“You must destroy the Religion of the Shrutis and the Smrutis. Nothing else will avail.”
“Hinduism is a veritable chamber of horrors and it must die for caste to vanish.”
“I believe in religion of liberty, equality and fraternity.”
Eighty-nine years ago today, that is, on December 25, 1927, Babasaheb Ambedkar burned Manusmriti as a symbol of rejection of the religious basis of untouchability. The event was arranged during the Mahad Satyagraha. Mahad Satyagraha was a fight to assert the “Untouchables” right to access public water, and to embrace humanity and dignity. For Babasaheb — a staunch advocate of women’s rights and emancipation — it was a political action to burn Manusmriti publicly as he believed that the book entailed the rules preaching inhumane treatment not only towards women but also “Untouchables”, in private as well as public sphere.
The Manusmriti Dahan Din is celebrated today too, after close to 90 years of its burning. But my question is, who has been celebrating this day all along? Why should we still celebrate it?
Babasaheb had addressed the masses before the event saying, “Let’s destroy the authority of ancient Hindu scriptures that are borne in inequality. Religion and slavery are not compatible.” After his speech, his associate Bapusaheb Sahastrabuddhe said, “Even though I am born as a Brahmin, I condemn the doctrines of Manusmriti. It is a symbol not of religion but of inequality, cruelty and injustice. I move a resolution that the Manusmriti which has been the cause of sufferings for generations, should be publicly burned.” (From the film, ‘Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar: The Untold Truth’). At 9 pm that night, the book was burned at the hands of Bapusaheb Sahastrabuddhe and six Dalit sadhus. The three banners on the poles erected on the corners of a pit (dug for burning the Manusmriti), read: 1.”Manusmriti chi Dahan Bhumi” (Crematorium for Manusmriti), 2. Destroy Untouchability, and 3. Bury the Brahmanism.
Following are some of the things that Manusmriti prescribes:
Since a woman is not capable of living independently, she is to be kept under the custody of her father as a child, under her husband as a woman (wife) and under her son as a widow.
It is the duty of all husbands to exert total control over their wives. Even physically weak husbands must strive to control their wives.
While performing namkarm and jatkarm, Vedic mantras are not to be recited by women, because women lack strength and knowledge of vedic texts. Women are impure and represent falsehood.
Consuming liquor, association with wicked persons, separation from her husband, rambling around, sleeping for unreasonable hours and dwelling are six demerits of women.
In case a woman, proud of the greatness of her excellence or her relatives, violates her duty towards her husband, the King shall arrange to have her thrown before dogs at a public place.
Brahman men can marry Brahman, Kshatriya, Vaishya and even Shudra women but Shudra men can marry only Shudra women.
In case a woman enjoys sex with a man from a higher caste, the act is not punishable. But on the contrary, if a woman enjoys sex with a lower caste man, she is to be punished and kept in isolation.
In case a man from a lower caste enjoys sex with a woman from a higher caste, the person in question is to be awarded the death sentence. And if a person satisfies his carnal desire with women of his own caste, he should be asked to pay compensation to the woman’s faith.
Men may be lacking in virtue, be sexual perverts, immoral and devoid of any good qualities and yet women must constantly worship and serve their husbands.
No wonder Manusmriti Dahan Din is also celebrated as Stree Mukti Din.
The level of cruel injustice directed towards the Untouchables in the laws of Manusmriti can be seen in the Peshwa rule in Maharashtra which had implemented most of the laws from Manusmriti. The untouchables had to carry a broom stick attached to their backs so that when they enter the city, their footprints would not pollute the path. They were forced to put a pot around their neck to carry their spit in the pot. They were not allowed to hold any arms, and education was completely barred. Untouchables were killed if they did not follow these restrictions.
However, Manusmriti was unjust towards “Untouchables” as well as women across castes. The evil practices like Sati and child marriage are the best examples of this. Babasaheb acknowledged that Manusmriti restricts women from enjoying many rights such as education, independence, inheritance of wealth, etc. The book defines a woman merely as a sex object who is always dependent on and is protected by her male counterpart from childhood to old age. Manusmriti also gave rights to the upper caste men to not only own but also sexually exploit the Shudra women.
