Vol. XLII No. 04 January 28, 2018

DELHI: Symposium on the Relevance of Savitri Bai Phule’s ideas in Present Time

THE Dalit Shoshan Mukti Manch, NCR Committee organised a symposium on the relevance of Savitri Bai Phule’s ideas in the present time on January 7, at its office 44, Ashok Road, New Delhi. The symposium was attended by 150 people. Savitri Bai Phule was born on January 3, 1831 in Nayagaon village which falls under Pune district of Maharashtra. Commemorating the birth anniversary of the first woman teacher of India, DSMM organised this symposium.

The main speaker was Dr Subhash Chandra, professor at Hindi Department of Kurukshetra University, Haryana. He presented a detailed analysis of Savitri Bai Phule’s life and time and raised serious questions about the brahmanical system and its oppressed nature even today. He said, Savitri Bai Phule was married to Jyotiba Phule at the age of 10. Since her marriage, Jyotiba Phule taught her and trained her to teach underprivileged sections of the society. In 1848, she had started a school for girls’ education and had to face strong opposition from the influential feudal and casteist elements. Despite all sorts of attacks from physical to abusive language, she did not stop and carried out the task to teach the girl students. She had also mobilised children from SCs and other underprivileged communities. He also pointed out that it was a very difficult task to educate girl child in a feudal and brahmanical society at that time when girls’ education was seen as a big threat in the society. But this did not deter her and she had opened nearly 18 schools to educate children from dalit community.

Savitri Bai led her life like a mission and her main objective was to educate girl child, encourage widow marriage, fight against untouchability and women’s liberation. Even today these issues are relevant and with the emergence of Hindutva forces, the attacks on dalits are increasing. Therefore, it is essential to fight this battle in the social realm to bring about political change. In 19th century, she understood the importance of education and her mission was to make the society aware, especially dalits, to educate themselves to free themselves from the slavery of brahmanical oppression. Her crusade against the slavery and for social change is an enormous contribution to the society. It is a task for the social and political organisations to bring dalit people on the frontline to combat forces of darkness. Her tireless struggle against the feudal society which is ruled by brahmanical forces is relevant even today and an all-out broader mobilisation to throw away the system of oppression which is in practice today is needed.

President of Dalit Shoshan Mukti Manch Bramajeet Singh placed a resolution condemning violence against dalits in Bhima Koregaon on January 1 while celebrating the victory over “Brahman Peshwai” forces. The resolution was passed unanimously by the people attending the symposium.

The symposium was presided over by Rampal, vice president, DSMM and conducted by Yashpal.