Dharmashastra : Einführung und Überblick

4. Sitte und Recht der Stände (varnadharma)

ANHANG A: Shudra-Widerstand gegen die Brahmanen:  Mahatma Jyotirao Govindrao Phule (1827 - 1890)

von Alois Payer

mailto: payer@payer.de

Zitierweise / cite as:

Payer, Alois <1944 - >: Dharmashastra : Einführung und Überblick. -- 4. Sitte und Recht der Stände (varnadharma). -- ANHANG: Shudra-Widerstand gegen die Brahmanen:  Mahatma Jyotirao Govindrao Phule (1827 - 1890). -- Fassung vom 2003-12-01. -- URL: http://www.payer.de/dharmashastra/dharmash04a.htm -- [Stichwort].

Erstmals publiziert: 2003-12-01


Anlass: Lehrveranstaltung 2003/04

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Dieser Teil ist ein Kapitel von: 

Payer, Alois <1944 - >: Dharmashastra : Einführung und Übersicht. -- http://www.payer.de/dharmashastra/dharmash00.htm

Dieser Text ist Teil der Abteilung Sanskrit von Tüpfli's Global Village Library

Abb.: Mahatma Phule, ca. 1890

"'Mahatma' Jyotirao Govindrao Phule (1827—90)
Copyprint after photograph (c. 1890) in the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, New Delhi

Many of the nineteenth-century Indian reformers denounced the injustice of the caste system and scorned its rules of purity and pollution. Most, however, were themselves from the highest castes. This was not the case with Phule whose family, though very respectable, was of the Mali or Gardener caste. His father and brothers provided garlands and flowers for elite Maratha families, including those of the former Peshwas; the family name 'Phule' means 'flower'. Phule went to a Scottish missionary school in Poona where he was influenced by the works of Tom Paine [1737 - 1809] and other English and European radicals. He became convinced that the caste system was iniquitous and that Brahmin domination should be overthrown through education and social uplift. In 1873 he founded the Satyashodhak Samaj (Truth Seekers Society) which was devoted to securing human rights and social justice for low-caste people.

Phule's attitude to the emerging nationalist politics of the elite was ambivalent. He considered that British rule in general was a liberating rather than a destructive force, and argued that the Indian National Congress could not be truly 'national' until it showed a more active interest in the welfare of the low castes. Some Indians regretted this stance at the time, and many still do so today. Certainly, British officials in western and southern India often gave tacit support to the growing non-Brahmin movements, for many of their early nationalist critics were Brahmins.

This print has been retouched to enhance its iconic significance and shows Phule with a work entitled Satya Shod, possibly a reference to the rule book of the Samaj, published in 1887.

C.A.B. "

[Quelle des Textes und der Abb.: [Quelle des Textes und der Abb.: The Raj : India and the British, 1600 - 1947 ; [exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery, London ; from 19 October 1990 to 17 March 1991] / general ed.: C. A. Bayly. With contributions by Brian Allen .... - London : National Portrait Gallery, 1990. - 432 S. : zahlr. Ill. -- (National Portrait Gallery publications). -- ISBN 1-85514-026-8.. -- S. 307f.]


Birth of Mahatma Jyotirao Phule.
11th April, 1827
Marathi education in Panthoji's school.
1834 to 1838
Married to Savitribai, the daughter of Khandoji Nevase at Naigaon.
Primary education(English) in Missionary School.
1841 to 1847
Study of Thomas Paine's book 'Rights of Man'.
Humiliation at marriage procession of upper caste friend.
Started school for girls of shudra and atishudra.
Left home with wife because of oath taken to educate the Shudras.
Started girls school at Chiplunkar's wada
Major Candy felicitated Jyotiba Phule for his contribution in the field of education.
16 Nov. 1852
Joined a Scottish school as a part time teacher.
Started night school.
Took retirement from the management board of school.


