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Selected Writings of Jotirao Phule
Selected Writings of Jotirao Phule
Description
Back of the Book

"[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 liberate Phule from self-serving cultural symbolism and situate him in the tradition of self- criticism, which was one of Phule’s core intellectual projects.” Gopal Guru, Economic and Political Weekly

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 his most important prose writings.

At the centre of Phule’s thought and analysis are Gulamgiri (Slavery) and Shetkaryacha Asud (Cultivatoris 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 Authors’ 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, in historical perspective; For anyone interested in the question of caste, this volume is an indispensable resource.

"This volume is a must for all Shudraatishudras."

Note on the Selection

In this volume we have included the major prose writing of Jotirao Phule. At the centre of his writing and thought are Gulamgiri and Shetkaryaha Asud. The full text of both has been translated and published here, Sarvajanik Satya Dharma H1stak repeats some of the themes that appear in his two major books, we have therefore not included the entire text of this work, but only some selections. Minor editing has also been done in Satsar Portions left out are indicated by There are several short pieces which he wrote from time to time in response to specific questions of immediate import. We have not included those pieces as well. Further, there are some personal writings; his will for instance, which again do not find a place in this selection.

All his poetry has been excluded from this selection. There are several reasons for this. One, of course, is the cost factor: we wanted a volume that is affordable for the lay reader, Then there is the problem of translation. Phule is very hard to translate, even when he writes prose, because he uses language politically (for more on this, see our Introduction). His poetry is, understandably, even more difficult to translate. Quite apart from the difficulties of translation, a deep familiarity with the seventeenth-century poet Tukaram is called for to relate to Phule’s poetic work. As in the case of Bhakti poetry, his poems are also meant to spread a message at a popular level. The message, clearly, is that which is articulated in Gulamgiri and Asud. The same is true of his play. It is intended to be an enactment at a popular level of his otherwise serious theses. All this does not mean, of course, that these works need not be translated. All of Phule should be translated and made available in English. And, hopefully, one day he will be.

There are some texts that Phule wrote in English. They are reprinted here in the original form (including original spellings, capitalization, etc.) and indicated as such. Where there are missing words in the English original, these are indicated in square brackets. The other texts are translations done for this volume from Mahatma Phule Samagra Vangmaya (Collected Works of Mahatma Phule), Mumbai: Maharashtra State Publication, first edition edited by Dhananjay Keer and S.G. Malshe, 1969; fourth edition edited by Y.D. Phadke, 1991. In the rare instance where a minor discrepancy was observed in the text of the two editions, the 1991 edition has been followed. The translator of each individual piece is identified. To indicate Marathi words, italicization has been done on the following principle: all words that appear in several Indian languages, and are therefore likely to be understood by most Indian readers appear in roman, while all words that are more or less unique to Marathi are italicized. Thus, for instance, vari is italicized, but not yatra. Also italicized are words that may be confused with English words: thus, gram (village) is italicized. Caste names are not italicized: thus sutar, when it refers to the caste, appears in roman.

Each text in this selection is prefaced by a short introduction by the editor which places the text in context. The texts are chronologically arranged.

There are two sets of notes that appear in these selections. The notes by Phule himself appear as footnotes at the bottom of the page. The notes and annotations by the editor appear as a separate series in the left and right margins.

Contents

Acknowledgements ix
Notes on the Selection xi
Introduction 1
Slavery 23
Memorial Addressed to the Education Commission 101
Cultivator’s Whipcord 113
On Infant Marriage and Enforced Widowhood 191
Letter to the Conference of Marathi Authors 199
Satsar 203
From The Book of the True Faith 225
Brief Chronology of Jotirao Phule’s Life 237
Further Readings 238
Index 240

Selected Writings of Jotirao Phule

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2002
ISBN:
9788187496885
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260
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Weight of the Book: 370 gms
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Back of the Book

"[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 liberate Phule from self-serving cultural symbolism and situate him in the tradition of self- criticism, which was one of Phule’s core intellectual projects.” Gopal Guru, Economic and Political Weekly

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 his most important prose writings.

At the centre of Phule’s thought and analysis are Gulamgiri (Slavery) and Shetkaryacha Asud (Cultivatoris 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 Authors’ 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, in historical perspective; For anyone interested in the question of caste, this volume is an indispensable resource.

"This volume is a must for all Shudraatishudras."

Note on the Selection

In this volume we have included the major prose writing of Jotirao Phule. At the centre of his writing and thought are Gulamgiri and Shetkaryaha Asud. The full text of both has been translated and published here, Sarvajanik Satya Dharma H1stak repeats some of the themes that appear in his two major books, we have therefore not included the entire text of this work, but only some selections. Minor editing has also been done in Satsar Portions left out are indicated by There are several short pieces which he wrote from time to time in response to specific questions of immediate import. We have not included those pieces as well. Further, there are some personal writings; his will for instance, which again do not find a place in this selection.

All his poetry has been excluded from this selection. There are several reasons for this. One, of course, is the cost factor: we wanted a volume that is affordable for the lay reader, Then there is the problem of translation. Phule is very hard to translate, even when he writes prose, because he uses language politically (for more on this, see our Introduction). His poetry is, understandably, even more difficult to translate. Quite apart from the difficulties of translation, a deep familiarity with the seventeenth-century poet Tukaram is called for to relate to Phule’s poetic work. As in the case of Bhakti poetry, his poems are also meant to spread a message at a popular level. The message, clearly, is that which is articulated in Gulamgiri and Asud. The same is true of his play. It is intended to be an enactment at a popular level of his otherwise serious theses. All this does not mean, of course, that these works need not be translated. All of Phule should be translated and made available in English. And, hopefully, one day he will be.

There are some texts that Phule wrote in English. They are reprinted here in the original form (including original spellings, capitalization, etc.) and indicated as such. Where there are missing words in the English original, these are indicated in square brackets. The other texts are translations done for this volume from Mahatma Phule Samagra Vangmaya (Collected Works of Mahatma Phule), Mumbai: Maharashtra State Publication, first edition edited by Dhananjay Keer and S.G. Malshe, 1969; fourth edition edited by Y.D. Phadke, 1991. In the rare instance where a minor discrepancy was observed in the text of the two editions, the 1991 edition has been followed. The translator of each individual piece is identified. To indicate Marathi words, italicization has been done on the following principle: all words that appear in several Indian languages, and are therefore likely to be understood by most Indian readers appear in roman, while all words that are more or less unique to Marathi are italicized. Thus, for instance, vari is italicized, but not yatra. Also italicized are words that may be confused with English words: thus, gram (village) is italicized. Caste names are not italicized: thus sutar, when it refers to the caste, appears in roman.

Each text in this selection is prefaced by a short introduction by the editor which places the text in context. The texts are chronologically arranged.

There are two sets of notes that appear in these selections. The notes by Phule himself appear as footnotes at the bottom of the page. The notes and annotations by the editor appear as a separate series in the left and right margins.

Contents

Acknowledgements ix
Notes on the Selection xi
Introduction 1
Slavery 23
Memorial Addressed to the Education Commission 101
Cultivator’s Whipcord 113
On Infant Marriage and Enforced Widowhood 191
Letter to the Conference of Marathi Authors 199
Satsar 203
From The Book of the True Faith 225
Brief Chronology of Jotirao Phule’s Life 237
Further Readings 238
Index 240
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