Thursday, October 19, 2017

Amar Sheed Zenab Ashfaq Ullah Khan

                                            

   Enlarged and updated                        
                                     Tributes To           
                          
                 Amar Sheed Zenab Ashfaq Ullah Khan
(on his 118 th birthday falling on 22nd October 2017)
Khamoosh Hazrat Khamoosh Hasmat  (pen name of A-U Khan)
Agar Hai Jajba Wattan Ka Dil Main ,
 Saza Ko Pohnchain Ge Apni  Beshak
Zo aaj Hamko Mitta Rhe Hain,
 Bujdiloon Hi Ko Sada Moyt Se Darte Dekha
Goo  Ke Soo Bar Unhain Roz  Hi  Marte Dekha,
  Wattan Hamara Rahe Saj Kam Aur Azad
 Hamara Kaya Hai Agar Hum Rahe Na Rahe Na Rahe ,
 Kass Lee Hai Kamar Ab To Kush Kar Ke Dekhain Ge
  Azad Hee Hoo Leinge Ya Sar hee Kata Deinge.
This is the Urdu poem composed by Ashfaq Ullal Khan, who earned the supreme distinction of being the first Muslim youth to be hanged for the cause of the freedom of Mother India. Ashfaq Ullal Khan imbibed the spirit of Patriotism, Unity, Communal Harmony & supreme sacrifice for the country. He falls in the of great revolutionaries & martyrs like  Amar Sheed Bhagat singh, sukhdev,Rajguru , Jatinder Nath Dass,   Veerangini Jalkari Bhai, Virsa Munda,Mangle Panday,Dulia Dhobi,Mangal Mochi, Kammon kesri Khushi Ram ,Jatra Bhagat , Udham singh ,  Abdul Gafar Khan,  Guru Ram Singh Kuka, Begum Hazrat Mahal,Arun Asaf AlimChander Sekhar Azad ,Neta ji subash chander bose,  Veeragini Mahaveeri Devi& lakhs other  unknown heroes of Indian Independence Movement.
                     A very handsome revolutionary son of Mother India, Ashfaq Ulla Khan, was born on October 22nd , 1900 at Shahjahanpur (U.P) in a  respectable &  well known Muslim family. He was son of revered  zenab Shafiq Ullah Khan and  Begam Mazhoor-Un-Nisa.His father was teacher by profession . Ashfaq Ulla Khan was the youngest of his  six children of his father.   His elder brother‘s was  Zenab Riyasat Ullah Khan who was advocate by profession. His birth was celebrated with a great pump & show. He was a student of the Mission High school at Shahjahanpur, one class junior to another great revolutionary Pandit Ram Parshad Bismil., a staunch Arya Samaji Hindu. From his childhood  Ashfaq Ullal Khan started taking interest  in  the Freedom Movement & the activities of the freedom fighters moved his tender mind. Both he and   Ram Prasad Bismil made unparallel sacrifices for the Indian Freedom Movement from the British yoke.
                         Ashfaq Ulla Khan left school during Khilafat Movement in 1920 to devote himself fully to educate his countrymen for the Freedom Movement. Many of his near friends advised him not to jump into freedom movement, which was full of difficulties & sufferings including jailed life & even death sentence. But Ashfaq Ullal Khan was made of different stuff, who had decided to sacrifice for the freedom of his Motherland.
                           To raise money for purchasing weapons for the revolutionaries it was decided (although Ashfaq Ullal Khan differed initially, but agreed with the majority decision) to loot a train carrying Govt. Treasury The train was successfully looted on August 8, 1925 between Alamnagar & Kakoi stations.  Among the train robbers were Sachinder Nath Bakshi; Rajinder Nath Lahiri; Pandit Ram Parshad Bismil & Ashfaq ullah Khan. The train robbery sent shock waves to the British administration & praises for the revolutionaries. Two close confidents of Pt. RPBismil leaked the information & got arrested some revolutionaries, but Ashfaq ullah Khan escaped  to Daltonganj in Bihar, where he succeeded in getting employment in  a school  posing as a Hindu of Mathura. Now he wanted to go abroad to study engineering which would further help him in the freedom struggle. He went to Delhi for this purpose.. But alas again a close confident Pathan friend of Ashfaq ullah Khan betrayed & got Ashfaq ullah Khan arrested. Ashfaq ullah Khan was brought to Lahore, tried along with Sachinder Nath Bakshi in Kakori railway station case & sentenced to death. His advocate  brother Zenab Riyasat Ullah Khan was his defense councilor.
 In an Urdu poem written from his prison cell by Ashfaq ullah Khan with  Ram Prasad Bismil on the night of 18 December, 1928 (They were executed on 19th December 1927), he expressed his wish that despite the fact as a Muslim he did not believed in rebirth after death, but if he meets “Khudda” ( God Almighty) after death, he shall  make an express request to Him to grant him another births  in lieu of  “Jannat” so that he could  come again and again to liberate his mother land. In this hand written Urdu poem opening lines he said he will go empty hands with the pains that he did not know when his country shall be liberated. A day before his death he told, to his friends who came to see him in the cell, jokily that he was getting married next day.
                         Ashfaq ullah Khan’s love for his motherland and his commitment for its freedom from the foreign yoke can be made out from the  letter written by him from his Jail cell to his nephews.
 Translation of the Urdu letter written by Asfaq Ullah Khan  to his nephews  from the Jail.
   “I have been accused of loving my country and for that crime ,I have been given  the death sentence. The only wish I have from you both is that after my death you must read the proceedings of my case, then you will come to know to what extent I loved my motherland as a true Muslim”.
          On  Monday the19th December, 1927, the day of his execution Ashfaq ullah Khan got up early in the morning, took bath offered Namaz & read verses from the Holy Quran. At 6 in the morning he was taken to the altar platform for execution. He was walking carrying a Quran in a bag hanging from his shoulder & was reciting its verses. After kissing the noose he put it around his neck as if it was a garland of flowers. He said “I have never stained my hands with the blood of any man. I will get justice before God. All the charges leveled against me are wrong.” After kissing the noose he put it around his neck as if it was a garland of flowers and was hanged Faizabad Jail British India. His body was taken by his relatives to Shahjahanpur to perform his last rights
                        Amar Shaheed Ashfaq ullah Khan was a true freedom fighter & a great secular. He saved an Arya Samaji  temple from being burnt by rioters. He said “All places of worship, irrespective of the religion, they belong to, are dear to life more than his life.” In his last prayer he prayed to God to bless Hindus & Muslims with better sense so that they don’t fight among themselves and work untidily for the Freedom Movement of the country .                                                         Er HEM RAJ PHONSA.
Dated 17-10-2017                     Ex Executive Engineer Jammu(J&K,India )
                                                     Contact +919419134060 
Referance; -  Ashfaq ullah Khan, A Great Revolutionary & Freedom Fighter, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting GOI.
ii) Maps of India.com