Helped in the remarriage of widows.
Started Infanticide Prohibition Home.
Death of Jotirao's father Govindrao.
Opened the well of his house to the untouchables.
'Chatrapati Shivaji Raje Bhonsle yancha povada'.
1st June, 1869
1 June 1873
Formation of 'Satya Shodhak Samaj'.
24 Sept. 1873
Procession of Dayanand Saraswati.
Report of Pune's branch of Satya Shodhak Samaj.
20 March 1877
Member of Pune Muncipality.
1876 to 1882
Made presentation to Hunter Education Commission.
19 Oct. 1882
Written the most famous book 'Shetkarayacha Aasud (Cultivator's Whipcord)'.
18 July 1883
Published the book 'Ishara'
1 Oct.1885
Junnar Court's decision in favour of villager's right
29 March 1885
Felicitated by Duke of Connaught.
2 March 1888
Felicitated by public and was honoured with the title of' MAHATMA'
11 May 1888
Started writing the book 'Sarvajanik Satya Dharma Poostak'
1st April 1889
Death of Mahatma Jotirao Phule.
28 Nov 1890
[Quelle: http://www.mahatmaphule.com/. -- Zugriff am 2003-11-29]

Biography of Mahatma Phule

Dr.Y.D. Phadke.

[This brief Life Sketch of Mahatma Jotirao Phule is written by the noted the scholar Dr.Y.D. Phadke. He is the editor of the Collected Words of Mahatma Phule in Marathi. He is also an eminent scholar of Mahatma Phule and the Satyashodhak Movement.]


JOTIRAO GOVINDRAO PHULE occupies a unique position among the social reformers of Maharashtra in the nineteenth century. While other reformers concentrated more on reforming the social institutions of amily and marriage with special emphasis on the status and right of women, Jotirao Phule revolted against the unjust caste system under which millions of people had suffered for centuries. In particular, he courageously upheld the cause of the untouchables and look up the cudgels for the poorer peasants. He was a militant advocate of their right. The story of his stormy life is an inspiring saga of a continuous struggle whih he waged relentlessly against the forces of reaction. Though some keen observers of the social scene in Maharashtra like Narayan Mahadeo Parmananda did acknowledge his greatness in his lifetime, it is only in is only in recent decades that there is increasing appreciation of his service and sacrifice in uplifting the masses.

Jotirao Phule was born in 1827. His father, Govindrao was a vegetable-vendor at Poona. Originally Jotirao's family known as Gorhays, came from Katgun, a village in the Satara district of Maharashtra, His grandfather Shetiba Gorhay settled down in Poona. Since Jotirao's father and two uncles served as florists under the last of the Peshwas, they came to be known as `Phule'. Jotirao's mother passed away when he was hardly one year old. After completing his primary education, Jotirao had to leave the school and help his father by working on the family's farm. Jotirao's marriage was celebrated when he was not even thirteen.

Impressed by Jotirao's intelligence and his love of knowledge two of his neighbours, one a Muslim teachr and another a Christian gentleman persuaded his father Govindrao to allow him to study in a secondary school. In 1841, got admission in the Scottish Mission's High School at Poona. It was in his 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.' Moro Vithal Valvekar and Sakharam Yashwant Paranjapye were two other Brahmin friends of Jotirao who in later years stood by him in all his activities. After completing his secondary education in 1847 Jotirao decided not to accept a job under the Government.

An incident in 1848 made him aware of the iniquities of the caste system, the predominant position of the Brahmin in the social setup. He was invited to attend a wedding of one of his Brahmin friends. As the bridegroom was taken in a procession, Jotirao accompanied him along with the relatives of his Brahmin friends. Knowing that Jotirao belonged to the Mil caste which was considered to be inferior by the Brahmins, the relatives of the bridegroom insulted and abused him. Jotirao left the procession and retuned home. With tears in his eyes, he narrated his experience to his father who tried to pacify him. After this incident Jotirao made up his mind to defy the caste-system and serve the Shudras and women who were deprived of all their rights as human beings under the caste-system.

Education of women and the lower castes, he believed, deserved priority, Hence he began educating his wife Savitribai and opened a girls' school in August 1848. The orthodox opponents of Jotirao were furious and they started a vicious campaign against him. He refused to be unnerved by their malicious propaganda. As no teacher dared to work in a which untouchable were admitted as students, Jotirao asked his wife to teach the girls in his school. Stones and brickbats were thrown at her when she was on her way to the school. The reactionaries threatened Jotirao's father with dire consequences if he did not dissociate himself Yielding to the pressure, Jotirao's father asked his son and the daughter in-law to leave his house as both of them refused to give up their noble endeavor.

