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‘The Mother of Indian Feminism’ : Savitribai Phule To Get A First Biography

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January 3 marks the 192nd birth anniversary of Indian social reformer and the country’s ‘first woman teacher’, Savitribai Phule. Over 125 years after her death, the reformer is set to get a biography on her. Harper Collins publication house announced in November 2022. Reeta Ramamurthy will be releasing the book.

To Jyotiba, from Savitribai Phule: These aren't love letters, but tell you what love is

Savitribai Phule and Jyotiba Phule. Credits –

The book will be titled ‘Savitri and Fatima’. It will focus on Phule’s relationship with her friend Fatima Shaikh.

In an interview with the ‘Business Insider’, author Reeta Ramamurthy opened up about the delay for a biography on Phule.

“As a matter of fact, there are many books about Savitribai in Marathi. I have seen some compilations in English as well, but nothing that qualifies as a biography. I do wonder why there haven’t been attempts to write her story in English before or whether I might have missed them” said the author,

Who is Savitribai Phule?

Savitribai and her husband, Jyotiba Phule were the pioneers of education in 19th-century India. Besides opening a school for her women, she also created a shelter for poor women. She played an important role in helping Jyotirao Phule to continue the functioning of the Satyashodhak Samaj.


Savitribai Phule and Fatima Sheiikh. Courtesy – Twitter

Savitribai Phule inspired generations of women in India, as she played an important right to help women realise their rights. She is also referred to as the ‘mother of Indian feminism’.

Why Savitribai as a subject?

“Every Indian woman, anywhere in the world, who can read and write, owes a debt of gratitude to Savitribai Phule. I wanted to bring her to the front and centre of public consciousness because the preservation of our democracy lies in being cognisant of our hard-won freedom and how precious and tenuous this freedom is!” said Ramamurthy on picking Phule as her subject, in the same interview.

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