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Dalit rights activists demand Ambedkar's statue should be higher than Sardar Patel's

Symbolic burning of Manu Smriti on a four feet candle light
By Our Representative
Senior Dalit rights activists in have Gujarat declared that, while they do not oppose Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi’s decision to build the world’s highest statue in the memory of Sardar Patel, they would want that Dr BR Ambedkar’s statue should be even higher. Making the announcement amidst a huge applause by the Dalits from several villages that had come to attend a non-political meeting at Badarkha village, south of Ahmedabad, senior human rights activist Martin Macwan, founder of Navsarjan Trust, said, “Dr Ambedkar’s contribution stands taller as he fought casteism in all its manifestations and created a constitutional framework for India providing equality to all.”
Attended, among others, by Prof Sukhdeo Thorat, former Universities Grants Commission (UGC) chairman, top sociologist Prof Ghanshyam Shah, social worker Indukumar Jani, Aam Aadmi Party leader Sukhdev Patel, and Navsarjan Trust’s executive director Manjula Pradeep, the meeting saw symbolic burning of Manu Smriti, the well-known Hindu treatise, which gave the “law” that had sought to “ligitimise” social discrimination in Hindu society and tried to validate the supremacy of upper castes over Shudras, who it said should be treated as untouchables, and treated as slaves.
Written in the first century BCE, the Manu Smriti, said Macwan, was first burnt by Babasaheb Ambedkar on December 25, 1927, as his mark of protest against the oppressive culture it had sought to perpetuate. “It was burnt page by page”, Macwan said, adding, “Manu Smriti not just discriminates against Shudras and provides a complete guide of oppression, it is equally anti-woman. It calls for cutting the head of a Shudra in case he establishes relations with a Brahmin girl.” The meeting was called on the anniversary of the burning of Manu Smriti. "Similar symbolic burning is taking place in one lakh villages across India", he informed the audience.
Pradeep, who spoke next, cited instances of Manu Smriti seeks to discriminate against women. The Code of Manu states, she pointed out, "In childhood a female must be subject to her father, in youth to her husband, then to her sons; a woman must never be independent. There is no God on earth for a woman than her husband... She must on the death of her husband allow herself to be burnt alive on the same funeral pyre. That everyone will praise her virtue."
Martin Macwan
Indukumar Jani said, one of the most unfortunate aspects of the present scenario is that those who praised Manu Smriti once are today seeking to acquire power, propping up their candidate, Narendra Modi, as India’s Prime Ministerial candidate. “Reacting to Dr BR Ambedkar’s effort to give the country a new constitution, one of RSS’ founders, Guru Golwalkar, insisted that there was no need for constitution. He wanted the country to adopt Manu Smriti was India’s constitution, instead. The need of the hour is to reject RSS’ candidate who would want to install Manu Smriti over India”, he said.
Thorat said, it would be wrong to confine Ambedkar to someone who fought Dalit rights alone. “He had a much wider vision. As chairman of the Constituent Assembly, he was instrumental in coming up with several laws that gave women equal rights, such as the Hindu personal law. He was equal participant in national construction as well by being instrumental in some of the major dams that exist today in the country. Gandhiji recognized him as a great patriot. His contribution equaled for Mahatma Gandhi, Sardar Patel and Jawaharlal Nehru”, he said.

Comments

mahendra said…
મનુ સ્મૃતિ દહન કાર્યક્રમ ઘણું બધું કહી જાય છે.આવા કાર્યક્રમો સતત થતા રહેવા જોઈએ.. નવયુવાનોને નવા વિચારો મળી રહ્યા છે. જય ભીમ
NEERAV PATEL said…
neerav patel : all Hindu vandals who regularly attack libraries and art galleries housing secular literature and art must take note of these 'symbolic' acts of 'arson' committed in protest of Manu's anti-human code. yes, indeed it is a 'symbolic' gesture only, but is very much timely and necessary, as Indukumar Jani rightly pointed out in caution that the Manuvadis are intent upon reviving in letter and spirit the same oppressive code, the one Dr Ambedkar 'burnt page by page' in 1927 and Martin Macwan has to burn it again in 2013.

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