Wednesday, February 9, 2011

3 January should be declared as woman's day of India

We are working for 3rd January to be declared as woman's day in India. Most of the people have agreed with our cause of 3rd January to be declared as woman’s day of India and are supportive. However, I do receive emails from some people even though in minority to work for 3rd January to be declared as teacher’s day.

There is already a teachers day celebrated in India for generations & it is called Guru Purnima, which comes sometime in October. I feel that it would be hard to convince millions of people to change their teacher’s day celebration to 3rd January and not forget the guru purnima now on.  By pushing 3rd January to be classed as teacher’s day would certainly make it a controversial issue and only minority would be supportive. There would certainly be lots of opposition for 3rd January to be teacher’s day.

However, I do not like to get in to any controversy therefore we have considered woman's day to be most appropriate way to pay tribute to her. We seem to be receiving support from all classes of people for woman’s day cause. I am a peace loving person and am generally satisfied with whatever can be achieved by peace and generally achieve my goal by peace. I feel that if it was so important for 3rd Jan to be declared as teacher’s day then why no one has taken any initiative to date? So far no one has been able to provide me any explanation as to why they feel that the teachers day to be changed now to 3rd January?

I also feel, this is not the way to honour the services of this great lady. Secondly, the lady has been a noble source of inspiration for all irrespective of the boundaries of gender. The need of today is to pave the ways of our own for the service of an individual, society, nation and ultimately the humanity as Savitri Bai Phule had done. Any action in such a direction can be the real tribute. That is why I believe in actions rather than the politics that has become a fashion these days among the so called intellectuals.

There is no woman's day of India and the one is celebrated on 8th March is a international woman’s day, which started in Germany. I had couple of emails people even though extremely minority asking me to work for 10th March to be declared as woman’s day India or Dalit woman’s day but they failed to explain me that why would we declare Savitrimai Phule’s death anniversary to be woman’s day?  Why do we need separate Dalit woman’s day? Why would Savitrima Phule’s death anniversary to be declared as Dalit woman’s day? Her death anniversary is a sad day when the nation had lost the noble lady forever and in my opinion perhaps 2 minutes silence to be observe in her memory rather than celebrating Dalit Woman’s day or a woman’s day.

We feel that the celebrating woman’s day is the most appropriate way to pay tribute to Savitrimai Phule. Please join us and help the cause for 3rd January to be declared as woman’s day of India. India's spirit of Unity got us independence and the same is needed for continuous growth and welfare of the nation. We need you all to support the cause.

"United we stand; Divided we fall"

Savitiribai Phule worked for woman's freedom and rights, she started female education, she started school for woman's  therefore declaring her birthday to be a  woman's day of India is the most appropriate way to pay tribute to her. She was a teacher of woman's & to my knowledge she was never a teacher of males. If we want to pay tribute to her peacefully without creating any bitterness about our cause then we should all get together and work for her birthday to be declared as Woman's day of India.
I have communicated to the Historian professor Hari Narke who is the secretary of only official source for Mahatma Phule and Savitribai Phule's material for Maharashtra government publication and Indian government who has written number of books on Phule couple. Professor Narke also thinks that woman's day would be the appropriate one. I have not made this decision without consulting appropriate sources.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Womens Day In India

Savitribai Phule (1831-1897), one of the supreme name who fought against the totalitarianism of caste and other social evils in India. Indian women society is not aware of the greatness of Savitribai Phule, who dared to purse the Nobel profession of ’teaching’ in the ‘Dark Age’. She dared to speak against the unpardonable boundaries imposed on the women society of India, for which today’s women society should be grateful to her.

It wonders me why the “woman’s day” in India is not celebrated on the birthday of Savitribai Phule, the lady who started first ever school for the downtrodden. Let’s all of us work together to recognize 3rd January to be woman’s Day in India to pay tribute to the supreme lady Savitribai Phule. 

Savitribai Phule, struggled and suffered with her revolutionary husband in an equal measure, but remains obscured due to casteist and sexist negligence. Apart from her identity as Jotirao Phule’s wife, she is little known even in academia. Modern India’s first woman teacher, a radical exponent of mass and female education, a champion of women’s liberation, a pioneer of engaged poetry, a courageous mass leader who took on the forces of caste and patriarchy certainly had her independent identity and contribution. It is indeed a measure of the ruthlessness of elite-controlled knowledge-production that a figure as important as Savitribai Phule fails to find any mention in the history of modern India. Her life and struggle deserves to be appreciated by a wider spectrum, and made known to non-Marathi people as well as others not in India but in the world.

Rational thinking people will definitely question, how could it be possible that name of such a legend (Savitribai Phule) is omitted from the history books, when names like “Jhansi ki Rani”; Laxmibai and names of wives and ‘girl-friends’ of Gandhi-Nehru family are given in history books? Historians, who are ought to be the free from fear, sincere, open minded, open hearted, truth seeker & also of courage to show the truth at any cost. But it’s misfortune that historians have shown distorted picture & never showed truth to the people. Hence as a result of which almost everyone confuse history with fiction & historians have made people blind, deaf & dumb – have disabled people from thinking rationally.

Mahatma Jotiba Phule and his wife Savitribai Phule were first among the people who declared war against Casteism and Brahminic-Casteist culture. The Maharashtrian pioneering couple led mass movement of uniting oppressed class against the Brahminic values and thinking. Savitribai Phule worked as an equal partner in the mission of uplifting the poor and oppressed people. Though, she was formerly uneducated, she was encouraged, motivated by Mahatma Jotiba Phule to study. Later on she became the first lady teacher of school started by her husband. Life of Savitribai Phule as a teacher in the school at the time when upper caste orthodox people used to look down wasn’t easy and many a they times used to pelt stones and throw dung on her. The young couple faced severe opposition from almost all sections. Savitribai was subject to intense harassment everyday as she walked to the school. Stones, mud and dirt were flung at her as she passed. But Savitribai Phule faced everything peacefully and with courageously.

Savitribai Phule was the first Dalit women, in-fact first women whose poems got noticed in the British Empire. Savitribai Phule was the mother of modern poetry stressing necessity of English and Education through her poems.

Go, Get Education
Be self-reliant, be industrious
Work—gather wisdom and riches,
All gets lost without knowledge
We become animal without wisdom,
Sit idle no more, go, get education
End misery of the oppressed and forsaken,
You´ve got a golden chance to learn
So learn and break the chains of caste.
Throw away the Brahman’s scriptures fast.
-- Poem by Savitribai Phule

At the time when even a shadow of untouchables were considered impure, when the people were unwilling to offer water to thirsty untouchables, Savitribai Phule and Mahatma Jotiba Phule opened the well in their house for the use of untouchables. It was a challenge thrown at the Brahmins so as they change their mindset towards untouchables. But even after almost 200 years, dalit (untouchables) still strive for water rights.

They took initiative to give education for downtrodden, thinking accurately that education is necessary for the restoration of social and cultural values. Savitribai Phule started ‘Mahila Seva Mandal’ in 1852, which worked for raising women’s consciousness about their human rights, dignity of life and other social issues. With grave personals he went on to organise a successful barbers’ strike in Mumbai and Pune against the prevailing practice of shaving of windows’ heads.

During the 1876 to 1898 famines, Savitribai Phule worked courageously with her husband and suggested many new ways to overcome the difficult time. They started distributing free food at many locations. She died while she was nursing a plague- affected child — she got infected while serving the affected people.

Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. -- Buddha