However, Ambedkar’s action was criticised by many people. Some even asked, “What is achieved by burning the Manusmriti?” Babasaheb answered, “What did Gandhi achieve by burning foreign clothes? This was the form of registering the protest, so was ours against Manusmriti.” For those who said “It is an outdated booklet“, his answer was, “Why then to give importance to it? How does it matter to you if somebody burns it?” He further declared that if unfortunately, this burning of Manusmriti does not result in destruction of ‘Brahmanya’, we will have to either burn the ‘Brahmanya-grast’ people (that is, people affected by Brahminism) or renounce Hinduism.”
It is significant today to look at the specific occasion Babasaheb chose to burn the Manusmriti. From the beginning, like Jotiba Phule, Babasaheb had hoped that since in the eyes of Manu, women and untouchables were equally ridiculed, emancipation of women would lead to emancipation of “lower” castes too. Unfortunately, things haven’t changed! While in the past we saw opposition to the Hindu Code Bill — proposed by Babasaheb to give women their rights — by dominant and “upper” caste women themselves, today we see their silence on the issues of “lower” caste women. We witnessed their apathy towards Khairlanji massacre. They were also not as vocal to fight for justice to Delta as they have been by coming on roads for ‘Nirbhaya’ or the Kopardi case.
Today, what is more surprising is that the rituals like Vat Puja or Karva Chauth have become more festive than before and are celebrated by young women too. Why is it so? Why do we see the ‘scientific’ justifications for celebrating Vat Puja, observing fasts or the ‘logic’ behind putting kumkum on forehead? I feel, more than earlier, Manu today has strengthened his roots in more rigid ways with the help of ‘modern science’ and ‘market’.
We have allowed Manu to enter our popular culture, TV shows and serials. We see around us the modern Manus in the form of Jyotishis sitting in their ‘shops’ selling unasked-for advice, who are invited on TV shows, and let to interfere in our lives. We have allowed the Manu to enter in our routine lives so much so that we cannot even recognise him now.
I think, today, there is a need to celebrate Manusmriti Dahan Din more than ever to invoke the subordination and humiliation of women as well as “lower” caste people. Manu is not just in Manusmriti, he is also in our minds. When are we going to burn the book in there?
Dr. B R Ambedkar’s Caravan
Round Table India
The Status Of Women As Depicted By Manu In The Manusmriti
August 27, 2011by Hirday N. Patwari
The Manusmriti also known as Manav Dharam Shastra, is the earliest metrical work on Brahminical Dharma in Hinduism. According to Hindu mythology, the Manusmriti is the word of Brahma, and it is classified as the most authoritative statement on Dharma .The scripture consists of 2690 verses, divided into 12 chapters. It is presumed that the actual human author of this compilation used the eponym ‘Manu’, which has led the text to be associated by Hindus with the first human being and the first king in the Indian tradition.
Although no details of this eponymous author’s life are known, it is likely that he belonged to a conservative Brahman class somewhere in Northern India. Hindu apologists consider the Manusmriti as the divine code of conduct and, accordingly, the status of women as depicted in the text has been interpreted as Hindu divine law. While defending Manusmriti as divine code of conduct for all including women, apologists often quote the verse: “yatr naryasto pojyantay, ramantay tatr devta [3/56] (where women are provided place of honor, gods are pleased and reside there in that household), but they deliberately forget all those verses that are full of prejudice, hatred and discrimination against women.
Here are some of the ‘celebrated’ derogatory comments about women in the Manusmriti :
1. “Swabhav ev narinam …..” – 2/213. It is the nature of women to seduce men in this world; for that reason the wise are never unguarded in the company of females.
2. “Avidvam samlam………..” – 2/214. Women, true to their class character, are capable of leading astray men in this world, not only a fool but even a learned and wise man. Both become slaves of desire.
3. “Matra swastra ………..” – 2/215. Wise people should avoid sitting alone with one’s mother, daughter or sister. Since carnal desire is always strong, it can lead to temptation.
4. “Naudwahay……………..” – 3/8. One should not marry women who has have reddish hair, redundant parts of the body [such as six fingers], one who is often sick, one without hair or having excessive hair and one who has red eyes.
5. “Nraksh vraksh ………..” – 3/9. One should not marry women whose names are similar to constellations, trees, rivers, those from a low caste, mountains, birds, snakes, slaves or those whose names inspires terror.
