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Mainstream, VOL LVIII No 35, New Delhi, August 15, 2020

Glorification of Manu-Smriti at Ram Temple’s consecration event in Ayodhya on Aug 5, 2020 | Suresh Khairnar

Friday 14 August 2020, by Suresh Khairnar


by Dr Suresh Khairnar

(As appeared in the Hindi web-portal named “Chauthi Duniya” on August 11 2020)

It is beyond doubt that the Prime Minister Narendra Modi insulted India’s Freedom Struggle and R.S.S. Chief Mohan Bhagawat glorified Manu-Smriti at the time of consecration event of the proposed Grand Ram Temple at Ayodhya. Hence, I demand that an immediate and effective action should be taken against them.

That Prime Minister publicly equated the August 5 event with our Independence Day and thereby insulted the sacrifice of those ‘Shining Stars’ which laid down their lives to carry out Freedom Struggle. Not only that, he also transgressed his oath solemnly undertaken by him twice as a Prime Minister which clearly binds him to uphold and protect the secular character of the Indian Constitution.

Perhaps, R.S.S. Chief Mohan Bhagawat might have felt this insult as insufficient and thus he went on to quote and glorify the controversial edict in the ‘Manu-Smriti’. Bhagawat boasted about the “thirty years of incessant striving” on the part of ‘Sangh Parivar’ resulting in the materialization of this event. He also went on to claim that Hindus are full of manliness, valor and courage; that Ram is the perfect representation of these essential qualities and hence we are capable to inspire the entire world through our art of living. It is in this backdrop that he quoted the said controversial edict which appears in the Second Chapter of ‘Manu-Smriti’.

Most of the people in India are either ignorant or uninformed about Sanskrit including this writer. However, Dr. Rupa Bodhi-Kulkarni, who is the Head of the Department at Nagpur University, translated that verse of ‘Manu-Smriti’ in Marathi language. Relying on this translation, it will not be out of place to quote her as follows:

“‘एतद् देशप्रसुतस्य सकाशाद् अग्रजन्मनः !
स्वं स्वं चरित्रग्रंथ शिक्षेरन् पृथिव्याः सर्वमानवाः!!’

The Second Chapter of ‘Manu-Smriti’ consists of 250 verses. The description of Brahmin-Superiority is carry forwarded from the first chapter into the second one. Hence, Manu not only entrenches the discrimination between Brahmins and others but goes on to say that how Brahmins are owners as well as governors of the entire universe. Mohan Bhagawat quoted the above-mentioned verse from the same chapter in front of Ram devotees at the Ayodhya event. What it actually means -

‘That all the human beings on this Earth should learn from the First-Born i.e. Brahmins of this country about developing their own Character.’
In short, according to Mr. Mohan Bhagawat, the Brahmins of India can develop the Character of all the people in this world even in this twenty-first century and Ram is the inspiration behind this project.”

Certainly, a safe interpretation of the above emphasizes that Mr. Mohan Bhagawat has clearly indicated that after the construction of magnificent Ram Temple at Ayodhya, R. S. S. will work in accordance with the dictates of Manu-Smriti. One should better consider August 5 speech as a ‘trailer’ of that intention.

This reminds one of an article which appeared in the R.S.S. English mouthpiece ‘Organizer’. It was written by the Second R.S.S. Chief Madhav Sadashiv Golwalkar and was published in its issue of 30th November 1949. Interestingly, it was just four days after the Constituent Assembly finalized the draft of the Indian Constitution on 26th of November 1949. Eminent Historian Shamsul Islam duly mentioned and quoted this article in one of his pieces that appeared in the ‘Indian Express’ dated 26 September 1949 titled as “The unmaking of India”.

According to Islam, Golwalkar’s article in Organizer demanded that the ‘Manu-Smriti’ should be the Constitution of India. He further quotes the article which reads: “But in our Constitution, there is no mention of the unique constitutional development in the ancient Bharat….To this day…..[Manu’s] laws, as enunciated in the Manu-Smriti, excite the admiration of the world and elicit spontaneous obedience and conformity. But to our constitutional pundits, that means nothing.”

It seems that Mohan Bhagawat has ratified this view of his predecessor by quoting the said verse from the ‘Manu-Smriti’. Putting August 5 on the same footing as the Independence Day by our Prime Minister and quotations from ‘Manu-Smriti’ by Mohan Bhagawat are enough to suggest that the project of ‘Hindu-Rashtra’ is still on. Accordingly, attempts are being made to dignify the “Manu-Smriti’ by neglecting the Constitutional ethos.

Indian Constitution treats all the citizens equally and guarantees to all born in this nation the ‘Right to Equality’. On this 26th January, seventy years have completed since the commencement of this Constitution and in the same year, B.J.P. ruled Government as well as R.S.S is indicating that they will work according to the dictums of ‘Manu-Smriti’. This amounts to an insult to our Constitution and should be taken seriously. Both Prime Minister and R.S.S. Chief have committed a grave offence by doing such insult and it requires strict action against them for the same.

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