    

  

Sunday, June 18, 2017

ACHHUTANAND SWAMI JI 1879 tO-1933) His 84 th Death Anniversary falls on 20th July 2017 ( Corrected and updated.


Image result for swami achhutanandWith the dawn of nineteenth century the clouds of suppression and ignorance on Indian Dalits started receding. This gave way to emergence of untouchable consciousness and a feeble political voice to these millions of soul covering skeletons. The polite challenge put to Hindu religion laws of scriptures by the Bhagti Movement Saints like Namdev, Guru Ravidas, Kabir Sahib, Guru Nanak Chokhamela started  spouting now into clear resistance by their Dalit followers. This gave way to uprising by Dalits under the guidance of new religious and political leaders. Emergence on the scene of the leaders like Mahatma Jyotiba Phule, Swami Achhutanand 'Harihar', and Narayana Guru, Guru Ghasidas Ji Maharaj, Vitthal Ramji Shinde Dr. Ambedkar and others gave directions to the upturning masses. The roll player in this uprising by Swami Achhutanand 'Harihar', was marvelous.
Besides being a poet, dramatist, historian and propagandist Swami Achhutanand founded the Adi Hindu Mahasabha , an organization of the Depressed Classes. Swami Achhutanand also founded the news paper Adi- Hindu. There was similarity in the opinions of Swami Achhutanand and Bharat Ratna Baba Saheb Dr. B.R. Ambedkar about Dalit literature and Dalit empowerment. Both worked for the cooperative partnership in associations and agitations that took up the causes of the Dalits. Both worked for the empowerment of Dalits believing that Dalit problem  struggle was not only for equality of political, economic status but social, cultural, educational  partnership in state finance affairs besides providing them dignified employment opportunities.
Swami Achhutanand, a chamar( leather crafts man) by caste, was born on 6th May, 1879 at his maternal grandfather's village Saurikh Tehsil Chhibramau District Farukhabad (U.P.) Swami Ji’s father revered Shri Moti Ram and mother Shrimati Ram Piari. Hira Lal was his childhood name. His parents and uncle had left the village due to some quarrel with the Brahmins on caste basis before the mutiny of 1857. They migrated to village Umari Tehsil Sirsaganj of District Mainpuri, situated to the north-east of Agra (U.P). Swami Ji's father and uncle went to Denali and joined the army. His elder brother Baant Lal was subedar in army and his uncle Kaluram  too was in army. Hira Lal’s  father passed away when he was still young and needed fatherly care. However his uncle Mathura Prasad shouldered this responsibility. Later Mathura Prasad got elevated to the position of Subedar in the army. Subedar Mathura Parsad helped Hira Lal, in his education at Nasirabad, Ajmer (Rajasthan).
Hira Lal was very brilliant at school. But he discontinued his education when he was just 14 years of age due to financial distress. Till then he was well versed with working knowledge of eight Indian languages- Hindi, Sanskrit, Persian, Marathi, Bangla and Punjabi etc. He also studied deeply  religious philosophy.
Hira Lal got married to Smt. Hira Bai some sources name her Durgabai and they were blessed with four daughters (Sushila Bai, Vidyawati, Shanti Bai, name of 4th could not be traced). His one daughter got married to Sh. Mangal Singh Jatav of Tikonia, Murar District Gwalior (MP). Mr. Jatav rose to the rank of parliamentary secretary in MP government.
Swami Ji was a true feminist rightist. His life was solely dedicated to the cause of  upliftment of women and untouchables. Swami Ji also changed his name to "Achhutanand" derived from Achhut or untouchable". Swami Ji lived in the hearts of illiterate, literate,  poor and rich untouchables.
