suffered for centuriesand developed a critique of Indian social order and Hinduism. During this period,number of social and political thinkers started movement against such systems andmethods. These thinkers aimed at upliftment of the status of women socially,economically, educationally and politically. Of these socio-political thinkersMahatma Phule, Mahatma Gandhi, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, Raja Ram Mohan Roy, IshwarChandra Vidyasagar, and such other have organized movement for striving equalityfor dalits, backward classes and women. As such, Mahatma Phule was an earliestleader, who strongly opposed gender inequality. He was in the real sense a greatthinker finder of truth He was severely criticized by Brahmin samaj for his noblework and attacked by them. But he continued with his movement. He sacrificed hislife for the upliftment of untouchables, peasants and women. Mahatma Jyoti RaoPhule is regarded as the most important figure of social reform movement in India.He is regarded as the father of Indian social revolution.

Some important Facts about Mahatma Jotiba Phule:There are some important facts to consider about this great personality. He is a realinspiration and ideal reformer of India: Phule had read biographies of George Washington and Chhatrapti Shivaji. Theywere source of inspiration for him. Phule was influenced by Thomas Paine’s ideasand his book “The Rights of Man”. Phule himself has recorded that he was influencedby the ideas of Paine. In place of exploitative Indian social order, Phule wanted toestablish a society founded on principles of Individual liberty and equality and inplace of Hinduism he would have like to put universal religion. Mahatma Phule was the first defender of human equality and rights. We shouldunderstand and appreciate the profound significance of his unflinching espousal ofthe rights of man which remained till the end of his life a major theme of his writingsand a goal of his actions. He was First revolutionary and leader of downtrodens, peasants and supporter ofwomen’s education. He paved the way for the new era of social activism. Heestablished many institutions and tried to remove manmade inequality. He was thefirst active leader of downtroddens and introduced us to humanity. He waspropagator of Human unity and national progress. Dr. B.R. Ambedkar said “Mahatma Phule the greatest Shudra of modern India whomade the lower classes of Hindus conscious of their slavery to the higher classeswho preached the gospel that for India social democracy was more vital thanindependence from foreign rule.”

Phule’s views and philosophy was based on facts, reality, experiences andobservation. In that sense his philosophy was not utopiean but realistic. He was asource of inspiration for Maharshi Shinde, Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar, Gadgebaba andSahu Maharaj. He was a Founder of many movements – 1 ) Movement against discrimination (2)Movement of Dalit (3) Movement of women’s education. (4) peasant’s movement(5) movement against blind faith.MAHATMA JYOTIBA PHULE AS A PHILOSOPHERWe can define “Philosopher” a person who establishes the central ideas of somemovement, cult, etc., or a person who regulates his or her life, actions, judgments,utterances, etc., by the light of reason.” There are several other titles which can beused for Mahatma Jyotiba Phule like educationist, social revolutionary, humanist,feminist and so on. But if we can use only single word for him it cannot explain hisenlightening personality. Since we can find several ideas related to metaphysics,epistemology, ethics, socio-political philosophy in his writing, so here we used thetitle “Philosopher” for him. A philosopher is that person who contributed in morethan one knowledge discipline. In modern Indian philosophy we can consider himand also include in the core philosophical courses which can be teach at graduationand postgraduate level. This is the tragedy of our Indian education system that thosethinkers who really contributed in the educational, socio-political and other aspectsof Indian peoples are remained far from core academic environment. This is the realneed of our education system that ideas of revolutionaries like Mahatma JyotibaPhule , Dr. B.R.Ambedkar and Shaheed Bhagat Singh should be reached to everyIndian. Here we will discuss Mahatma Jyotiba Phule’s ideas with the titles whichhave been already established:

A. Feminism and Women EmpowermentB. Philosophy of EducationC. Ideas on Social Justice and EqualityD. Philosophy of Politics and EconomicsE. Philosophy of ReligionMahatma Jyotiba Phule do not want be a religious thinker, religious guru or aphilosopher of religion. Also he was not interested to prove the existence of God,relation of God and the world etc. His intention was to show the dilemma createdby religious authorities who bound man in religious rituals and made peoplesenemy of each other. His thinking was that Hindu religion not only give spiritualknowledge to man but also bound his social and personal life in religious bigotries.He wants that religion which gives man a true freedom to grow socially andspiritually. Phule influenced by radical religious ideas of Thomas Paine couldsucceed in doing this kind of a theoretical exercise. Phule believed in one God(Nirmik). He regarded God as a creator of this world and all men and women hischildren. There are thirty-three articles in the Sarvajanik Satyadharma, which definethe rules for the creation of a world-family based on basic human rights as well asthe social and intellectual attitudes essential for it In the end, it is also added that various great personalities were inspired by thepersonality of Mahatma Jyoti Rao Phule who brought great changes in social andeconomic fields of India. Dr. Babasaheb Bhim Rao Ambedkar, first law minister ofthe Republic of India and the architect of Indian Constitution was inspired by hisnoble work towards humanity and he followed the philosophy of Mahatma JyotibaPhule based upon justice, equality, liberty and fraternity. He followed all thesuggestions given by Jyotiba as right to education to all, special provisions forwomen, minorities, downtrodden etc. It is also important to note that MahatmaPhule has left, grappling with issues that we have still not resolved more than 1 25

years after his death in 1 890, he could have deserved better recognition in thesociety. Government should have to make proper provisions of Mahatma JyotibaPhule books in schools and colleges. Mahatma Jyotiba Phule ’s philosophy ofeducation, human rights, women empowerment, socio-political and religious ideasneeds to be initiated actively in the society for its betterment.Reference:This article is a collection of extracts cited from the research paper presented inTwo-Days National Seminar on “Mahatma Jyotiba Phule: Life, Works and Vision” on1 4-1 5 October 201 3 organised by Mahtma Jyotiba Phule Chair, Department ofHistory, Kurukshetra University, Kurukshetra. Proper references can be found onthe main paper.Link:The Philosophy of y-dr-desh-raj-sirswal/

Mahatma Jyotiba Phule : A Modern Indian Philosopher by Dr. Desh Raj Sirswal अक्टूबर 14, 2013 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

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