Talk:Jyotirao Phule

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The name[edit]

The name should be Jyotirao Phule, in line with naming conventions. The Mahatma bit is a title, sometimes given, and not so widely used in his case. Imc 10:10, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

I have moved the follwoing section from the article to the talk page because it is not appropriate for the namespace article:

Mahatma Phune's name was 'Jotiba'. Marathi: जोतीबा. (Neither जोतिबा, nor ज्योतीबा; it is sans any 'y'), but is often misspelt 'Jyotiba'. And the i-kaar in it is deergh. But it is rendered hrasva when a pratyay attaches to the name; hence 'जोतिबांचे (जोतीबांचे नाही) कार्य'.

Ganesh Dhamodkar (Talk) 04:39, 3 January 2009 (UTC)

Introduction[edit]

I would like to add the following content to the Introduction section

Jyotirao Govindrao Phule (Marathi : ) was an activist, thinker, social reformer and revolutionary from Maharashtra in the nineteenth century. His remarkable influence was apparent in fields like education, agriculture, caste system, women and widow upliftment and removal of untouchability. He is most known in society for his efforts to educate women and the lower castes. He, after educating his wife, opened the first school for girls in India in August 1848.

In September, 1873, Jyotirao, along with this followers, formed the 'Satya Shodhak Samaj' (Society of Seekers of Truth) with Jyotirao as its first president and treasurer. The main objective of the organisation was to liberate the Shudras and Ati Shudras and to prevent their exploitation by the Brahmins.

For his fight to attain equal rights for peasants and the lower caste and his contribution to the field of education he is regarded as one of the most important figure in social reform movement in Maharashtra.


Objections, if any, can be discussed. (Flewovercuckoo 13:58, 5 March 2007 (UTC))

Go ahead, be bold. If it is possible to cite some reliable sources then it would be appericiable. Shyam (T/C) 20:34, 5 March 2007 (UTC)

Neutrality of section Religion[edit]

Phule was definately born as a Hindu, but all of his life he fought against the caste system and other evils of hinduism. Later in his life he quitted hinduism and founded Satyashodhak Samaj, which he stated as a new religion denying hinduism. His samaj was Monotheist and not worshipping multiple gods as in hinduism. Ganesh Dhamodkar (Talk) 05:26, 3 January 2009 (UTC)

Agree with everything except the last part. Yes, Phule was not a Hindu. Those who he think he was have not read beyond the first few pages of Phule's works. He launched a vitriloic attack on the Vedas. He welcomed Christian missionaries . Some editors are unsuccessfuly trying to link him with Bhakti movement. Again these editors have not done their home work on either Phule or Bhakti schools. Bhakti movement was started by Sri Ramanujam in South India, who was a liberal Brahmin but affirmed the sanctity of Vedas. No Bhakti saint ever attacked the scriptural foundation of Hinduism. Phule did that and thus went outside Hinduism. He was clearly not a Hindu but an apostate.--Internet Scholar (talk) 00:37, 5 February 2009 (UTC)


User 136.159.248.217 is using a non-reliable website which contains a lot of unsourced and self-contradictory information, and other disputed content, to support the view that Phule was a 'Bhakti' saint. Is there a reliable scholary source which says that Phule belonged to Bhakti school? How can somebody who attacks the very basis of Hinduism like Vedas be regarded as a product of Bhakti movement? Please explain this contradiction using scholarly sources (not personal opinions). None of the Bhakti saints like Ramanand, Chaitanya, Mira, etc ever questioned the sanctity or authority vedas. It is axiomatic that person who attacks the very basis of a faith cannot be regarded as part of that faith.

The content of Religion section is going to be watched frequently now and if that that disputable non-scholarly website (stating Phule was a Bhakti saint) is quoted again, please rest assured that it is going to be challenged and deleted as many times it is posted. Somebody's best chance to retain the reference to Phule as a Bhakti saint is to find a reliable secondary source from an academic-grade publication, with exact page number , quote, year of publication and the name of the publishing company. Kindly co-operate. Thanks.--Internet Scholar (talk) 16:25, 14 February 2009 (UTC)


Citation about Phule's rejection of Varkari/Bhakti movement from reliable secondary source[edit]

The quotation below should put to rest all insinuation that Phule had anything to do with Bhakti movement.

"Phule had rejected the poet-saints as ritualistic, self-deprecating, renunciators who were against "this-worldly" orientation. In the absence of a direct dialogue with the masses for whom he cared and on whose behalf he spoke Phule was not able to come to grips with the dialectic of tradition of which Varkari poets had continued to be a source of consolation without inspiring the poor to rise, politically, against oppression. He went to the extent of rejecting the title of the abhang for his poetic form because it was mainly used by Varkari poets. In this total rejection of Varkari impulse based on conventional interpretations of Varkari texts and practices, he foreshadowed the interpretation of bhakti and chitvilas that Tilak later used in his debate against Ranade's intellectuals."