After leaving school, he joined a group of sadhus (hermits) and left for a pilgrimage with them. He was in their company for about ten years. Thereafter, he came under the influence of swami Sachitanand ji of Arya Samaj and Hira Lal joined him. After joining the Arya Samaj, his name Hiralal was changed to Swami Hariharanand.  During his associations with Arya Samaji’s and their thought process Swami Hariharanand was convinced that Arya Samaj was meant to save Hinduism nay Dalits by introducing certain minor reforms in the Hindu Society but failed to change the society radically, his ultimate goal of life. Their reforms in the Hindu religion were aimed at blocking conversion of Dalits to other religions like Islam, Christianity, Sikhism , Buddhism . So he lost love and  faith in Arya Samaj philosophy. Swami Hariharanand  wanted to work towards the annihilation of Hindu Caste system which supports untouchbility among  the Hindus. When he was convinced that his goal cannot be achieved by mere lip sympathy, he left Arya Samaj and started Adi-Hindu movement for upliftment of the depressed Classes. Adi- means original inhabitants of India now also called  Dalit,Mulnivasi etc. In a Shastrarth (philosophical debate) arranged on 22 October 1921 at Delhi, he defeated Pandit Akhilanandji an arya samaji. He rightly came to the conclusion that unless the untouchables secured political rights, there would be no salvation for them. His name Swami Hariharanand was again changed to Swami Achhutanand. Now he was with the other stalwarts of Adi-Hindu Movement namely Gopal Baba Warangalkar (Maharashtra), Bhagaya Reddy verma (1888-1939) and B. Shayam Sunder both from AP and a Punjabi Chamar strategist Babu Mangoo Ram Magowalia  (1886 –1980).
Swami Achhutanand a socio-religious revolutionary founded the Adi-Hindu Movement in unison with others to achieve equality, liberty, fraternity and justice for the under privilege untouchable Indian citizens. Indian government recognized the Adi-Hindu Movement in 1923. He also proclaimed his 7 main commands of the Adi-Hindu Movement and explained them as:
1.     There is one God, who is non- attributor (loosely meaning universal creator , no worldly means can    attract  or influence  Him or He cannot be attained by observing worldly religious rituals , dogmas, austerities ).
2.          The religion of Saints is the true religion of India.
4.          All human beings are equal. To treat someone as high and another as low is wrong.
 5.    All the Gods enunciated by Brahmanism are untrue. They ought be discarded.
6. The so-called untouchables are the original inhabitants of Bharat i.e. India.
7.  People should be free from all passions, greed, pride and malice.
8.  Their (aboriginal  inhabitants’) human rihts, glorious culture and civilization should be restored and developed.
The main centre of the Adi-Hindu movement was at Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh and from here he propagated the principles of Adi-Hindu movement in India. Sensing trouble for the Caste Hindus and their political party Congress from the Adi-Hindu movement, Mahatma Gandhi's son Dev Dass Gandhi called a meeting in the house of his( Gandhi’s) confidant at Kanpur where he called Swami Ji and asked him to stop his movement in the interests of Caste Hindus and Congress party. Dev Dass proposed to Swami Ji certain financial allurements as well. On this Soami Ji took out a dried loaf of bread from his pocket saying "It is worth more than, what Mr. Gandhi, you propose. I will not compromise with the interests of my brethren". Shri Dev Dass Gandhi then started calling Soami Ji as "Juta (Shoe) Nand Soami" This story has resemblance to Guru Nanak Dev's refusal of rich food offered by one Dewan Malik Bhago and instead took dried poor quality flour bread of poor carpenter Bhai Lalo.  
Swami Achhutanand was a great rationalist of his times. He viewed any principle and policy from utility point of view. He tried to eradicate irrationalism, sub-casteism and superstitions from among the Depressed Classes. He advised Dalits that the caste system had been purposely supported by the foreign invaders and rulers on India therefore it should be given up. The depressed Classes should not accept such an ugly system, which differentiates man from man. He felt that the main objective of the untouchables


