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Savarkar's dream of 'enforcing' Manu's laws would mean end of road for Dalits, women

Max Mueller's Manusmriti
By Shamsul Islam*
The current vociferous campaign for awarding Savarkar Bharat Ratna by Savarkarites claims that this Hindutva 'Veer' was a ‘rationalist Hindu’ a leader who ‘ended the practice of Untouchability’, propagated ‘scientific temper’ and died as an atheist. They also persist in saying that his “outlook was absolutely modern and scientific and secular”.
It is interesting to note that such protagonists of the Hindutva politics who declare the modern times as kalyug (state of moral decay), atheists as scum of the society, Casteism synonymous with Hinduism and call for scientific temper as foreign conspiracy by Christians and Communists are glorifying these qualities of Savarkar!
However, let us compare these claims of Savarkar being a liberal person with the facts available in the Hindu Mahasabha archives of the times of Savarkar.

Savarker wanted Manusmriti as constitution of Hindus

How great a rationalist, crusader against Untouchability and practitioner of scientific temper Savarkar was, can be understood by knowing the fact that he was a firm believer in Manu’s Codes? 
He held Manusmriti as a sacred book for Hindus. As a philosopher and guide of Hindutva, and the RSS he, without mincing words said:
"Manusmriti is that scripture which is most worship-able after Vedas for our Hindu Nation and which from ancient times has become the basis of our culture-customs, thought and practice. This book for centuries has codified the spiritual and divine march of our 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. That is fundamental." [VD Savarkar, ‘Women in Manusmriti’ in "Savarkar Samagar" (collection of Savarkar’s writings in Hindi), Prabhat, Delhi, vol 4, p 415.]
If this dream of Savarkar of enforcing the Laws of Manu is ever fulfilled, it is undoubtedly going to be the end of the road for Dalits and women in India. To what miserable and dehumanized status their lives will be reduced to can be known by having a glance at the Codes of Manu about them.

Manu’s laws concerning Sudras:

  • For the sake of the prosperity of the worlds [the divine one] caused the Brahmana, the Kashtriya, the Vaisya and the Shudra to proceed from His mouth, His arm, His thighs and His feet. (I/31) 
  • One occupation only the lord prescribed to the Shudras, to serve meekly these [other] three castes. (I/91) 
  • A Shudra, who insults a high caste man with gross invective, shall have his tongue cut out for he is of low origin. (VIII/270) 
  • If he [Shudra] arrogantly teaches Brahmanas their duty, the king shall cause hot oil to be poured into his mouth and into his ears. (VIII/272) 
  • A low-caste man, who tries to place himself on the same seat with a man of high caste, shall be branded on his hips and be banished, or [the king] shall cause his buttocks to be gashed. (VIII/281) 
  • Let [the first part of] a Brahmana’s name [denote something] auspicious, a Kshatriya’s be connected with power, and a Vaisya’s with wealth, but a Shudra’s [express something) contemptible. (II/31) 
  • [The second part of] a Brahmana’s [name] shall be [a word] implying happiness, of a Kshatriya’s [a word] implying protection, of a Vaisya’s [a term] expressive of thriving, and of a Shudra’s [an expression] denoting service. (II/32) 
  • The service of Brahmanas alone is declared [to be] an excellent occupation for a Shudra; for whatever else besides this he may perform will bear him no fruit. (X/123) 
  • The remnants of their food must be given to him, as well as their old clothes, the refuse of their grain, and their old household furniture. (X/125) 
  • No collection of wealth must be made by a Shudra, even though he be able [to do it]; for a Shudra who has acquired wealth, gives pain to Brahmanas. (X/129) 

Manu’s laws concerning women:

  • By a girl, by a young woman, or even by an aged one, nothing must be done independently, even in her own house. (V/147) 
  • In childhood a female must be subject to her father, in youth to her husband, when her lord is dead to her sons; a woman must never be independent. (V/148) 
  • Her father protects (her) in childhood, her husband protects (her) in youth, and her sons protect (her) in old age; a woman is never fit for independence. (IX/3) 
  • Women must particularly be guarded against evil inclinations, however, trifling (they may appear); for, if they are not guarded,  they will bring sorrow on two families. (IX/5) 
  • Considering that the highest duty of all castes, even weak husbands (must) strive to guard their wives. (IX/6) 
  • He who carefully guards his wife, preserves (the purity of) his offspring, virtuous conduct, his family, himself, and his (means of acquiring) merit. (IX/7) 
  • As the male is to whom a wife cleaves, even so is the son whom she brings forth; let him therefore carefully guard his wife, in order to keep his offspring pure. (IX/9) 
  • No man can completely guard women by force; but they can be guarded by the employment of the (following) expedients; 
  • Let the (husband) employ his (wife) in the collection and expenditure of his wealth, in keeping (everything) clean, in (the fulfillment of) religious duties, in the preparation of his food, and in looking after the household utensils. (IX/10, 11) 
  • Women do not care for beauty, nor is their attention fixed on age; (thinking), ‘(It is enough that) he is a man,’ they give themselves to the handsome and to the ugly. (IX/14) 
  • Through their passion for men, through their mutable temper, through their natural heartlessness, they become disloyal towards their husbands, however carefully they may be guarded in this (world). (IX/15) 
  • Knowing their disposition, which the Lord of creatures laid in them at the creation, to be such, (every) man should most strenuously exert himself to guard them. (IX/16) 
  • (When creating them) Manu allotted to women (a love of their) bed, (of their) seat and (of) ornament, impure desires, wrath, dishonesty, malice, and bad conduct. (IX/17) 
All laws are the verbatim reproduction from the F. Max Muller (ed), "The Laws of Manu", Low Price Publication, Delhi, 1996. The bracket after every code carries chapter number and code number respectively. For instance (I/31) means chapter I and code number 31 of Manusmriti.