Though the school had to be closed for sometime due to lack of funds, Jotirao re-opened it with the help of his Brahmin friends Govande and Valvekar. On 3 July 1851, he founded a girls' school in which eight girls were admittedon the first day. Steadily the number of student increased. Savitribai taught in this school also and had to suffer a lot because of hostility of the orthodox people. Jotirao opened two more girl's schools during 1851-52 in a memorial addressed to the Education Commission (popularly known as the Hunter Commission ) in 1882, he described his activities in the field of education, ` A year after the institution of the female school I also established and indigenous mixed school for the lower classes, especially the Mahars and Mangs. Tow more school for these classes were subsequently added. I continued to work in them for nearly nine to ten years'.

Jotirao was aware that primary education among the masses in the Bombay Presidency was very much neglected. He argued that 'a good deal of their poverty, their want of self-reliance, their entire dependence upon the learned and intelligent classes' could be attribute to the British Government for spending profusely a lar portion of revenue on the education of the higher classes. According to him. this policy resulted in the virtual monopoly of all the higher offices under the Government by the Brahmins.

Jotirao boldly attacked the stranglehold of the Brahmins, who prevented others from having access to all the avenues of Knowledge and influence. He denounced them as cheats and hypocrites. He asked the masses to resist the tyranny of the Brahmins. All his writings were variation on this theme. His critics made fun of his ignorance of grammar and philology, his inelegant language and far-fetched interpretation of Indian history and the ancient texts. They brushed his criticism aside by saying that he was merely echoing what the Christian missionaries had said about the Indian society in general and Brahmin in particular. The established scholars in his time did not take Phule's arguments seriously. His critics did not realise that Jotirao's acrimonious criticism was basically a spontaneous outburst of a genuine concern for the equal rights of human beings Emotionally he was so deeply involved in his work that he could not make a dispassionate analysis and take a detached view of the social forces. Jotirao's deep sense of commitment to basic human values made it difficult for him to restrain himself when he witnessed injustice and atrocities committed in the name of religion by those who were supposed to be its custodians.

Widow remarriages were banned and child-marriage was very common among the Brahmin and other upper castes in the then Hindu society. Many widows were young and not all of them could live in a manner in which the orthodox people expected them to live. Some of the delinquent widows resorted to abortion or left their illegitimate children to their fate by leaving them on the streets. Out of pity for the orphans, jotirao Phule established an orphanage, possible the first such institution founded by a Hindu. Jotirao gave protection to pregnant widows and assured them that the orphanage would take care of their children. It was in this orphanage run by Jotirao that a Brahmin widow gave birth to a boy in 1873 and Jotirao adopted him as his son.

For sometime, Jotirao worked as a contractor for the government and supplied building material required for the construction of a huge barrage at Khadakvasala near Poona. He had a direct experience of working with the officials of the Public Works Department which was notorious as a hotbed of corruption. Except the British officers holding very high positions in the Department. the clerks and other officers were invariably Brahmin and they exploited the illiterate workers. Jotirao felt in necessary to explain to the workers how they were duped by the Brahmin officials . in one of the ballads composed by him, he described vividly the fraudulent practices resorted to by the Brahmin officials in the Public Works Department (printed at the end of `Slavery')

In 1868, Jotirao decided to give access to the untouchables to small bathing tank mere his house. In his controversial book called Slavery published in June 1873, Jotirao included a manifesto which declared that he was willing to dine with all regardless of their caste, creed or country of origin. It is significant that several newspapers refused to give publicity to the manifesto because of its contents. His book Slavery was severely criticised for its `venomous propaganda' against the Brahmins. Jotio dedicated this book `to the good people of the United 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. After tracing the history of the Brahmin domination in India, Jotirao examined the motives and objects of cruel and inhuman laws framed by the brahmins. Their main object in fabricating these fasehoods was to dupe the minds of the ignorant and rivet firmly on them the chains of perpetual bondage and slavery which their selfishness and cunning had forged, The severity of the laws as affecting the Sudras and the intense hatred with which they were regarded by the Brahmins can be explained on no other supposition but that there was, originally between the two, a deadly feud arising from the advent of the latter in to this land. Jotirao argued that the sudras were the sons of the soil while the Brahmins came from outside and usurped everything that was possessed by the `not one hundredth part of the rogueries' that were generally practsed on his `poor, illiterate and ignorant Sudra brethren'.

On 24 September 1873 , Jotirao convened a meeting of his followers and admirers and it was decided to form the 'Satya Shodhak Samaj' (Society of Seekers of Truth) with Jotirao as its first president and treasurer. Every member had to take pledge of loyalty to the British Empire. The main objectives of the organisation were to liberate the Shudras and Ati Shudras and to prevent their exploitation by the Brahmins. All the members of the Satya Shodhak Samaj were expected to treat all human being as children of God and worship the Creator without the help of any mediator. Membership was open to all and the available evidence proves that some Jews were admitted as members. In 1876.

Jotirao refused to regard the Vedas as sacrosanct. He opposed idolatry and denounced the chaturvarnya. In his book Sarvajanik Satya Dharma Pustak published in 1891, his views on religious and social issues are given in the form of a dialogue.According to him,both men and women were entitled to enjoy equal rights and it was a sin to discriminate between human being on the basis of sex. He stressed the unity of man and envisaged a society based on liberty, equality and fraternity. He was aware that religious bigotry and aggressive natioalism destroy the unity of man.

In 1876 Jotirao was nominated as a member of the Poona Municipality, He tried to help the people in the famine-stricken areas of Maharashtra when a severe famine in 1877 forced people in the rural area to leave their villages. Some of them had to leave their children behind and appeal issued on 17 May 1877 by Jotirao indicates that the Victoria Orphanage was founded under the auspices of the Satya Shodhak Samaj to took after these unfortunate children. From the beginning of the year 1879 Krishnarao Bhalekar, one of his colleagues, edited a weekly called Deenbandhu which was the organ f the Satya Shodhak Samaj. The weekly articulated the grievances of the peasants and workers. Deenbandhu defended Jotirao when Vishnushastri Chiplunkar, a powerful spokesmen of the conservative nationalists, attacked Jotirao's writing in the most vitriolic style.

Narayan Meghaji Lokhande was another prominent colleague of Jotirao, Lokhande is acclaimed as the Father of Trade Union Movement in India From 1880 onward, he look over the management of Deenbabdhu which published from Bombay. Along with Lokhande. Jotirao also addressed the meetings of the textile workers in Bombay. It is significant that before and his colleagues Bhalekar and Lokhande tried to organise the peasants and the workers, no such attempt was made by any organisation to redress their grievances.

One of the charges levelled by Jotirao against the leaders of the Brahmo Samaj and the Prarthana Samaj, the Sarvajanik Sabha and the Indian National Congress was that despite their programmes, in reality, they did very little to improve the lot of the masses. He felt that these organisations were dominated by the Brahmins and were not truly representative in character. In his booklet called Satsara (The Essence of Truth) published in June 1885, he criticised the Brahmo Samaj and the Prarthana Samaj. Addressing their leaders he declared, 'We don't need the help of your organisations. Don't worry about us' In his book, Sarvajanik Sabha or the Indian National Congress. He warnhat the persistent demand made by these organisation for Indianisation of the administrative services, if accepted, would lead to Brahminisation of the service in India. He thought that it was difficult to create a sense of nationality so long as the restriction on dining and marrying outside the caste continued to observed by people belonging to different castes. Education of the masses would promote the process of nation-making.

It should be remembered that just as Jotirao did not mince words when he criticised the leaders of tormist movement he was equally fearless in criticising the decision of the alien rulers which did not contribute to the welfare of the masses. When the government wanted to grant more licences for liquor-shop, Jotirao condemned this move as he believed that addiction to liquor would ruin many poor families. On 30 November 1880, the President of the Poona Municipality requested the members of approve his proposal of spending one thousand rupees on the occasion of the visit of Lord Lytton, the Governor-General of India. The official wanted to present him an address during his visit to Poona. Lytton had passed an Act which resulted in gagging the press and Deenbandhu, the organ of the Satya Shodhak Samaj, had protested against the restriction on the right to freedom of the press. Jotirao did not like the idea of spending the money of the tax- payers in honouring a guest like Lytton. He boldly suggested that the amount could be very well spent on the education of the poor people in poona. He was the only member out of all the thirty-two nominated members of the Poona Municipality who voted against the official resolution.