was to attain emancipation from caste based oppression, which could be possible only by their involvement in gainful politics. They should be free from the yoke of Manu made Caste system. Dalits ( Castes falling under present day SCs, STs and OBCs  catagories ) should put a united struggle for achieving their human rights. In order to abolish sub-castes among the Dalits, he invariably used to take every alternate meal with a man of different caste. He exhorted them to abolish sub-castes by inter sub-caste marriages. He used to tell his people to seek help from Christians or Muslims if needed. They should take the help of Christian missionaries to educate their children.
Previously, his own near one's had been reluctant to accept his thoughts. When he was in Agra for the purpose of his mission, he was driven out by the men of his own community. But later seeing his work he became very popular among the depressed classes and attracted many people towards his movement.

When the Prince of Wales was to visit India in October 1921-March 1922, the Congress Party decided to boycott him. However, Swami Achchutanand and his followers decided to accord a grand welcome to him on the occasion of his visit to Delhi. Therefore, a huge rally was arranged at Delhi on 17th February 1922. Swami Ji submitted written memorandum having seventeen demands of Dalits for the sympathetic consideration of the British Crown. The memorandum contained the following demands:-

1.          The Adi-Hindus must be given separate electorate and separate representations.
For the progress of the untouchables, government must open schools and colleges and give admission  in them to untouchables.
2.          There must be a strict law to annihilate the untouchbility.
3.          The educated untouchables must be absorbed in the Government jobs.
5.          There should be nomination of untouchables in the municipal committees. district boards, village Panchayat, town areas and notified areas committees  .
6.          Untouchables should be granted liberty to do business  and shop keeping.
7.          There must be ban on forced labour.
8.          There must be equal rights for untouchables as compared to the "swarnas or Upper caste" Hindus.
9.          There must be untouchables' representation in government and non-government committees in proportionate to their population.
10.         There must be stipends for the untouchable students.
11.         There must be exclusive  colleges for the untouchables where theirs population is in majority.
12.         There must be recruitment for untouchables in the police and army.
13.         There should be increase in the labour rate.
14.         The  chowkidars  of the  villages  should be  untouchables.
15.         Untouchables must be allotted land on lease.
16.         There should be representation of untouchables in the state assemblies.
17.         The above demands should be implemented in the princely states also.
In reply the Prince said that, "I thank you very warmly for the very kind and enthusiastic welcome which you have given me on two occasions at Delhi. I much value your good wishes; I wish  the communities whom you represent all prosperity and well being". (Walker David, The Prince of India 1923, P.289). As the Prince used word Sawraj( self rule) in his address so  Swami Achhutanand  spoke about  his contemplated full Swaraj (Self Rule) or freedom to all and not just a few castes. Soami Ji's Sawaraj was different and more practical than as it was visualized by Bal Ganga Dhar Tilk and congress party. Swami Achhutanand thought that the communities so far deprived of human rights were really the claimants of Swaraj. Swaraj in which the untouchables had no place, was meaningless.
He was against landlordism. He criticized the government for its policy of conferring honors on landlords who exploit the untouchables, kill their kith and kins and attack the chastity of their womenfolk. He stressed for stopping such honour to those who  practiced in human treatment to untouchables.
A special session of the Depressed Classes representatives from all over India was convened at New Delhi in December 1927 to discuss the question of reforms in view of the arrival of the Simon Commission. Swami Achhutanand was Chairman of the Reception Committee of the convention and Sh. M. C. Rajah presided over the convention. The convention, demanded separate electorate and increased seats in the legislatures for the Depressed Classes.
