Jotiba Phule’s Attack on Reformist Brahmins and Discrimination in Education


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If there was anyone in the 19th century who worked for the betterment of the so-called lower castes in India, it was Phule couple. Jotiba Phule started his activism and work for the upliftment of the so-called lower castes early and by the age of 22 years, Jotiba was well recognised for his work.

He attacked all those people who were against equality and he was a well-known critic of the newborn breed of so-called reformist Brahmins. It is well known that Jotiba Phule and Savitribai Phule opened the first schools for the untouchables. They knew the importance of education.

In his opinion reformist Brahmins are only for gaining good positions and earn money from the British. Read below Jotiba Phule’s views on reformist Brahmins and never ending discrimination in education.

Jotiba Phule’s Attack on Reformist Brahmins  –

They say that education has made them repentant

In fact, they reform themselves only to secure themselves good positions with the British

While at home they continue to worship pieces of stone.

– Jotiba Phule (Brahman Teachers in the Education Department, short ballad)

Velivada Editor – Is not it true still true? They put white clothes and come to the Dalit slums and spend a day, shed some crocodile tears and fled away in their Mercedes in the evening, never to come back again. Has anything changed for Dalit-Bahujans since then? Still, so-called upper castes reformists try to appropriate the history of Dalits. Nothing has changed since then, still, they push Dalits at the back and occupy all the stages and speak their own interpretation of Dalit lives! These so-called upper caste reformists don’t suffer the way Dalits do so how can anyone even accept their narrative of Dalit lives? So-called Reformist Brahmins’ way of working matches with what they learn from their religious scriptures, which Jotiba Phule rejected. He condemned the Brahmin vedas and held Brahmins responsible for writing such religious scriptures which exploit and treat humans differently based on their castes, He maintained the position that these attempts to write such religious books were to control social superiority by suppressing shudras and atishudras.

Jotiba Phule considered Vedas to be “idle fantasies” and “palpably absurd legends” as well as a “form of false consciousness”.

Read -  [Transcript] Dr. Ambedkar Speaks on M.K. Gandhi and Poona Pact (BBC Radio) - 1955

Jotiba Phule on Discrimination in Education –

Brahman school inspectors colluded with the schoolteachers and sent in misleading reports of the educational aptitude of the children of the cultivators:

Inspectors of their own caste

Examine of all masters

The master tells of their qualities

He describes them angrily

He greatly exaggerates the report

I will tell you a little of it

‘The caste of Shudras have got no sense

They have no desire for education at all’

This is not true; the Brahmans are impostors

They achieve their ends and promote the position of their own caste

No one brings them to justice.

– Jotiba Phule (Brahman Teachers in the Education Department, short ballad)

Velivada Editor –Has anything changed for Dalit-Bahujans in the field of education? Dalit-Bahujans are still discriminated in educational institutions, murdered and forced to commit suicide. Still, so-called upper castes award lesser marks, demoralise and make sure that Dalit-Bahujan students do not get a proper education. The condition for Dalit-Bahujan students was never good but under present Modi government, things have gone worse. Will things ever change in favour of Dalit-Bahujan students? One thing is sure, not until Dalit-Bahujans do not unite and fight Brahminical oppression together.

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