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Mention contributions of Jyotiba Phule in National Movement

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  • Last Updated : 01 Sep, 2022
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Jyotiba Phule, also known as Jyoti Rao Phule, was a social activist, who helped pioneer women’s education in India. And also contributed to the social movement against the supremacy of caste and gender discrimination. He was born in 1827 in Satara, Maharashtra. He was intelligent from a very young age, however, he belongs to the Mali caste, which was considered inferior to the upper caste in the society. He studied in the Scottish Mission School, Pune, where he studied English. He completed his course in 1847.

As children of God, he considers everyone to be equal and none to be superior to the other. He is an advocate for equality and knows that education is the only way for society to advance. Therefore, he made significant contributions to the dissemination of education throughout his lifetime. And opened many schools, especially for girls. He made efforts to give equal chances of education to women. In addition, he spoke out against Sati Pratha, child marriage, caste-based discrimination, women’s education, and other social issues. His impact on the national movement has been significant.

Contribution to National Movement

Jyotiba Phule was a social activist and thinker, who devoted his entire life to bringing about change in society and promoting equality. He campaigned against social injustice, educating the people from lower castes, raising their awareness of issues, and enthusing them to take action. His work paved the way for the national movement. here we will discuss some of his contributions. 

Against Caste Discrimination

Jyotiba Phule has consistently criticized the current caste structure and societal constraints. He calls traditional Brahmins and other members of the higher castes “hypocrites.” He ran a campaign against the dictatorship of the upper caste and exhorted the “peasants” and “proletariat” to resist the limitations placed on them.

He welcomed people from all castes and religions. He exhibited his belief in gender equality by including his wife in all of his social reform initiatives. He argued that the Brahmin used religious symbols like Rama to oppress the lower caste. The conservative Brahmins of the community were enraged by Jyotiba Phule’s actions. They accused him of corrupting social customs and laws. He was charged with working with Christian missionaries by many. On the other side, Jyotiba Phule remained defiant and committed to carrying on the struggle. however, Jyotiba Phule received assistance from several Brahmin acquaintances.

Contribution to Women’s Education

Jyotiba Phule is renowned for his significant contribution to the education of women. He had the belief that education is essential for society to grow. Therefore, he took the first move in that direction by teaching his own wife Savitribai to read and write. Additionally, he founded Pune’s first school for untouchable girls in 1848. But he was compelled to close the school and even leave his parents’ house due to the local upper-caste people’s protests.

But he persisted in trying instead of giving up. Savitribai Phule, his wife, encouraged him in his endeavors and actively contributed to the cause of educating women. At the time, she was one of the few literate women. In 1851, he started a school for young women. Later on, he founded two more girl’s schools in addition to an indigenous school for members of the lower castes, mainly the Mahars and Mangs.

Because of the patriarchal nature of the society at the time and the appalling conditions for women, it was difficult to persuade people and change their minds regarding education and gender equality. Female infanticide and child marriages were highly widespread, and sometimes women were compelled to wed considerably older men than themselves. Which occasionally resulted in them becoming widows prior to the time they reached adolescence, leaving them without any familial support. Jyotiba, moved by their plight, founded an orphanage in 1854 to provide them with a safe environment. 

Establishment of Satyashodhak Samaj

Satyashodhak Samaj was founded in 1873, by Jyotiba Phule. It was a social reform society, which works for the rights of socially unprivileged groups like Dalits and Shudras, as well as women. 
The main ideals for the establishment of Satyashodhak samaj were equality, easy religious principles, and rituals, human well-being, and education. 

The joining process of the samaj was easy and is open to all different castes. The Muslims, Brahmins, and even the government officials were part of the samaj. 

Establishment Schools for Dalits

He opened schools for the children who belonged to the lower castes of the society as well as the women. He was aware of the importance of education for the progress of society. So to fulfill this purpose, he established numerous schools, from which, some of which were for women. 

Homes for Widows and Orphanages for Children

He also worked for the rights of widows, who were treated unfairly in society. he established shelters for pregnant Brahmin widows so that they can get a safe environment to give birth.

He started orphanage homes to stop infanticide. In such regard, he is considered the first Hindu to build an orphanage for destitute children. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Question 1: How did Jyotiba Phule prepare the ground for National Movement?


 Jyotiba Phule paved the path for the National movement by raising awareness of the people, especially women about the injustice and discrimination in society,  as well as raising his voice against the caste system practiced in the society. The two main contributions of Jyotiba Phule are: 

  1. He established the Satya Shodhak Samaj in the year 1873.
  2. He worked to provide equal education to women and spoke about caste discrimination in society.

Question 2: How did Jyotiba Phule exhibit his hospitable attitude toward untouchables?


Jyotirao decided to build a common bathing tank outside his house in 1868 to demonstrate his welcoming attitude toward all humans and his desire to dine with everyone, regardless of caste. Jyotiba Phule dedicated his entire life to liberating untouchables from Brahmin exploitation.

Question 3: What were the ideologies of Jyotirao Phule?


Jyotiba Phule sought to empower untouchables and women, who were believed to be the lowest in Brahmin culture. As he grew older, he began to form his own opinions about the inequities that occurred in an Indian caste society. Jyotiba Phule criticized and questioned the Brahmans’ claims of supremacy.

Question 4: What is Gulamgiri by Jyotiba Phule?


Gulamgiri was authored by Mahatma Jyotiba Phule in 1873,  which is regarded as one of the first anti-caste tracts. It is written in the form of a dialogue between Jyotiba and a persona he calls Dhondiba and was published in 1885. It challenges the concept of caste through a 16-part essay and four lyrical pieces.

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