Jyotiba Phule's 128th death anniversary: Leaders across party line pay tribute to social reformer, activist and writer

On Wednesday, leaders across party line paid tribute to Jyotiba Phule on his 128th death anniversary. Jyotirao Govindrao Phule, also known as Mahatma Phule, was an activist, thinker, social reformer and writer from Maharashtra and was known for his efforts towards social reform, women empowerment and education.

Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said on social media that he and Maharashtra Council Chairman Ramraje Nimbalkar and Assembly Speaker Haribhau Bagde paid tribute to Mahatma Phule at the Vidhan Bhavan.

The Congress Party also remembered the social reformer: 

Congress leader Ashok Gehlot tweeted:

Union minister for Commerce and Industry and Civil Aviation Suresh Prabhu tweeted: "Remembering the social reformer, visionary and writer from Maharashtra, Mahatma Jyotiba Phule ji on his death anniversary. His contribution towards the upliftment of the marginalised sections of the society is an inspiration for future generations."

Champion of underprivileged

Phule was born on 1 April, 1827, and died on 28 November, 1890. He worked towards eradicating untouchability and the caste system, emancipating women and the reform of Hindu family life.

In September 1873, Phule, along with his followers, formed the Satyashodhak Samaj (Society of Seekers of Truth) to attain equal rights for economically-disadvantaged and people from the lower castes.

Phule is regarded as an important figure of the Social Reform Movement in Maharashtra. He and his wife, Savitribai Phule, were pioneers of women's education in India. He is most known for his efforts to educate women and those from the  lower castes. Phule opened the first school for girls in India in August 1848 and later started schools for children from Dalit castes of Mahar and Mang.

He championed the remarriage of widows and started a home for lower and upper caste widows in 1854, as well as a home for new-born infants to prevent female infanticide.

Phule tried to eliminate the stigma of social untouchability surrounding the lower castes by opening his home and the use of his water-well to members of the lower castes.

With inputs from ANI

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Updated Date: Nov 28, 2018 16:33:26 IST

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