Source: Language and Society: Steps Towards an Integrated Theory, By Jayant Lele, R. Singh, Contributor R. Singh, Published by BRILL, 1989, ISBN 9004087893, 9789004087897


Its preposterous to state that such an anti-Vedic and anti-Varkari thinker like Phule could have anything to do with Bhakti movement. To make such an assertion is distortion of both Bhakti school and Mr. Phule's lifetime's works.

Here is a link from reliable source about the unity of Varkari and Bhakti movement:

Vitthalas (Varkari Panth)
"The cult of Vitthala is part of the bhakti devotional movement. Its deity, Vitthala or Vithoba, was originally a Kannada hero in the south of Maharashtra around whom a cult developed. The cult was pastoral and so was assimilated with Krishna. Therefore the Vitthalas are a Vaishnavite bhakti cult.

The bhakti devotional doctrine of the Vitthalas is based on a succession of writers and poets. First is Jnanesvara with many devotional hymns and a commentary on the Bhagavad Gita. He is followed by poets that wrote in Marathi. Namdev's poetry tells of a deity who is everywhere and accessible to everyone. All that is needed is to love him and sing his name. You do not have to practise austerities and renunciation, meditate on the absolute, or go on pilgrimages. Vitthala is a transcendent god of such breadth he is identified with Brahman."

Source: http://philtar.ucsm.ac.uk/encyclopedia/hindu/devot/vitt.html

Needless to say, the person who claims that Phule was in the tradition of Maharashtrian bhakti saints like Namdev, Eknath, et al is arguing out of total ignorance of all. thanks. --Internet Scholar (talk) 17:39, 14 February 2009 (UTC)


Vandalism[edit]

User 136.159.248.217 is continuously using unsourced assertions and deleting well sourced edits (from reliable secondary sources). I don't have a lot of time to spend on this page but I am alerting other neutral editors to take a note and prevent the vandalism. Thanks.--Internet Scholar (talk) 20:23, 18 February 2009 (UTC)

I am placing well-sourced content below which he is seeking to suppress. Please repost it after attempting a discussion if this article is vandalized again. Thanks.--Internet Scholar (talk) 21:14, 18 February 2009 (UTC)


Attack on the sanctity of Vedas

Jyotirao Phule's critique of the caste system began with his attack on the Vedas, the most fundamental texts of Hinduism. He considered Vedas as 'idle fantasies' as 'palpably absurd legends'. He considered Vedas a 'form of false consciousness'. [1]

Alternate religion

Though his akhandas were based on the abhangs of Hindu saint Tukaram[2], the attack on the Vedas, the most fundamental source of Hindu canon, precludes any connection with Bhakti movement which questioned corrupt Brahmin clergy but still recognized Vedas or other Hindu texts such as Bhagvad Gita , etc as true revelations. In fact Phule went on to explicitly reject any connection with the poet-saints of Varkari tradition [3] which was very much a part of Bhakti movement . [4]

As opposed to rekindling of devotional aspects of Hindu scriptures, as advocated by Bhakti poet-saints, Phule instead called for creation of an alternate theocracy.[3] In this new parallel faith he coined a new name for God as 'Nirmik' rougly translating as 'Creator'. [5]

Dubious Reference

User 136.159.248.217 has done his best to push Phule as a bhakti saint and the best source for this assertion he has been able to find is the following website which contains a lot of nonsense and contradictory information:

http://www.sainistar.com/saini-info/demography/mali_saini.htm

The same website also makes ludicrous claims that Gautam Buddha, Lord Krishna Chandragupta Maurya, Sanjeeva Reddy et al were all Malis and hence related with Phule:

http://www.sainistar.com/saini-info/gallery.htm

This website contains a lot of other unsourced, libelous and self-contradictory content and provides no sources. This website does not qualify wikipedia's Sources standard and thus should not be permitted to be cited anywhere to argue for or against any position. Refer to the ruleWikipedia:Reliable sources (WP:RS) Thanks.--Internet Scholar (talk) 19:20, 28 February 2009 (UTC)

References[edit]

