Forward Press, November 2015

In this issue:
  • Photo Feature: In Mahoba, history attests to a revered Mahishasur
  • Take a look at the Bihar elections through Laxmanpur Bathe's eyes
  • By tinkering with the land laws, UP's socialist government is promoting Dalit landlessness
  • Mark and Modi's brahmanical vision for a "digital India"
  • Gladson Dungdung dissects the political and judicial dithering over MSG-2's demonization of Adivasis


Can feminism possibly have a father? Well, we do in India but few of us seem to know. Mahatma Jotirao Phule’s feminism started at home, writes Lalitha Dhara in this month’s cover story. First, he taught his wife, Savitribai, to read and write. They went on to start the first schools for girls in India. Together, they set up a  home for child widows because Hinduism didn’t allow these widows, a number of whom were pregnant, to remarry and treated them as outcasts. When the Phules couldn’t have a child of their own, Jotirao didn’t remarry, as was the custom. Instead they adopted a child abandoned by one of the widows. In short, Phule practised what he preached. What he preached was that the advancement of society hinged on the education and wellbeing of women.