Jotirao Phule: Shetkaryaca Asud (Part 6)

Translated by Gail Omvedt and Bharat Patankar

Chapter 3

How the Arya Brahmans arrived from Iran and the prior condition of the Shudra peasants; and how the current government constantly levies all kinds of new taxes on the farmers in order to provide whatever pay and pensions their employees want; and how the farmers have been forced into arrant indebtedness since their wealth is extracted with such great force.

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Jotirao Phule: Shetkaryaca Asud (Part 5)

Translated by Gail Omvedt and Bharat Patankar

Both the money-eating government employees who harass the farmers and the completely illiterate farmers who give them bribes out of their dependence get legal punishment. If the cost of the police investigation is born by the bhakri-eating fearful weaponless ruined farmers along with the Bhat Phadke who organized attacks against the unarmed police; and if the thieves of all castes who steal from the farmers' houses are given the same legal punishment; then by the same standard those farmers whose houses are robbed while they are in the throes of their deep sleep should also be given a legal punishment?! If our Legislative Council would make such a law and free the necks of our spineless police, there will be bells ringing in that Simla so near to heaven.

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Jotirao Phule: Shetkaryaca Asud (Part 4)

Translated by Gail Omvedt and Bharat Patankar

Chapter 2

Since the white government bureaucrats are mostly in a stupor due to their life of luxury, they have no way of getting any information about the true condition of the farmers, and their overall carelessness allows Brahman employees to dominate all the government departments. Between the two, the farmers are so much looted that they have no bread to fill their stomachs or clothes to cover their bodies.

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Jotirao Phule: Shetkaryaca Asud (Part 3)

Translated by Gail Omvedt and Bharat Patankar

After that, if some rare combination of sacred events come, the Bhat Brahmans lead so many well-off farmers to Nashik, Wai and other places of pilgrimage and extort large amounts of wealth from them on the pretence of religious donations, wheedling at least one coin from all the remaining poor farmers at the time of bathing in the river.

Finally, on the day of the new moon the Bhat Brahmans greedily get donations for the puja of the feet of the farmers' bullocks.

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Our Icon- Ayyankali

A Pioneer. A Revolutionary. A Hero.
 

Ayyankali+photos

 

He was born on 28 August 1863 in Travancore, Kerala. He was one of the seven children of Ayyan of Pulaya caste (agricultural labour). Ayyankali grew up to be a tall, well built and handsome young man. He was known for his physical prowess and proficiency in the martial arts.

One particular child hood incident made Ayyankali aware of the caste prejudices prevalent in Travancore society. While playing football with children of his age the ball kicked by Ayyankali fell on the roof of a Nair house. The Nair warned him not to play with diku young men. Deeply hurt, he took oath never to play with them. Then he went into a period of deep thought. He came out of a month of contemplation, a la Buddha, with a secret agenda - civil liberties for the untouchables.

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Jotirao Phule: Shetkaryaca Asud (Part 2)

Translated by Gail Omvedt and Bharat Patankar

Chapter 1

Due to the dominance of the selfish Bhat-Brahmans in all government departments, they have been able to so deceive the ignorant farmers with the sham of their self-interested religion that they have no resources left to send their tiny children to school, and even those who have some resources have no desire to do so because they are misguided by the Brahmans.

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Jotirao Phule: Shetkaryaca Asud (Introduction)

 

Translated by Gail Omvedt and Bharat Patankar

Jyotiba_PhuleA brief introduction to Phule:

Jotirao Phule (1827-1890) is considered a founder not only of the anti-caste movement; in Maharashtra he is also looked upon as father of the farmers' movement, the women's movement, and a bahujan-oriented environmental movement. He was born in a Mali (gardener jati) community of Maharashtra, and educated first in his village, then in Pune, a city which had been formerly the capital of the Brahman-dominated independent regime, but which was at that time the centre of cultural and politicaL stirrings. He quickly became disillusioned with the Brahman leadership of the nationalist movement, and instead embarked on a career as social reformer intending to awaken the "Shudras and Ati-Shudras" to their slavery and their destiny. His initial efforts involved starting schools for untouchables and girls. Then in 1875 he founded the Satyashodhak Samaj or "Truth- Seekers" society, his answer to the various Prarthana and Brahmo Samajes which he continuously mocked. Its purpose was to encourage the education of both boys and girls, fight priestly domination, especially by organising social-religious ceremonies without them. This gained some influence in Bombay and in Pune district, and he collected around him a group of young radicals, mainly Malis in the city, but Maratha-Kunbis from the rural areas. In 1881 his major critique of the joint exploitation of the Shudra and Ati-Shudra peasantry by the British and Brahman alliance in the bureaucracy, Shetkaryaca Asud ("The Whipcord of the Cultivators") was published.

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