Who was Mahatma Jyotiba Phule ?
Jyotiba Phule was born in Pune on 11 April 1827. Chimnabai was his mother and his father’s name was Govindrao. He comes from a family which worked as a gardener several generations ago. They used to make flower gajras and hence their generation was known as ‘Phule’.
Jyotiba Phule was very intelligent. He studied in Marathi. He was a great revolutionary, great social worker, great Indian thinker, excellent writer and a good philosopher. Jyotiba Phule was married to Savitribai in 1840.
During that time a religious reform movement was going on in Maharashtra. To oppose the caste-system and implement monotheism, Prarthana Samaj was established, headed by Govind Ranade and RG Bhandarkar.
At that time the caste-system was spread in Maharashtra. People were indifferent about the education of women, in such a situation, Jyotiba Phule launched a large-scale movement to free the society from these evils. He started the work of women’s education and untouchability for the first time in Maharashtra. He opened India’s first school for girls in Pune.
Apart from these major reform movements, small movements were going on in every field which freed the people from subjugation at the social and intellectual level. New ideas, new thinking started in the people, which became their strength in the freedom struggle.
This great social worker had established Satyashodhak Samaj for the upliftment of the untouchables. Seeing his gesture, he was given the title of ‘Mahatma’ in 1888 . Jyotirao Govindrao Phule taken his last breath on 28 November 1890 in Pune.