Kaavya Phule – Savitribai Phule Tr. Priyamwada Redican Chakne
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This collection of poems is Savitribai Phule’s hagiography in verse or you can say – especially if you read the original Marathi – in song. Many of the poems are written in the form of ovis that are meant to be sung. It is a little known fact that Savitribai was a poet of great substance, a master of her craft. When one considers the other, more celebrated accomplishments of her life – her pioneering of education for women and the lower castes and the very difficult times of nineteenth century India – her voice is truly astounding. Here is a woman who went door-to-door convincing Shudras and Dalits to send their daughters to school, a woman who was pelted with stones and cow-dung in doing this duty towards her people, a woman who not only kept her chin up but also her heart open through all of it. Here is, in the truest sense, a saint.
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