Pune University’s governing council has proposed to name the University after Savitribai Phule. It is a welcome decision, given that Savitribai, along with her husband Jotiba Phule (a graphic interpretation of whose masterpiece Gulamgiri was published by Navayana), was a pioneer of women’s education, being the first female teacher of the first women’s school in India. One of Navayana’s authors, the late Sharmila Rege, author of the best-selling Against the Madness of Manu, was instrumental in christening the Women’s Studies Centre at Pune University after Savitri Phule as Krantijyoti Savitribai Phule Women’s Studies Centre.
Hopefully the process to change the name from University of Pune to ‘Dnyanjyoti Savitribai Phule Vidyapeeth’ ends without violence against Dalits. It would be pertinent to recall that the Namantar Andolan—to rename the Marathwada University after Dr B.R. Ambedkar—was marked by physical, sexual and economic violence against Dalits.
Read the news report here.