Another incident also revealed his attachment for the poor peasant and his courage in drawing the attention of member of the British royal family to the sufferings of the framers in rural areas, On 2 March 1888, Hari Raoji Chiplunkar, a friend of Jotirao, arranged a function in honour of the Duke and Duchess of Connaught. Dressed like a peasant, Jotirao 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 the ought to visit some nearby village as well as the areas in the city occupied by the untouchables. He requested the Duke of Connaught who was a gandson 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 quit a stir.

Throughout his life. Jotirao Phule fought for the emancipation of the downtrodden people and the struggle which he launched at a young age ended only when he died on 28 November 18 He was a pioneer in many fields and among his contemporaries he stands out as one who never wavered in his quest for trust for and justice, Thought he was often accused of fomenting hatred between the non Brahmins, very rarely an attempt was made to consider his scathing criticism in a broad perspective. The later generation also took considerable time to understand and appreciate the profound significance of his unflinching espousal of the rights of man remained till the end of his life a major theme of his writings and a goal of his actions.




[Quelle: http://www.dalitstan.org/books/slavery/slavry_b.html. -- Zugriff am 2003-11-29]

"Introduction to "A Warning"




The first owl among the Aryan Brahmins, parading as a gentleman, and though as inhabitant of Poona, prefers to stay in Bombay, presumes to proffer shallow advice to the learned H.H. (Sayajirao) Gaekwar of Baroda that caste-distinctions among us do not at all hinder our desired goal, nor does it come in the way of our national advancement. We are not at all surprised at this empty cunning wisdom of those self-styled (garrulous preachers) who hate the Shudras and Anti-shudras with all their heartes'. When the pernicious caste-distinctions will disappear, the Anti-shudras will condemn in no uncertain terms, the (devilish ban) imposed by the Aryan Brahmins, on their taking education. Once they become educated, they will come to the evil designs and deeds of the Brahmins and hence will not deing to touch their cunning, wicked books with a pair of tongs. The Shudras will not pay respect to the Brahmins who style themselves as the most worthy of respect among the eighteen Varnas. They will also not entertain them (the Brahmins) with sumptuous feasts gratis (they who are no better than mere manual workers). They will never respect the Brahmins who play on the 'Tabla' nor would they salute them as they trade in lies.

There is another Aryan Brahmin who presumes to be a second (learned) Shankaracharya and who also preaches loudly in diverse meetings and Conferences that the Shudra peasaants condition is much better than what is was thirty years ago. We are astounded at his temerity. Our English Government has collected lakhs of rupees from the tillers of the soil by way of taxes (cess) and have expended the said amounts of money on the education of Bhats/Brahmins. But (we have pained to state) that all this has been a huge waste of money (it has served no useful purose). The vindictive Aryan Brahimins have been practsing a shameless tyranny in diverse ways for thousands of years, under the grab (or pretext) of their spurious, wicked religion concocted by them (to accomplish their nufarious objects). Thanks to the researchers of philanthropic English scholars and also to the education (preaching) imparted to the Shudras by the preachers sent to this unfortunate country by many benevolent European (English) and American people at great personal cost to themselves, there has been a slight improvement in the condition of the ignorant Shudra farmers here. The said savant (the second Shankarachrya) is ashamed to admit openly that the religious tyranny practised by the Brahmins on the Shudra peasants has lost some of its severity (sting). So he says vaguely that the condition of the Shudra peasant has inproved somewhat during the last thirty years. These crafty Brahmins use the simple unadorned language of the unlettered Shudra peasants to convince (futilely) the ignorant (unsuspecting) Governor General and other high-ranking officers and try to save their face somehow.

Have any of the Brahmin women or Brahmin children ever experienced the agony of toiling on the farms, in the burning sun, on an empty stomach, like the Shudra women or the Shudra children? Has any Bhat/Brahmin ever soiled his hands by carrying baskets of night-soil on their heads and deposting the same near the trunks (roots) of trees (as manure)? His fraterual caste-men grab about Rs. twenty per day by way of alms (gifts) of a cow, the amount earned by the Shudra farmers by the sweat of their brows and they squander these alms in entertaining women of easy virtue. It is very strange about this (evil practice of their caste-men!).