6. “Yasto na bhavet ….. …..” – 3/10. Wise men should not marry women who do not have a brother and whose parents are not socially well known.
7. “Uchayangh…………….” – 3/11. Wise men should marry only women who are free from bodily defects, with beautiful names, grace/gait like an elephant, moderate hair on the head and body, soft limbs and small teeth.
8. “Shudr-aiv bharya………” – 3/12.Brahman men can marry Brahman, Kshatriya, Vaish and even Shudra women but Shudra men can marry only Shudra women.
9. “Na Brahman kshatriya..” – 3/14. Although Brahman, Kshatriya and Vaish men have been allowed inter-caste marriages, even in distress they should not marry Shudra women.
10. “Heenjati striyam……..” – 3/15. When twice born [dwij=Brahman, Kshatriya and Vaish] men in their folly marry low caste Shudra women, they are responsible for the degradation of their whole family. Accordingly, their children adopt all the demerits of the Shudra caste.
11. “Shudram shaynam……” – 3/17. A Brahman who marries a Shudra woman, degrades himself and his whole family ,becomes morally degenerated , loses Brahman status and his children too attain status of shudra.
12. “Daiv pitrya………………” – 3/18. The offerings made by such a person at the time of established rituals are neither accepted by God nor by the departed soul; guests also refuse to have meals with him and he is bound to go to hell after death.
13. “Chandalash ……………” – 3/240. Food offered and served to Brahman after Shradh ritual should not be seen by a chandal, a pig, a cock,a dog, and a menstruating women.
14. “Na ashniyat…………….” – 4/43. A Brahman, true defender of his class, should not have his meals in the company of his wife and even avoid looking at her. Furthermore, he should not look towards her when she is having her meals or when she sneezes/yawns.
15. “Na ajyanti……………….” – 4/44. A Brahman in order to preserve his energy and intellect, must not look at women who applies collyrium to her eyes, one who is massaging her nude body or one who is delivering a child.
16. “Mrshyanti…………….” – 4/217. One should not accept meals from a woman who has extra marital relations; nor from a family exclusively dominated/managed by women or a family whose 10 days of impurity because of death have not passed.
17. “Balya va………………….” – 5/150. A female child, young woman or old woman is not supposed to work independently even at her place of residence.
18. “Balye pitorvashay…….” – 5/151. Girls are supposed to be in the custody of their father when they are children, women must be under the custody of their husband when married and under the custody of her son as widows. In no circumstances is she allowed to assert herself independently.
19. “Asheela kamvrto………” – 5/157. Men may be lacking virtue, be sexual perverts, immoral and devoid of any good qualities, and yet women must constantly worship and serve their husbands.
20. “Na ast strinam………..” – 5/158. Women have no divine right to perform any religious ritual, nor make vows or observe a fast. Her only duty is to obey and please her husband and she will for that reason alone be exalted in heaven.
21. “Kamam to………………” – 5/160. At her pleasure [after the death of her husband], let her emaciate her body by living only on pure flowers, roots of vegetables and fruits. She must not even mention the name of any other men after her husband has died.
22. “Vyabhacharay…………” – 5/167. Any women violating duty and code of conduct towards her husband, is disgraced and becomes a patient of leprosy. After death, she enters womb of Jackal.
23. “Kanyam bhajanti……..” – 8/364. In case women enjoy sex with a man from a higher caste, the act is not punishable. But on the contrary, if women enjoy sex with lower caste men, she is to be punished and kept in isolation.
24. “Utmam sevmansto…….” – 8/365. In case a man from a lower caste enjoys sex with a woman from a higher caste, the person in question is to be awarded the death sentence. And if a person satisfies his carnal desire with women of his own caste, he should be asked to pay compensation to the women’s faith.
25. “Ya to kanya…………….” – 8/369. In case a woman tears the membrane [hymen] of her Vagina, she shall instantly have her head shaved or two fingers cut off and made to ride on Donkey.
26. “Bhartaram…………….” – 8/370. In case a women, proud of the greatness of her excellence or her relatives, violates her duty towards her husband, the King shall arrange to have her thrown before dogs at a public place.
27. “Pita rakhshati……….” – 9/3. Since women are not capable of living independently, she is to be kept under the custody of her father as child, under her husband as a woman and under her son as widow.
