As we approach our 72nd Independence Day, we are witnessing state-sponsored assaults on all the institutions of the country – from media to judiciary, and the values enshrined in the Indian Constitution, every passing day of the Modi regime. In a brazen and grotesque reflection of this, yesterday, a rightwing outfit “Youth for Equality” burnt the Indian Constitution in the national capital while shouting vicious casteist slogans like “Aarakshan Murdabad”, “Sambhidhan Murdabad”, “SC/ST Act Murdabad”, “Ambedkar Murdabad” and “Manuwaad Jindabad” (The Hindu, August 11, 2018). They also showed the audacity to record this and turn into a viral video in the social media.
Though this incident is outrageous for all of us, for the hydra-headed Sangh parivar, the immense hatred for Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, the India’s Constitution and oppressed sections of the society and the eternal love for Manusmriti is nothing new. Just few days back, the Union Minister Anantkumar Hegde shamelessly asserted that the BJP Government is here to “change the constitution” and they will surely do it in near future!
RSS Wanted Anti – Dalit, Anti – Women Manusmriti to Be India’s Constitution
RSS held that Manu was the “first and greatest lawgiver of the world”, and suggested that the anti Dalit and anti-women Manusmriti should be the Constitution of Independent India! When the Constituent Assembly of India had finalized the Constitution of India, the RSS mouthpiece, Organizer, in an editorial on November 30, 1949, complained:
“The worst about the new constitution of Bharat is that there is nothing Bhartiya about it…in our constitution, there is no mention of the unique constitutional development in ancient Bharat. Manu’s Laws were written long before Lycurgus of Sparta or Solon of Persia. To this day his laws as enunciated in the Manusmriti excite the admiration of the world and elicit spontaneous obedience and conformity. But to our constitutional pundits that means nothing.”
RSS chief Golwalkar wrote in 1960:
“Unfortunately…our Constitution has…given equal rights to everybody, just as a person without understanding may give equal rights to his children and to the thieves in his house and distribute the property among all”. (Golwalkar, Why Hindu Rashtra 1960)
Another hero of Sangh Pariwar, Savarkar denigrated India’s Constitution and hailed Manusmriti in the following words:
“Manusmriti is that scripture which is most worshipable after Vedas for our Hindu Nation… Even today the rules which are followed by crores of Hindus in their lives and practice are based on Manusmriti. Today Manusmriti is Hindu Law.” (Savarkar, V. D., ‘Women in Manusmriti’ in Savarkar Samagar, Vol. 4, Prabhat Prakashan, p. 416.)
Let us recall, therefore, what did Manusmriti actually prescribe for women and Dalits:
- A girl, a young woman, or even an old woman should not do anything independently, even in (her own) house. In childhood, a woman should be under her father’s control, in youth under her husband’s, and when her husband is dead, under her sons; a woman must never be independent.’ (Ch 5:147-148).
- 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. (Ch 5:164).
- The Lord assigned only one activity to a servant (Shudra), serving these (other) castes without resentment.” (Ch1: 91).
- If a man of the lower castes makes love with a woman of the higher caste, he should be given corporal punishment (Ch 8:366)
- If a man of one birth (a Shudra) hurls abuse at one of the twice born, his tongue should be cut out…if he is so proud as to instruct priests about their duty, the king should have hot oil poured into his mouth and ears. (Ch 8: 270-272)
To protest against these inhumane and hateful strictures, Dr. Ambedkar burned the Manusmriti publicly as a clarion call to build a society based on justice, dignity and equality for all.
BJP’s Continuing Hatred for Constitution and Love for Manusmriti:
- Today, reflecting the Manusmriti ideology, Yogi Adityanath the BJP’s UP CM, in an article on ‘Matrshakti,’ repeated the Manusmriti norm that women must always be under the control of the father, husband or son, further he quotes some scriptures to say that “uncontrolled, free women who acquire man-like qualities become ‘devilish’ (Navbharat Times, 20 March, 2017)!
- The RSS and its outfits like ABVP prescribe dress codes for women, attack women choosing their own life-partners. The RSS and its ideologues regularly describe caste hierarchy as “Indian culture” and attack Dalits for asserting otherwise.
- The Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself, in an article he wrote on Golwalkar in 2006, had the audacity to refer to Ambedkar as a “modern Manu” in a reprehensible attempt to equate Ambedkar with Manuvad– the same Manuvad that Ambedkar was committed to annihilating.
- On the Republic Day of 2015, I&B Ministry issued an advertisement with an image of the Preamble of the Constitution minus two key words – ‘secular’ and ‘socialist’. After that, the Telecom Minister of the Modi Government, senior BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad, called for a ‘national debate’ on the need for those two words in the Preamble! So, these are BJP’s deep-rooted hatred for the values enshrined in the Indian Constitution.
In these dark times, when the ruling regime is hell bent to destroy the core of India’s Constitution, and spreading casteist – communal – anti women madness across the country we draw inspiration from the vision of Babasaheb Ambedkar:
We must begin by acknowledging the fact that there is complete absence of two things in Indian Society. One of these is equality. On the social plane, we have in India a society based on the principle of graded inequality … On the 26th of January 1950, we are going to enter into a life of contradictions. In politics we will have equality and in social and economic life we will have inequality. In politics we will be recognizing the principle of one man one vote and one vote one value. In our social and economic life, we shall, by reason of our social and economic structure, continue to deny the principle of one man one value. How long shall we continue to live this life of contradictions?
(Speech in the Constituent Assembly on adoption of the Constitution, November 25, 1949).
It is high time that, We, the people of India, unite against the fascist subversion of our Constitution and reclaim the heart and soul of our Republic !
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