The above - mentioned contention of the, so-called learned (Brahmins) is like saying that the economic condition of the present day Bhils, fishermen, Mangs and Mahars is better than that of the nomadic Brahmins who, in ancient times, were moving about the forest tending herds of cattle, donning clothes made out of the tree-barks. Living in huts and subsisting on the wild roots of plants and trees? (It is patently absurd!). These cunning (so-called) learned Bhats/Brahmins practse their roguery in diverse ways on the ignorant, poor, Shudras and Anti-Shudras (and fleece them systematically!). It is our intention to bring this deplorable state of affairs to the notice of our poor Shudra and Anti-Shudra brethren as also (the rapacious) Brahmins (in a lighting flash, as it were). Hence we have entitled this booklet as a "Warning".

1st October 1885.


"A person who has sustained an injury to his body alone will know ehat physical pain is. How can any other person know it, O ignorant (rustic) one?"

If we think carefully about the condition of India in general, we soon realize that many foreign powers (people) invaded this (fair) land of ours. The foreign invaders did precious little for the comfort and happiness of the Shudra and Anti-Shudra subjects here. Nothing was done (by them) for the prosperity and advancement of this land. The first two invade India were the Iranians (people from Iran) who are now called (known all over India as) Aryans or Brahmins, and who conquerred this land and establish their rule (supremacy) here. The illustration of Parashuram's victory and rule over India should be sufficient (testimony). The Aryans, then, framed and promulgated totally unjust and immoral laws and regulations and codified them under the name of 'Manu - Samhita' (Manu Smruti). These laws were framed arbitrarily and always keeping in view the selfish interests of the Aryans. They invested these 'laws' with the authority of sacrosanct religion to give it special prestige and dignity. They succeeded in the enforcing these iniquitous laws on the Shudra and Anti-Shudras here who were drowned in the vast ocean of murky ignorance. Later on, the Moslems (the Afghans, the Mughals etc.) invaded this country. The Dutch, the Portuguese, the French also attacked India (in the 18th Century).

But these invasions were not of much significance as they could establish their hold on a few pockets (areas) of India and their rule lasted here only for a brief period of time. They did not leave imprint on the people here. Just as they did not harass the people, they did not take any steps to benefit the people either in any significant measure. Of the above-mentioned foreign invaders only two the Aryans and the 'Moslems harassed the peoples-the subject-here (the word 'Subjects' signifies the Shudras and the Anti-Shudra of India here as also subsequently in this booklet). The invaders were indeed the embodiments of treachery, jealousy, cruelty and selfishness. In order to accomplish their thoughtless (and selfish) objects, they used their rule and power as sharp whips to lash mercilessly the poor, defenceless subjects whom they had subjugated. They were past matters in the art of torturing the subjects, as they did not take any steps to improve their lot (which would have ameliorated their condition). A cursory perusal of their history (in India) would reveal that they (the foreign invaders) tortured the subjects in India in the following ways : Sometimes they harassed and finally killed them mercilessly for petty or non-existent crimes (supposed to be committed by them). Sometimes, they entertained carnal desires about beautiful, high bred, and virtuous women-folk of the conquerred people (and violated their modesty, or molested or outraged them) to satisfy their lustful (carnal) desires. For petty offences committed by the subjects, the foreign invaders used to torture them inhumanly, resulting in their deaths.

