Savitribai Phule’s Love Letters to her Husband, Jyotiba

Love can be awfully self-consumed; To a couple in love, the concerns of the larger world hold little value.

Savitribai Phule and Jyotiba, however, were a different breed of lovers. Savitrbai was married to Jyotiba at the tender age of nine. Driven by a keen desire to emancipate women through education, Jyotiba decided to first educate his wife, even against the wishes of his own parents.

Together, they set up India’s first school for girls in Bhidewada, Pune in 1848. Despite the harassment they were subject to on a daily basis, they persisted in their mission and graduated their first class with nine girl students.

In her letters to Jyotiba, Savitribai often describes her struggles and expresses indignation at the social injustice rampant in society. But beneath it all is a deep, unspoken admiration for Jyotiba and a firm commitment to the cause which unites them.

October 1856
The Embodiment of Truth, My Lord Jyotiba,

As we were talking one day, my brother said, “You and your husband have rightly been excommunicated because both of you serve the untouchables……

I said, “My husband is a god-like man. He is beyond comparison in this world, nobody can equal him. He thinks the Untouchables must learn and attain freedom. He confronts the Brahmans and fights with them to ensure Teaching and Learning for the Untouchables because he believes that they are human beings like other and they should live as dignified humans.”

….From this you can imagine that there are many idiots here, as in Pune, who poison people’s minds and spread canards against us. But why should we fear them and leave this noble cause that we have undertaken? We shall overcome and success will be ours in the future.

With humble regards,

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