The Vice Chancellor of Jawaharlal Nehru University, Santishree Dhulipudi Pandit, recently criticised the Manusmriti, the ancient Sanskrit text, over its gender bias. Her remarks came while delivering the keynote address at the B R Ambedkar Lecture Series organised by the Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment on Monday (August 22).
The Mānavadharmaśāstra, also known as Manusmriti or the Laws of Manu, is a Sanskrit text belonging to the Dharmaśāstra literary tradition of Hinduism. Composed sometime between the 2nd century BCE and 3rd century CE, the Manusmriti is written in sloka verses, containing two non-rhyming lines of 16 syllabus each.
The Manusmriti is encyclopedic in scope, covering subjects such as the social obligations and duties of the various castes and of individuals in different stages of life, the suitable social and sexual relations of men and women of different castes, on taxes, the rules for kingship, on maintaining marital harmony and the procedures for settling everyday disputes.
At its core, the Manusmriti discusses life in the world, how it is lived in reality, as well as how it ought to be, according to Wendy Doniger and Brian Smith (The Laws of Manu, 1991). They argue that the text is about dharma, which means duty, religion, law and practice. It also discusses aspects of the Arthashashtra, such as issues relating to statecraft and legal procedures.
The Manuwadis deliberately falsified history to conceal their ways, destroying records, demonising and even eliminating anyone who opposed them. False gods and heroes were deified, propaganda, social sanctions and boycotts, lynchings and crowd hysteria, all ensured that the lowly fell in line or perished. There cannot be a better example of consent manufactured by a few and prevailing over centuries. Goebbels must have learnt his art from us. Repeat untruth several times, it becomes truth.
Our country is large. It is multi-caste, multi-racial, multi-religious, multi-lingual and multi-cultural. Our constitution has set before us a vision which is humanist, universal, rational and scientific. It aims to unite, and not divide. It seeks to empower all men and women. It desires to provide equal rights and opportunities. The inherently inhuman, iniquitous and unjust ancient texts like Manusmriti are an anathema to the aims and objectives of our constitution. Dr Ambedkar burnt the MS in 1927, would we have the courage to rise up against it today
There are 18 major Smritis :Manu,Yajnvalkya,Vyasa,Atri,Vishnu,Harita,Parashara,Yama,Daksha,Brihaspati etc are few of them.Apart from these major ones there are a few more minor ones which are called the Upasmritis.
Smriti is every knowledge that is country bound - culture, history, personality, society.This is knowledge applied to a particular society which show up as traditions. Of course traditions can change. The owner of smriti is 'INDIA' for e.g. 1e1e36bf2d