Dr Ambedkar and Soami Ji were working for the upliftment of Dalits and both shared views on the Dalit problems and their solution. Both these Dalit emancipators met for the first time some time in Bombay in 1928 in Adi Hindu Samelan. There after both continued liaison and Swami Achhutanand Ji participated in the Jatav (Chamars) Sammelan in 1922 at Delhi  and gave some revolutionary suggestions. In 1925, he migrated and settled at Benajhabar, Idgah, Kanpur (UP) where Mr. Girdhari Bhagat donated him the residential plot. He also launched the Adi-Hindu Hindi paper.
The strength of the Adi-Hindu Movement can be gauged from the facts that in its procession in Allahabad on 26th December, 1925 over 25,000 dedicated participants took part. This procession was led by Swami Ji himself with G A. Gavai (Nagpur) on monocycles followed by a sea of Dalit humanity. On 27th-28th December 1927, a public meeting was held, where more than 350 delegates from Punjab attended. The Pandal was represented by delegates from, Bihar, Rajasthan, Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi, Poona, Hyderabad, Bombay and other states.
In 1927 at Kanpur, Swami Ji said in a public conference," We Dalits also demand a complete Independence as the Hindus and the Muslims demand. We are the rightful owner of independence." Swami Achhutanand met the Simon Commission on 30th Nov 1930 at Lucknow. His comrades who accompanied Swami Ji were Tilak Chander Kuril, Girdhari Lal Bhagat, Laxman Parsad, Karorhi Mall Khatik and others. Dr. Ambedkar also met the Simon Commission with his comrades as he was then President of Bahashkrit Hitkarini Sabha and submitted as exhaustive memorandum listing grievances and demands of the Depressed Classes. Sri 108 Swami Achhuta Nand Smark Smiti, the memorial committee of U.P published a copy of Dr. Ambedkar's hand written letter dated 3rd Feb. 1932 to Swami Ji, in which Dr. Ambedkar accepted him as his Guru. Swami Ji also met the Lothian committee in 1928 at Lucknow. In 1930, Swami ji sent a telegram in support of Dr. Ambedkar and Rai Bahadur Srinivasan, the two untouchables invited to the Round Table conferences at London (UK). He also raised voice for the "Achhutstan" or separate country for Scheduled Castes. Swami Ji was also a signatory of the Pune Pact signed on 24th September 1932 to ink the agreement reached between Dr. Ambedkar and Mahatma Gandhi to solve the dead lock arisen due to Communal Award and Mahatma Gandhi's fast unto death.
Swami Achhutanand supported the demand of separate electorate made by Dr. Ambedkar in the Round Table Conferences. Swami ji was against the Rajah-Moonje Pact (MC Rajah then leader of Gandhi s Harijan Sewa Sang signed a pact with Dr. BS Moonje, leader of All India Hindu Mahasabha opposing the demand of separate electorate for the Dalit communalities') .Soami Ji moved from place to place and propagated against the pact. He strongly opposed the nomenclature of Harijan given to Dalits by Mahatma Gandhi. When Mahatma Gandhi was claiming to be the sole representatives of Dalits of India against the right demand of Dr. Ambedkar, Swami Ji arranged a demonstration of over 5000 Dalits at Kanpur in support Dr. Ambedkar and for separate electorates' to Dalits.
In order to bring a new awareness among the Depressed Classes, in 1922 he started a monthly paper "Achhut", from Delhi. But circumstances forced it to be closed soon. However, he again started a monthly magazine in 1922 "Prachin (ancient) Hindu". This too continued for a short period of one and a half year. Thereupon "The Adi-Hindu Journal" was started from Kanpur in 1924 which continued up to 1932. He was a philosopher-poet and a playwright. He wrote six books in Hindi —
1.                  Shambuk Balidan (Drama) exposing Hindu Lord Vishnu Avtara, Rama for killing innocent pious Dalit
Saint Shambuk.
2.          Achhut Pukar (Voice of the untouchables)-Religious  songs
3.          Mayanand Balidan (biography)
4.          Pakhand Khandani (Heterodoxy refuted).
5.          Adi- Vansh Ka Danka (Drum of the aboriginal people)-  poetry