28. “Imam hi sarw………..” – 9/6. It is the duty of all husbands to exert total control over their wives. Even physically weak husbands must strive to control their wives.
29. “Pati bharyam ……….” – 9/8. The husband, after the conception of his wife, becomes the embryo and is born again of her. This explains why women are called Jaya.
30. “Panam durjan………” – 9/13. Consuming liquor, association with wicked persons, separation from her husband, rambling around, sleeping for unreasonable hours and dwelling -are six demerits of women.
31. “Naita rupam……………” – 9/14. Such women are not loyal and have extra marital relations with men without consideration for their age.
32. “Poonshchalya…………” – 9/15. Because of their passion for men, immutable temper and natural heartlessness, they are not loyal to their husbands.
33. “Na asti strinam………” – 9/18. While performing namkarm and jatkarm, Vedic mantras are not to be recited by women, because women are lacking in strength and knowledge of Vedic texts. Women are impure and represent falsehood.
34. “Devra…sapinda………” – 9/58. On failure to produce offspring with her husband, she may obtain offspring by cohabitation with her brother-in-law [devar] or with some other relative [sapinda] on her in-law’s side.
35. “Vidwayam…………….” – 9/60. He who is appointed to cohabit with a widow shall approach her at night, be anointed with clarified butter and silently beget one son, but by no means a second one.
36. “Yatha vidy……………..” – 9/70. In accordance with established law, the sister-in-law [bhabhi] must be clad in white garments; with pure intent her brother-in-law [devar] will cohabitate with her until she conceives.
37. “Ati kramay……………” – 9/77. Any women who disobey orders of her lethargic, alcoholic and diseased husband shall be deserted for three months and be deprived of her ornaments.
38. “Vandyashtamay…….” – 9/80. A barren wife may be superseded in the 8th year; she whose children die may be superseded in the 10th year and she who bears only daughters may be superseded in the 11th year; but she who is quarrelsome may be superseded without delay.
39. “Trinsha……………….” – 9/93. In case of any problem in performing religious rites, males between the age of 24 and 30 should marry a female between the age of 8 and 12.
40. “Yambrahmansto…….” – 9/177. In case a Brahman man marries Shudra woman, their son will be called ‘Parshav’ or ‘Shudra’ because his social existence is like a dead body.
On 25 & 26 October 2020 Arakkonam celebrates Deekshabhoomi in grand manner. Hope the whole world aboriginal awakened societies does the same :
Conversion to Buddhism
Ambedkar delivering speech during mass conversionAmbedkar considered converting to Sikhism, which encouraged opposition to oppression and so appealed to leaders of scheduled castes. But after meeting with Sikh leaders, he concluded that he might get “second-rate” Sikh status.Instead, around 1950, he began devoting his attention to Buddhism and travelled to Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) to attend a meeting of the World Fellowship of Buddhists. While dedicating a new Buddhist vihara near Pune, Ambedkar announced he was writing a book on Buddhism, and that when it was finished, he would formally convert to Buddhism. He twice visited Burma in 1954; the second time to attend the third conference of the World Fellowship of Buddhists in Rangoon. In 1955, he founded the Bharatiya Bauddha Mahasabha, or the Buddhist Society of India. He completed his final work, The Buddha and His Dhamma, in 1956 which was published posthumously.After meetings with the Sri Lankan Buddhist monk Hammalawa Saddhatissa, Ambedkar organised a formal public ceremony for himself and his supporters in Nagpur on 14 October 1956. Accepting the Three Refuges and Five Precepts from a Buddhist monk in the traditional manner, Ambedkar completed his own conversion, along with his wife. He then proceeded to convert some 500,000 of his supporters who were gathered around him. He prescribed the 22 Vows for these converts, after the Three Jewels and Five Precepts. He then travelled to Kathmandu, Nepal to attend the Fourth World Buddhist Conference. His work on The Buddha or Karl Marx and “Revolution and counter-revolution in ancient India” remained incomplete.Opposition to untouchability Ambedkar as a barrister in 1922As Ambedkar was educated by the Princely State of Baroda, he was bound to serve it. He was appointed Military Secretary to the Gaikwad but had to quit in a short time. He described the incident in his autobiography, Waiting for a Visa. Thereafter, he tried to find ways to make a living for his