  1. ^ Aryans, Jews, Brahmins: Theorizing Authority Through Myths of Identity, pp 149, By Dorothy Matilda Figueira, Published by SUNY Press, 2002
  2. ^ Culture And The Making Of Identity In Contemporary India By Kamala Ganesh, Usha Thakkar
  3. ^ a b "In this program Phule included the creation of parallel theocracy which Shahu and other Maratha elites expoited to their own advantage.....Phule had rejected the poet-saints as ritualistic, self-deprecating, renunciators who were against "this-worldly" orientation. In the absence of a direct dialogue with the masses for whom he cared and on whose behalf he spoke Phule was not able to come to grips with the dialectic of tradition of which Varkari poets had continued to be a source of consolation without inspiring the poor to rise, politically, against oppression. He went to the extent of rejecting the title of the abhang for his poetic form because it was mainly used by Varkari poets. In this total rejection of Varkari impulse based on conventional interpretations of Varkari texts and practices, he foreshadowed the interpretation of bhakti and chitvilas that Tilak later used in his debate against Ranade's intellectuals." Language and Society: Steps Towards an Integrated Theory, pp 41, By Jayant Lele, R. Singh, Contributor R. Singh, Published by BRILL, 1989, ISBN 9004087893, 9789004087897
  4. ^ " Therefore the Vitthalas are a Vaishnavite bhakti cult. The bhakti devotional doctrine of the Vitthalas is based on a succession of writers and poets...Though Namdev wrote that pilgrimage is not necessary, an annual pilgrimage to Pandharpur is a central part of the practice of the cult, with devotional singing of hymns and prayers on behalf of Tukaram to Vitthala. The importance of pilgrimage is reflected in the cult also being called Varkari Panth, 'pilgrim's path'." source: http://philtar.ucsm.ac.uk/encyclopedia/hindu/devot/vitt.html
  5. ^ "He creates an alternative religious practice for the varna-proletriat. He coins a new word for God. He translates the word as Nirmik (the creator)." Political Ideas in Modern India: Thematic Explorations, pp 113, By Vrajendra Raj Mehta, Thomas Pantham, Project of History of Indian Science, Philosophy, and Culture, Published by SAGE, 2006, ISBN 0761934200, 9780761934202

File:Mahatma Phule.jpg Nominated for Deletion[edit]

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Year of Publication of books[edit]

The article says, the book Shetkarayacha Asude was published in July 1881, whereas a website on Mahatma Phule (http://www.mahatmaphule.com/literature.html) says it was published in 1883. Which is correct? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Indiansecularist (talkcontribs) 01:27, 23 January 2013 (UTC)

Schools[edit]

What happened to schools founded by the Phules. Are they still in existence ? Who were the students at Savitribai Phule's school. was it open to girls from all castes ? How big were the schools and the student number ? Jonathansammy (talk) 18:05, 21 August 2014 (UTC)

I am even unable to find the name of the school; if at all there was any. The couple had many schools for girls and untouchables in and around Pune.ref1 ref2 ref3. §§Dharmadhyaksha§§ {T/C} 10:15, 22 August 2014 (UTC)

Thanks. There does not seem to be much documented about Jyotirao and her life. It seems that the Anath Ashram catered for Brahmin widows. Did widows in the Mali and Maratha communities remarry and therefore did not need this service ? Did Jyotirao have any descendants? If yes, where are they ? What happened to the girls who went to the schools run by Savitribai ? Did any alumna make make a name for herself ?Jonathansammy (talk) 20:59, 26 August 2014 (UTC)

Article Quality[edit]

I am appalled by the quality of this article and that on Savitribai. Since the couple have been honored by the University of Pune on so many different levels, I would have thought that the people at that University would have taken the lead in improving the articles.Jonathansammy (talk) 15:20, 7 January 2015 (UTC)

Article quality ia average. Jyotirao Fule was against the myths and traditions in Hindu religion and not against the Hinduism. He was attacked by Hindu Puritans for going against traditions. Humanity 16:09, 7 September 2015 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Save humanity (talkcontribs)

Lead - Removal[edit]

I see @Sitush: removing properly sourced content from lead giving the reason that no discussion in the body. Okay, I agree. But why does user has to let unsourced and non- NPOV content which is neither discussed in the body, allow to stay? (If it is an oversight while undoing my 'good faith edits', please do not bother) ABTalk 05:21, 21 September 2016 (UTC)

Of course it is an oversight. Stop assuming bad faith - you are doing it far too much, here and elsewhere. It was, however, tagged by someone. - Sitush (talk) 05:23, 21 September 2016 (UTC)
Okay. ABTalk 05:39, 21 September 2016 (UTC)

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Arbritrary heading[edit]

This is not clear that the mali caste is of sudra varna ,so please atleast remove this word,thank you. Pavan patel (talk) 18:53, 8 April 2018 (UTC)

We have to work off what reliable sources say. - Sitush (talk) 00:50, 9 April 2018 (UTC)