Swami ji was  also a singer. He used to sing his own poems or songs of new spirit which were very impressive.Swami Ji worked extremely hard... He fell sick for 23 days and Swami Achhutanand ji left his mortal frame breathing his last on 20th  July 1933 at Kanpur at the ripe age of 54. He was given “Samadhi” by burying him opposite PS Nazirabad Nai Zamin, Lajpat Nagar, in Kanpur (UP).
           Swami Achchutanand Harihar was convinced that the untouchables continue to suffer social, political and economic subjugation as long as they are Hindu. Therefore, he launched Adi-Dharma (a religion for original race of Bharat-Native Indians) an alternative religion for untouchables to uplift them socially, culturally, religiously and economically. He challenged every customs and laws which placed untouchables as lower castes in the society. While opposing Manusmiriti the following couplet is from Swami’s composition
 “Manusmriti Hamko Jala Rahi Hai” (“Manusmriti is Burning Us”):
Day in and day out, this Manusmriti is burning us, burning us, Not letting us climb up, it is degrading us, degrading us,
 While Brahmins and Kshatriyas are allowed to rise and rise, “Wear your old clothes,” for us is the advice.                                        (The Hindu dated Sunday, Aug 03, 2008)

Er.H.R.Phonsa Jammu
Author can be reached by hrphonsa@gmail.com or 09419134060
Words:2839

Dated 18-06-2017

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Mahatama Jyotirao Gobindrao Phule (Tribute on the eve of his 190th birthday falling on 11th APRIL 2017)

By:-   Er. H. R. Phonsa ( hrphonsa@gmail.com   Contact 9419134060  )