The punishments which they visited (inflicted) upon the poor people here were very strange, and barbarous. A mere narration of these tortures would horrify the hearts of even the hardened among us. His heart would burst with pity for the victims and his hair would stand on the end. How horrible is the punishment of condemning a man to death. The condemned person is made to sit on a sharply pointed iron pillar, and he is thrust down the length of the column until its sharp point emerges otu of his head which is thrashed severly with whip-lashes or with a slender bough of a tree until his skin is ruptured and he bleeds profusely. Then saline water or tamarind soaked in water is poured on the lacerated skin which causes excruciating pain to him, he writhes in grate agony and finally succumbs to the pain. His tormentors derive sadistic Pleasure in seeing him suffer his agonies Sometimes he is hurled from the ramparts of A fort deep into the ravine below, or he is tied to the legs of an infuriated tusker (intoxicated with wine etc.) and the tusker is made to run on a rough, stony path (resulting in the victim's death) (Readers will please recall the inhuman death, inflicted upon the valiant, famous Vithojirao Holkar, in the manner described above, in Poona (on 16th April 1801) by the treachevous, ungrateful Peshwa. Sometimes boiling oil or vermillion or lead was poured into the mouths of the victims which naturally resulted in their deaths. Blood-curdling punishments like those described above were inflicted on the poor, defenceless subjects for petty thefts or offences, out of sheer spite. Till recently, till the (ignominious) and of the rule of Bajirao Peshwa II the last of the infamous (notorious) line of the Peshwas, if farmers defaulted in paying the land assessment in time, they were made to bend down publicly (in front of the 'Chawdi') with heavy stones placed on their backs, or sometimes their wives were made to sit on their bent backs and they were made to inhale the pungent, obnoxious smoke of chillies burnt under their faces. If we compare the tortures and punishments inflicted on the victims during the Peshwas' regime with those prevailing in other lands and regimes (we make bold to state that) the Peshwas' punishments would carry the palm any day. (If we reflect on these severe punishments dispassionately) we are forced to wonder whether the law-enforcing agencies (authorities) who were the Peshwas' caste-men were constantly planning and mediating on diverse methods of torturing and harassing the poor subjects day in and day out. This was the one and only object of their constant study in devising such punishments. Their conception of punishing the subjects embraced various facets-such as beating up or whip lashing, maiming (their bodies), robbing or various ways of harassment (mental & physical). The subjects' unhappiness gave them (the Brahmins) untold joy and satisfaction. The Brahmin bureaucracy regarded the poor subjects as less than vermin or less than dumb animals (in the field). The poor subjects, according to the Bhat rulers were specially created (by God) to serve the Bhat Peshwas and their caste-men as helots. These helots were supposed to till the fields and garner rich harvests, to weave clothes, to toil and moil in the burning heat of sun, and to produce and supply diverse luxuries needed by the Peshwas and their cast-men, their women-folk and children too. So be it! The Omnipotent Almighty (God) dethroned the Peshwa and the evil coterie of his caste-men (counsellors) who were intoxicated with the heady wine of power and hence were persecuting the poor subjects. It was fit and proper nemesis for their notorious misdeeds and misrule. By divine dispensation, the English rule (or supremacy or raj) came to be established here, a rule which was at once just and merciful, wholesome, beneficial, righteous and peaceful-for the comfort and benefit of the long suffering masses in India. The ryots are eternally grateful and beholden unto the all-merciful God-and they further pray to him, "O Lord! May this regime last long! (we make this statement because) after the advent of the English raj (rule) here, the common people heaved a sign of relief, for they were freed, at long last, from the inhuman oppression and tyranny (born of envy and jealousy)-religious, ethical administrative and diverse other manifestations (of the same).

These day, the subjects (under the English rule) are encouraged to do things that they like-which they think are in their best interests and which are not harmful to other people. Formerly, (under the Peshwa rule) the subjects' property was vulnerable to attacks by the robbers. They lived in constant dread of high Government Officers as also of the violent marauders (robbers-i.e. the Pindaris)-enjoying the patronage of the ruling class (kings). Hence the people were unable to use the money they had earned hard way for their own comforts, nor could they store it safely because of so many threats and difficulties. As a result of this, the common people lost all interest in life and became slothful, idle and quite safe (which they have earned the hard way0. That is why they can spend them as they like, they can save them up, or can dispose of them as they like. In short, they are the undisputed masters of their earnings. That is why they have given up their slothful habits and are trying their best to acquire more and more money (for their won use). The (English) Government has introduced many good reforms for the welfare of the subjects, and are planning to undertake many new projects beneficial to the people at large. Formerly, travelling was a great ordeal for the people, because it was fraught with many dangers.

The Government has now constructed new roads and provided safety to the travellers on their journeys. So travelling has become a joyful thing for them. The government has constructed (new) bridges for the convenience of the people, have opened many new English schools, many hospitals, as also many caravanserais for the needy people. One can mention many more of such new conveniences. But there is one great project which the Government has undertaken which is truly beneficial to the people and which is commendable and eternally creditable to the Government. We need not highlight its importance to he common man. The good and valuable project undertaken by the Government holds forth great hope and cheer before the people who have been afflicted with the curse of poverty all these years. That project concerns the bridging together (joining together) the many mountain-passes interspersed on the mountain-ranges in our land and constructing many vast lakes (percolation tanks). The Government is planning to construct many canals at different locations and to provide life-giving water, through them, to the needy farmers' lands enabling them to cultivate those lands through all the seasons (all the year round). The Government also intends to provide clean drinking water from these lakes to the thirsty subjects who are suffering all these years (for lack of drinking water). Such a vital amenity was overdue, and by God's grace, it has materialised now.