growing family. He worked as a private tutor, as an accountant, and established an investment consulting business, but it failed when his clients learned that he was an untouchable. In 1918, he became Professor of Political Economy in the Sydenham College of Commerce and Economics in Mumbai. Although he was successful with the students, other professors objected to his sharing a drinking-water jug with them.Ambedkar had been invited to testify before the Southborough Committee, which was preparing the Government of India Act 1919. At this hearing, Ambedkar argued for creating separate electorates and reservations for untouchables and other religious communities. In 1920, he began the publication of the weekly Mooknayak (Leader of the Silent) in Mumbai with the help of Shahu of Kolhapur i.e. Shahu IV (1874–1922).Ambedkar went on to work as a legal professional. In 1926, he successfully defended three non-Brahmin leaders who had accused the Brahmin community of ruining India and were then subsequently sued for libel. Dhananjay Keer notes that “The victory was resounding, both socially and individually, for the clients and the doctor”.While practising law in the Bombay High Court, he tried to promote education to untouchables and uplift them. His first organised attempt was his establishment of the central institution Bahishkrit Hitakarini Sabha, intended to promote education and socio-economic improvement, as well as the welfare of “outcastes”, at the time referred to as depressed classes. For the defence of Dalit rights, he started many periodicals like Mook Nayak, Bahishkrit Bharat, and Equality Janta.He was appointed to the Bombay Presidency Committee to work with the all-European Simon Commission in 1925. This commission had sparked great protests across India, and while its report was ignored by most Indians, Ambedkar himself wrote a separate set of recommendations for the future Constitution of India.By 1927, Ambedkar had decided to launch active movements against untouchability. He began with public movements and marches to open up public drinking water resources. He also began a struggle for the right to enter Hindu temples. He led a satyagraha in Mahad to fight for the right of the untouchable community to draw water from the main water tank of the town.In a conference in late 1927, Ambedkar publicly condemned the classic Hindu text, the Manusmriti (Laws of Manu), for ideologically justifying caste discrimination and “untouchability”, and he ceremonially burned copies of the ancient text. On 25 December 1927, he led thousands of followers to burn copies of Manusmrti. Thus annually 25 December is celebrated as Manusmriti Dahan Din (Manusmriti Burning Day) by Ambedkarites and Dalits.In 1930, Ambedkar launched Kalaram Temple movement after three months of preparation. About 15,000 volunteers assembled at Kalaram Temple satygraha making one of the greatest processions of Nashik. The procession was headed by a military band, a batch of scouts, women and men walked in discipline, order and determination to see the god for the first time. When they reached to gate, the gates were closed by Brahmin authorities.
Deekshabhoomi Stupa Wikimedia | © OpenStreetMapGeneral informationTypeReligious and historical monumentArchitectural styleStupaLocationNagpur, Maharashtra, IndiaAddressCentral NagpurCoordinates 21°7′41″N 79°4′1″EConstruction startedJuly 1978Inaugurated18 December 2001Design and constructionArchitectSheo Dan Mal, Shashi Sharma
Through out world until Ballot Papers are used EVMs must be burnt along with manusmriiti and effigies of its propagators the foreigners kicked out from Bene Israel, Tibet, Africa the chitpavan brahmins of Rowdy Swayam Sevaks (RSS) and their remotely controlled Murderer of democratic institutions and Master of diluting institutions (Modi) of Bevakoof Jhoothe Psychopaths (BJP) on the occasion of Dhiksha day to save our Marvellous Modern Constitution for the welfare, happiness and peace for all aboriginal awakened society’s freedom, democracy, liberty, equality and fraternity.
Online burning of all the above burning events must be observed through out the world till the EVMs are replaced with Ballot Papers.
If 0.1% foreigners kicked out from Bene Israel, Tibet, Africa chitpavan brahmins of Rowdy Swayam Sevaks (RSS) remotely controlling Bevakoof Jhoothe Psychopaths (BJP) headed by the Murderer of democratic institutions and master of diluting institutions (MODI) and chitpavan brahmin omit shah have the guts to replace our Marvellous Modern Constitution with their manusmriti, we have the guts to force them to quit Prabuddha Bharat.