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Thursday, 28th November: On account of 129th death anniversary of Mahatma Jyotiba Phule the New Socio-Economic Research and Development (NSERD) organised a talk on Mahatma Jyotiba Phule’s 129th death anniversary and Relevance on Contemporary Society. The talk revisited his teachings reiterating their historical value and relevance on contemporary society.

The event was held at Don Bosco Hall, Sukhdev Vihar and was presided by Mohd Kaif, the chairman of NSERD and Mr. Khalid Saifullah, NSERD Secretary. Mohd. Kaif and Mr. Javed Iqbal Khan commenced the felicitation function with a welcome and keynote speech. The felicitation of Chief Guest Mr Sanjay Singh, Rajya Sabha MP, AAP, and Guest of Honours Mr. Ajoy Kumar, Ex-MP & National Spokesperson, AAP; Mr. Syed Yasir Jilani, President, MRM; Miss Preeta Harit IRS, National President, BSS; Mr. Aaley Mohd. Iqbal, Councilor, INC; Mr. K.K. Dixit, President, Rashtriya Viklang Party followed the welcome note.

Speakers from various parts of the country preside over the talk which includes Dr. Y.S. Alone, Asso. Professor, JNU; Dr. Veeramani S, Asstt. Professor, JMI; Mr. Abdul Hafiz Gandhi, Asstt. Professor, Lucknow; Dr. Firdous A.S., Asso. Professor, JMI; Dr. Sushma Suri, Asso. Professor, JMI; Dr. Shambhu Kumar Singh, Journalist, National Dastak; Mr. Hukum Chandra/ Deepak Kumar, Research Scholar, DU.
We often take for granted the rights we enjoy assuming that they just happened to exist. However, the struggles endured by the social reformers of antiquity made these rights possible. Jyotiba Govindrao Phule along with his wife Savitri Bai Phule was one such social reformer of the 19th century who pioneered women education and worked for the welfare of the depressed classes. Mahatma Phule denounced the caste system and the injustices it perpetrated and made relentless efforts to eradicate the social evils that plagued our society. He scorned the rules of purity and pollution, which divided the society into a hierarchy that was both unjust and inhuman. In Pune, he set up the first school in the country for girls with his wife who became the headmistress of the school and devoted her life to educating women and Shudras. She also went on to establish a night school for agriculturists and labourers. In 1873, he founded the Satyashodhak Samaj or the Truth Seeker’s Society, which fought for the rights of depressed classes, inspiring other people to join it and work for the uplifment of the depressed classes. He contributed greatly towards the abolition of untouchability emancipation of women.

Eminent speakers from different universities and scholarly backgrounds underlined the contribution made by Mahatma Jyotiba Phule.

Every culture has faults in terms of gender inequality, marginalisation of communities, discrimination and untouchability. Mahatma Phule was the first to talk about reservation. He also held revolutionary ideas with respect to society, politics, and religion. He believed that there was no need for priests.”

Spoke one of the speakers, Mr. Abdul Hafiz Gandhi (Assistant Professor, Lucknow)

Mahatma Jyotiba Phule was a harbinger of change who dreamt of an ideal society where all members of the society were equal regardless of their caste, race and sex. The event underlined Phule’s teachings and contribution to a equal society and its relevance in contemporary society.

Maryam Ahmed
Department of English, Jamia Millia Islamia

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Written by Maryam Ahmed

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