For more than a century the Bhat rulers have overburdened the poor subjects with unjust, heavy taxation, and thus have gobbled up crores of rupees (for their personal comforts), but they didn't have the goodness to spend even a farthing of this ill-gotten wealth for the welfare of the poor subjects, in all conscience. We are most ashamed to narrate the various ways in which the Bhat rulers have expended this huge amount of money. They established temple-complexes at different places for their own caste-man and opened centres of free distribution of food (to them). As soon as the amounts of taxes were credited into the treasury, the Bhat rulers would issue prompt orders to donate Rs. two lakhs to temple-complex X, Rupees fifty thousand to temple-complex Y."

[Quelle: http://www.mahatmaphule.com/. -- Zugriff am 2003-11-29]

"Mahatma Phule-- The greatest Shudra of Modern India who made the lower classes of Hindus Conscious of their Slavery to the higher classes and who preached the gospel that for India social democracy was more vital than independence from foreign rule",

Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, back cover of the English book


in the cause of Negro Slavery; and with an earnest desire, that my countrymen may take their noble example as their guide in the emancipation of their Sudra Brethren from the trammels of Brahmin thraldom.
Mahatma Phule




Exposed by

Jotirao Govindrao Phule


Edited by

Dr. K. Jamanadas


translated by

Prof. P.G. Patil
M.A. B.A. (London), Bar -at- Law
Ex- Vice Chancellor, Shivaji University, Kolhapur


Education Department, Government of Maharashtra Mantralaya, Bombay 400 032 1991 for Mahatma Jotirao Phule Death Centenary Central Committee

"My object in writing the present volume is not only to tell my Sudra brethren how they have been duped by the Brahmin, but also to open the eyes of Government to that pernicious system of high class education which has hitherto been so persistently followed and which statesmen like Sir George Campbell the present Lieutenant Governor of Bengal, with broad and universal sympathies, are finding to be highly mischievous and pernicious to the interests of Government. I sincerely hope that 'Government will ere long see the error of their ways, trust less to writers of men who look through high class spectacles and take the glory into their own hands of emancipating my Sudra brethren from the trammels of bondage which the Brahmins have woven round them like the coils of a serpent, It is no less the duty of such of my Sudra brethren as have received any education to place before Government the true state of their fellow men and endeavour to the end best of their power to emancipate themselves from Brahmin thraldom. Let there be school for the Sudras in every village; but away with all brahmin school-masters! The Sudras are the life and sinews of the country, and it is to them alone and not to tide them over their difficulties, financial as well as political."

back cover, Mahatma Phule

[Titel von Slavery. -- URL: http://www.dalitstan.org/books/slavery/. -- Zugriff am 2003-11-30]


Abb.: Umschlagtitel von Mukundarâv Pâtîl: dhadhdhâ shâstrî parânnem ["Der Schmarotzer-Lehrer"], 1927

"Dadashastri (The Parasite Priest), 1927
Mukundrao Patil
Printed book, 15.2 x 10. 8

After Phule's death the non-Brahmin movement developed a popular base in western India and made considerable progress in the Tamil- and Telugu-speaking areas of the south.

This is a typical piece of early twentieth-century propaganda produced by the editor of Din Mitra, the main non-Brahmin newspaper. Its theme is how older Brahmins continue to insist on orthodox behaviour from others while their own younger generation is busy Westernizing and enjoying the benefits. The cover shows this well: an old-style priest is in the left-hand corner, a young Brahmin student in his smart trousers and jacket drinks tea, while the young Brahmin woman behind them, on a bicycle, has her padar slung daringly rather than decently over her shoulder, as is the custom for a respectable Maratha woman.."

[Quelle des Textes und der Abb.: [Quelle des Textes und der Abb.: The Raj : India and the British, 1600 - 1947 ; [exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery, London ; from 19 October 1990 to 17 March 1991] / general ed.: C. A. Bayly. With contributions by Brian Allen .... - London : National Portrait Gallery, 1990. - 432 S. : zahlr. Ill. -- (National Portrait Gallery publications). -- ISBN 1-85514-026-8.. -- S. 308]

Zu Kapitel 5: Stände (varna) als Modell sozialer Ungleichheit