Image result  Ever since the Caste system was invented it has brought only  hate related miseries to the  the people of the  fourth Hindu Verna. They were/are addressed as Untouchable,Shudras, Ati Shudras present day called Mulnivasies, aboriginals, Dalits(Scheduled Castes(SCs), Scheduled Tribes( STs), Other Backward Classes( OBCs) etc). They were degraded even below the level of animals. They were denied all decent ways of life. They were  not only debarred to entre Schools, drinking water sources, temples, barber shops but their cremations  places were also separated. Their rights to progress, social, economical, educational, property rights including cultural were denied for them. Religious law codes like Manusmriti were written and  given divine sanctions ..  Divisions among Hindu castes were made permanent.  Untouchable were divided in as many as  6743 Castes, sub castes, Gotras etc. to ensure that they never get united and create any problem for the  Brahmins and Brahminical thinking . Hindu way of life was not only to divide work but workers. This also gave birth to caste war. The Hindus offered milk to snakes; rice with sugar to ants; worshipped tress like Tulsi, Pipal, and animals like cows but got polluted by the very shadow of a Dalit. Dalits are non-else but the creation of the Omnipresent Almighty God. Although for God  realization Hindus observe extreme austere   like living in lonely forests, undertake long journeys to 68 places of pilgrimage, observing fasts, celibacy  etc.. How could such external acts be divine when these cause division among humen?  It is said when excesses cross all limits the Divinity  sends messengers of  humanity.  These men of vision, convictions and strength show the masses the just path of love for all and hate to none. Lord Budha, Lord Mahaveera, Mohammad Sahib, Jesus Christ, Kabir, Guru Nanak ,Guru Ravidas,Chokhamela, Narayana Guru  and many more who  rose above pretty  caste prejudices.  After  2390 years of Mahatama Budha’s birth another friend to Deprived Section of Indians was born. He was Mahatama Phule. Mahatma Phule, a contemporary of KARL MARX(1818-1883), of the Indian social revolution and the first leader of peasants. In his time there was a conflict between the rationalist and the orthodox. His period can, therefore, be a aptly described as the dawn of revolution in the history not only of Maharashtra but of the country as a whole. This brought revolutionary changes in the social, economic, Education, Caste Systems, Agriculture, Women and widow upliftment , Human Rights, Untouchbility ,Social Equality.
           Mahatama Jyotirao Gobindrao Phule was born  on 11th April,1827 to revered couple Gobindrao and Chimnabai in village Khanbari of Poona. He earned the title of Mahatma and title of Bukar T.Washington (American President and a great leader against acts of slavery & apartheid).Since Gobindarao and his two brothers served as florists under the last Pashwas, so they were called Phules. Chimnabai died when Jyotiba was 9 months old.  So his childhood was not very pleasant. He was brought up in the care of Sagunabai Khersagar ( Daughter of Gondabai maternal aunt ,Moussi  of Jyotirao). Gobindrao wanted his son to get a higher education so as to spread the Gyan Jyoti for the humanity at large and Dalits in particular. But all relatives of Gobindrao were against the education of Jyotiba pleading that his son would get spoiled by studying English and could lend no help to him in his job as florist.  So  Jyotiba was taken out of school after he passed his primary school at the age of 9 years. Despite this Jyotiba continued working in fields during day and reading at night. Good hearted Goffar Beig Munshi ( A Muslim )and Latiz Sahib(A Christian) had good influence on Gobindarao. They insisted Gobindrao to get his son readmitted in school to complete his education .On their persuasion Gobindrao  got re- admitted his son in Scottish Mission High School at Poona in  January, 1841. It was in this school that he met Sadashiv Ballal Govande, a Brahmin, who remained a close friend throughout his life. Both Jotirao and Govande were greatly influenced by Thomas Paine's ideas and they read with great interest Paine's famous book ' The Rights of Man' Jyotirao alias Jyotiba  completed his secondary education in 1847 and decided not to accept any government job but work for the upliftment of downtrodden and deprived section of society by spread of education to all with special emphasis for women and untouchables. 
 Jyotiro was convinced and often proclaimed “ Lack of education leads to lack of wisdom, which leads to lack of morals, which further  leads to lack of progress  which leads to lack of money, which leads to the oppression of the lower classes”. See what state of society one lack of education can cause!
 Jyotiba got spine shivering experience of caste hate, when he was invited by his Brahmin friend to join Barat( Marriage party procession) of his brother. But in the Barat Jyotiba although wearing good  ress was noticed by the other Brahmin Baratis.  Jyotiba was abused, insulted and finally turned out of the party for his low caste. Jyotiba discussed this with his father who advised his son to avoid such invitations in future as the high caste Hindus shall not compromise on their religious superiority complex.
This incident changed the life concept  of  Jyotiba, who made up his mind to defy the caste system and decided to serve the shudras and women who were deprived of all of their human rights due to  the caste system. Jyotiba met at Ahmadnagar Miss  Farar,a teacher  in Girls Missionary School. Miss Farar explained Jyotiba and his friend Sahashiv Govande the importance of women education. Jyotiba was greatly impressed by advice of the Missionary teacher. He decided to work for women upliftment by spread of their education and other social welfare measures.
Jyotiba was married in 1840 to Savitribai.Savitribai Phule.She worked as the true disciple and co-missionary of her husband. They changed the Indin history by opening a school on 1-1-1848 for girls in Poona where Savitirbai was admitted as first Student along with four Brahmin girls, one Maratha girl and sixth a shepherd family girl.  Jyotirao Phule continued this school despite opposition form orthodox Hindus, who considered this act against their religion, as Hindu scriptures considered educating girls & Dalits as a great sin. Savitirbai received more education at home from his husband, and was appointed as Headmistress of one of his schools by Jyotiba. Even parents of Jyotiba did not co-operated & they turned him along with Savitribai out of their parental house. It was said by Brahmin priests that by by educating women and Dalits,a sin, forty generations of sinner shall be put into  Narak (hell) fire. But Phule  couple remained steadfast on their chosen path. They opened 18 such schools including some having co-education.
