Pandemic, Caste and Krantijyoti Savritimai Phule.
Today, world is suffering from Pandemic for over two years and India is one of the most affected country. Last year, during outbreak of covid 19 second wave, India faced a huge disaster. People in thousands lost their closed ones. Lakhs of people were affected, deprived of oxygen, medicines and beds. A traumatizing chaos, the one who were affected the most from this pandemic were the marginalized sections (Scheduled caste, Scheduled tribe & other backward classes).
Same kind of pandemic, or even more dangerous, was the outbreak in nineteenth century. The third wave of bubonic plague also known as black death, which killed more than twelve million in India and China, with about ten million killed in India alone.
India which was already suffering from the pandemic of caste since thousands of years, had to now face this other deadly disease. At that time as India was colonized by the Britishers, the British Government gave orders to the doctors to treat every patient as just, but, the doctors from the so called ‘upper’ caste Hindu, denied to do their duty as doctors. They denied to treat the patient from the Shudra & Ati-shudra (now SC/ST/OBC) background. Krantijyoti Savritimai Phule, the revolutionary leader of masses, first woman teacher of modern India who struggled (with her husband, Jotiba Phule) and started the education of Shudras, Ati-Shudras and Women who were denied education for thousands of year. When Savritimai learnt about this, She immediately asked her adopted son, Doctor Yashwant Rao to start a clinic to treat the patience of bubonic plague— irrespective of their birth based false identity. Savritimai at the age of 66, herself picked up the patients to her son’s clinic for treatment. She took care of the patients. She helped her son day in day out. Even though she knew that the disease was contagious, she continued to serve them selflessly till the plague took her own life. It is said that, In one of the cases, Savriti mai saved the life of a 10-year-old boy from mahar settlement in Mundhwa by caring him on her back to the clinic. The boy survived but she contracted the disease and succumbed to it on March 10, 1897. Later her young son, Dr. Yashwant Rao also succumbed up. Her life and journey is a great service and message to the mankind. This courageous and selfless story of Savitrimai phule and her son, should be thought world-wide in the medical fields for aspiring doctors for ethics.
Today 3 January 2022 is the 191st birth anniversary of such a heroic personality– Savritimai Phule. Happy teachers day to all. Jai Phule, Jai Bhim!
Ritesh jyotii is BA mass media student and is active on social media as riteshjyotii
Dashrath Manjhi, you moved the mountain but couldn’t move the consciousness of caste ridden and rigid society
Humble tribute to Dashrath Manjhi on their death anniversary today. Dashrath was born in a village named Gehlour near Gaya in Bihar in a scheduled caste Musahar community. His region, like every SC settlement, was extremely backward in terms of development.
The villagers had to travel 70 kilometers for all the essential needs to the town due to the giant mountain hill of Gehlour. In 1959, Manjhi’s wife Falguni Devi died because of this very same mountain. Manjhi was devastated. He then took an oath to cut down the mountain all on his own so that no one else faces the same fate of her wife.
Manjhi worked day and night for 22 years straight and broke down the hill from a distance of 70 kilometers to just one kilometer.
He worked from 1960 to 1982.
No doubt whatever Manjhi did was courageous. But his struggle is of no romanticism. No human should ever go through this. It was sheer failure of the governments of that time and result of caste brutalization.
August 14: On this day
91 years ago on August 14, Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar told Mr. Gandhi, “I have no homeland. How can I call this land my own homeland and this religion my own, wherein we are treated worse than cats and dogs, wherein we cannot get water to drink?”
Independence: A Wrong Approach
Independence: A Wrong Approach As to independence, Labour fully recognises its importance. But Labour thinks that there is a wrong approach to the question of independence and a misunderstanding about its importance. The independence of a nation ex hypothesi does not tie it up to any particular form of government or organisation of society. External independence is quite compatible with internal slavery.
Independence means nothing more than that a nation has liberty to determine its form of government and its social order without dictation from outside. The worth of independence depends upon the kind of government and the kind of society that is built up. There is not much value in independence if the form of government and the order of society are to be those against which the world is fighting today. Labour thinks that more emphasis ought to have been placed on New India—and less on ‘Quit India’. The appeal of a New India with a New Order is bound to be greater than the appeal of independence. Indeed the vision of a New Order in a New India would very greatly strengthen determination to win freedom. Such an approach would certainly have stopped the many embarrassing questions which are being asked, namely, freedom for what and freedom for whom.
Secondly, immediate realisation of independence as a condition for support to the war effort, Labour finds it difficult to understand. This condition marks a sudden development in the attitude of some people to the war effort, and could be justified only if there was any sudden conspiracy to rob India of her right to freedom. But there is no evidence of any such conspiracy. Nor can such conspiracy, if there were any, succeed no matter who the conspirators are. In the view of Labour no one can deprive India of her right to freedom if she demands it with the combined strength of united people. If India’s independence is in the balance, it is because of disunity among Indians. The enemies of India’s independence are Indians and no others.
-Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar