I think one of the smellier BK BS is an often repeated claim that Dadi Janki et al were the "first female spiritual leaders". Actually, sometimes they say also spiritual leaders in India but this is then repeated constantly by the BK proletariat until it become true for them. Neo-BKs that really have no spiritual education at all. Based on ignorance and laziness, it is then repeated without question as BKWSU PR and fed into the meda. So is it true?
Now, personally, I dislike untruths just about as much as I like self-promotion and so when the two co-incide at the same time ... out comes the "Keyboard of Doom" to fall on all Ye Unfaithful Ones
A sort of notebook to offer historical coordinates to give relevance to development of the BKWSU. Firstly, by comparison, another Sindi woman of the similar age;
Jethinben Tulsidas Siphilmalani (1906 - 1978)
Jethiben was a veteran freedom fighter, a devoted social worker, an enlightened leader, and an able legislator. She was a woman of innate humility and sobriety. She was of the view that religion meant, "serving the lowliest". She was one of the distinguished colleagues in the freedom-struggle and she took to khadi at a very early age and stuck to it till the end. She dedicated her life for the poor and the destitutes. Her heart bled for the displaced persons who had no roof over their heads. Jethiben was a cosmopolitan in her outlook and was strongly opposed to linguism, parochialism and regionalism. She was under the influence of Brahmo Samaj, and actively advocated inter religious dialogue and friendship.
She was born on February 6, 1906 in Hyderabad (Sindh), educated at the Kundamal Girl's High School at Hyderabad and thereafter at the Indian Girl's High School at Karachi passing her Matriculation examination in 1925. At college she came in contact with Gandhiji and other important national leaders, including Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Patel, Acharya Kripalani, Jairamdas Daulat Ram, Acharya Givdani, and Annie Besant. She even led a student procession against the Simon Commission. She courted imprisonment during the Salt Satyagraha in 1930. She also actively participated in the 1942 Quit-India movement and was imprisoned.
She was attracted by Gandhiji's teachings advising women to oppose evil customs like child-marriage and dowry. She rejected offers of marriage and preferred to lead a life of service to the nation instead of living under the protection of a husband who cannot accept her without a dowry. She sarcastically commented that she did not want to buy a husband.
Jethiben was an active member in politics. She was elected to the Karachi Municipal Corporation at the early age of 24. Later, she became the member of the Municipal School Board. When Sindh was separated from the Bombay Presidency and a separate Legislative Assembly was formed for Sindh, Jethiben was elected to the Assembly and she became its Deputy Speaker. After the partition of the country in 1947, she became the Deputy Speaker of the Bombay Legislative Council and, afterwards, in Maharashtra. She earned the goodwill of her colleagues belonging to different political parties.
She founded the Navjivan Housing Cooperative Society to give solace and comfort to the destitutes and the poor. This was a unique contribution of Jethiben to the cause of the rehabilitation of displaced persons. The Navjivan Society established a Happy home for handicapped children in Kutch.
Jethiben considered education as an instrument means of social transformation. She emphasized the need for technical education and helped people to start technical schools and gave scholarships to students, specially in engineering, medical and commerce faculties, especially to women students.She was interested in women's welfare and their empowerment. Jethiben wanted girls to become self-dependent and provided a Hostel for working women, at Gandhigram. Deprived patients in hospitals were provided with medicines, nourishing diet and financial help. Thus, the Navjivan Society catered to promote all-round development of the needy and the neglected sections of the society.
Jethiben travelled world wide to carry out her mission. She attended the International Students Conference in Holland. She participated in the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association in England, as an Indian Delegate. She also visited Japan. Thus, Jethiben left behind her a rich legacy of dedicated social and political work. Her statue was installed at Mahim to commemorate her innumerable work for humanity. She was laid to rest on 1978.
She will forever remain in the heart of all Indians.