          Feeling pity on the condition of orphans Jyotiba Phule opened   orphanage, perhaps first such
 Institution by a Hindu. Jyotiba Phule gave protection to widows & assured them that orphanage shall take care of their children.  It was in this orphanage that a Brahmin widow  Kashbai gave birth to a male child in1873 and Jyotirao Phule adopted him as his son naming him Jaswant Phule & educated him to become a qualified doctor.
To earn his livelihood & to run his schools & other institutions he worked as contractor in PWD. Some of the structures including  a bridge are still standing in Pune and in its surrounding.  He termed PWD department as hotbed of corruption. He also supplied building materials required for the construction of the first masonry dam in India at Khadakwasla near Pune in the 1870s. One of Phule's businesses in 1863, was to supply metal-casting equipment. Jyotirao owned 60 acres of farmland at Manjri near Pune. In 1882 memorial, he styled himself as a merchant, cultivator and Municipal Contractor.
                      He published his book “Slavery,” in 1873, in which he declared his manifesto that he was willing to dine with all irrespective of their caste, creed, or country of origin. This book was also temed as  controversial The opening words of Slavery  are” Since the advent of rule of Brahmins for centuries( In India), the Shudras and Ati Shudras are suffering hardships and are leading miserable lives.------ Shudras  should think over their misfortune and they should eventually set themselves free from this tyranny of Bhats( Brahmins)”. Jotirao dedicated this book 'to the good people of the Unites States as a token of admiration for their sublime, disinterested and self-sacrificing devotion in the cause of Negro Slavery'. The book is written in the form of a dialogue.
 Jyotirao Phule  formed “ Satya Shodhak Samaj(Society of Seekers of Truth)  on 24 th September 1873 with Jotirao as its first president and treasurer. In 1876 this Samaj had 316 members. The main objectives of this organization were to liberate the Shudras, Ati Shudras & to prevent their exploitation by the Upper caste Hindus. He refused to regard Vedas as sacrosanct & denounced Chaturverna & instead published his book “Satya Dharma Pustak in 1891.  According to him all men & women were equal & entitled to enjoy equal rights & it was a sin to discriminate between human beings on the basis of sex or caste or creed . Widow bearning( Sati) was common those days. Widow remarriages were banned and child marriage was very common among the Hindus Society Jyotirao opposed these all social ills & worked for the benefits of sufferers. He  got re married one Shayani caste widow on 8th march 1890 against  strong protests. From the beginning of the year 1879 Krishnarao Bhalekar, one of his colleagues, edited a weekly called Deenbandhu which was the organ of the Satya Shodhak Samaj. The weekly articulated the grievances of the peasants sand workers. Deenbandhu defended Jotirao when Vishnushastri Chiplunkar, a powerful spokesman of the conservative nationalists, attacked Jotirao's writing in the most vitriolic style. Bosom  Friends Lokhande, Bhalekar and  Jyotirao addressed the meetings of the textile workers in Bombay and tried to organise the peasants and the workers. No such attempt was made by any organization  earlier to redress their grievances. This move infused a sense of awakening towards their rights, in the peasants and the workers.
Mahatama Phule opposed the evil customs so on the death of his father he did not call his caste people for meal instead he distributed meals in beggars, distributed pencils, writing wooden planks ( Patties )  & books to children which became annual function to remember his father.  He opposed the tyranny of landlords & money lenders , so he organized a protest Dharna in Poona District where  farmers joined in large number & burnt the records of the money lenders. He got a marriage ceremonised on 25 th December 1873 without the participation ob any Prohit. In the marriage feast the was only Pan & Supary nothing else. He edited  a weekly news paper “ DEEN BANDU ,” from 1st January 1877. Jyotirao Phule helper getting released in1881 from jail Lok Manaiya Ganga Dhar Tilk & Goda Adkar who were sentenced for writing in their papers “ The Kesri & the  Maratha ,”  against the policies of the British Govt.
On 2nd March, 1888,  Rao  Bahadur Hari Raoji Chiplunkar( 1842-1896) an Honorary Magistrate and President of the Association of Landlords has arranged a banquet in the honour of the Duke and Duchess of Connaught. Hari Raoji Chiplunkar  was also a friend of Jotirao and had invited Jotirao too. Jotirao dressed like an Indian peasant, attended the function and made a speech. He commented on the rich invitees who displayed their wealth by wearing diamond-studded jewellery and warned the visiting dignitaries that the people who had gathered there did not represent India. If the Duke of Connaught was really interested in finding out the condition of the Indian subjects of Her Majesty the Queen of England, Jotirao suggested that he ought to visit some nearby villages as well as the  areas in the city occupied by the untouchables. He requested the Duke of Connaught who was a grandson of Queen Victoria to convey his message to her and made a strong plea to provide education to the poor people. Jotirao's speech created quite a stir( Wikipedia).
               For the life long service to the Dalits & other deprived section of the society Jyotirao Phule was awarded the Title Of MAHATAMA.  On 19 th May 1888. The function was attended by dignitaries like Justice Ranade, Dr. Bhandarkar , Tukaram Tatiya , Lokhande, Dholey & Bharkar besides . Jyotirao Phule was addressed by  Saya Ji Rao Gaikwardas Bukar T Washington in his letter to the president of the function.
               Jyotirao Phule’s  his right hand got  incapacitated in an illness, so he stated writing with his left hand & wrote a book titled as “ SARIVJANIK SATYA DHARAM , “ After ceaselessly working for over 63 years Jyotirao Phule passed away on 28 th November 1890 about 138 days before the birth  of Dr. BR Ambedkar another Dalit Maharashtrian  luminary, Father of free India’s Constitution , who also lifelong worked for the emancipation of Dalits , depressed, weak  & women. Jyotirao Phule shall be remembered for the centuries to come for the  good work he did for the Dalits & Depressed peoples of society including women.
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  Dated 07-04-2017                                          Er. H. R. Phonsa ( Jammu)
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