Author: G P Deshpande
Editor(s): G P Deshpande
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8187496223
Jotirao Phule (1827–1890) was India’s first systematic theorist of caste, and the most radical 19th-century opponent of it, who desired nothing less than a complete smashing up of its oppressive structure. This volume makes available for the first time all his most important prose writings.
At the centre of Phule’s thought and analysis are Gulamgiri (Slavery) and Shetkaryacha Asud (Cultivator’s Whipcord), both included in this volume in their entirety. Also included are Phule’s deposition to the Hunter Commission on Education; his response to the Parsi social reformer Malabari’s notes on ‘Infant Marriage and Enforced Widowhood; his letter to M G Ranade regarding the Marathi Author’s Conference; his stirring defence of Pandita Ramabai in two numbers of the journal Satsar; and selections from The Book of the True Faith. All translations have been specially commissioned for this richly annotated volume, and the Editor’s Introduction places Phule’s life, work, and thought, as well as each text included in this volume, in historical perspective.
For anyone interested in the question of caste, this volume is an indispensable resource.
This volume is a must for all those to whom the book is dedicated-Shudraatishudras of various colours and hues including the organized ones.
Deshpande makes a brilliant attempt to foreground Phule’s system of ideas in a series of tough arguments; The book is going to have a scholarly impact on those who otherwise have only a political interest in reducing Phule to a cultural symbol. It will prompt some of us to liberte Phule from self-serving cultural symbolism and situate him in the tradition of self-criticism, which was one of Phule’s core intellectual projects.
Economic and Political Weekly
NOTE ON THE SELECTION
Memorial Addressed to the Education Commission
On Infant Marriage and Enforced Widowhood
Letter to the Conference of Marathi authors
From The Book of the True Faith
Brief Chronology of Jotirao Phule’s Life