***

Savarkar remained committed to Manu’s diktats throughout his life. While delivering the presidential address to the 22nd session of the Hindu Mahasabha at Madura in 1940, Savarkar once again underlined the crucial fact of Manu being the law giver for Hindus and emphasized that once we ‘re-learn the manly lessons’ which Manu taught ‘Hindu nation shall prove again as unconquerable’. 
Savarkar had total hated democratic-secular Constitution. His liberal ethoses are being manufactured
He firmly believed that once laws given by Manu were enforced ‘our Hindu nation shall prove again as unconquerable and conquering a race as we proved once…’ [VD Savarkar, "Samagra Savarkar Wangmaya: Hindu Rashtra Darshan", vol 6, Maharashtra Prantik Hindusabha, Poona, 1963, p 426.]
Savarkarites emphasize the fact that their mentor organized community lunches with Untouchables and went to visit their residential quarters. How serious he was even in these cosmetic reformative actions can be known by the fact that he did it in his personal capacity ‘without involving the Hindu Mahasabha organization into social and religions [sic] activities not guaranteed by its constitutional limits…’ [AS Bhide, "Vinayak Damodar Savarkar’s Whirlwind Propaganda: Extracts from the President’s Diary of his Propagandist Tours Interviews from December 1937 to October 1941", na, Bombay, 1940, p xi.]
Savarkar assured Sanatani Hindus who were opposed to Untouchables’ entry into Hindu temples in 1939 that Hindu Mahasabha, "will not introduce or support compulsory Legislature [sic] regarding Temple Entry by the untouchables etc. in old temples beyond the limit to which the non-Hindus are allowed by custom as in force today." [Bhide, p 128.]
On June 20, 1941 he once again pledged in the form of a personal assurance that he would not hurt the sentiments of Sanatani Hindus so far as the issue of entry of Untouchables in temples was concerned. This time he even promised not to touch anti-women and anti-Dalit personal laws:
"I guarantee that the Hindu Maha Sabha [sic] shall never force any legislations regarding the entry of untouchables in the ancient temples or compel by law any sacred ancient and moral usage or custom prevailing in those temples. In general the Mahasabha will not back up any Legislation to thrust the reforming views on our Sanatani brothers so far as personal law is concerned..." [Bhide, p 425]
Despite all the above facts and many more about the anti-humanity ideas/practices of Savarkar being available in the archives of the Hindu Mahasabha itself, he is being glorified as a great rationalist, secularist and believer in social justice! 
The reality is that RSS/BJP rulers want Bharat Ratna for him because Savarkar had total faith in the Manusmriti and hated democratic-secular Constitution. His liberal ethoses are being manufactured so that vast majority of Indians who stand for egalitarianism and reject Untouchability change their opinion about this god of Hindutva which is synonymous with casteism.
---
*Well known political scientist, formerly with the Delhi University, Prof Islam' writings, video interviews/debates can be accessed here. Twitter: @shamsforjustice. Blog: http://shamsforpeace.blogspot.com/. Contact: notoinjustice@gmail.com

Comments

Jangsher said…
The writer of this blog is Shamsul Islam,an idiot hypocratic muslim.who has nothing to do with hindu's system.These fools are gathered together,just to object bharat ratna to v d sawarkar.because he helped highest majoŕty
Anonymous said…
Extremely myopic view with very low research... View on manusmriti are understandably devoid of understanding but attributing these views is just laughable... Writer should better study some subject within his capabilities... Savarkar is too tall for him

Anonymous said…
High on weed
Anonymous said…
Lol. No reliable sources mentioned for quotes of Savarkar described in this article. Writer just wants readers of this articles to believe whatever is written here as he knows that most of readers won't be spending the time to check reliability of these claims.

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