Jyotiba Phule

In early 19th century, Mahatma Jyotiba Phule organized a powerful non-Brahmin movement. He was born in 1828 in a Mali family and his education, personal experience and association with the Christian missionaries made him staunch critic of the prevailing Hindu religion and custom. In 1854, he opened a school for the ‘untouchables‘ and started a private orphanage to help widows. Jyoti Phule had a violent dislike of the Brahmin priesthood. He made no distinction between non-Brahmins and untouchables.

The cause of the poor was so dear to him that when he met the Duke of York, he presented himself in a loin-cloth as the true representative of the poverty stricken Indian peasant. To liberate the depressed classes and make them conscious of their rights by educating them, he founded the Satya Shodhak Samaj in 1873. To carry forward his anti-Brahmin activities in an organized manner, he wrote two critical works –Sarvajnik Satyadharma Pustak and Ghulamgiri.

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