Pinjra Tod Burns Symbolic Placard on ‘Manusmriti Dahan Diwas’
Protesters said CAA & NRC envision a divided India and are inspired by the Manusmriti.
Around 30 protesters observed ‘Manusmriti Dahan Diwas’ by burning a symbolic placard outside the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh office in Delhi’s Jhandewalan on Wednesday, 25 December. The protest, organised by Pinjra Tod – a Delhi-based women’s collective fighting against regressive hostel rules – started off with slogans, followed by a march to Ambedkar Bhavan, located a couple of kilometres away.
Arya, a student, said that mostly female students participated in the protest to mark a similar act of Manusmriti burning by BR Ambedkar in 1927.
“During a satyagraha in 1927, BR Ambedkar had burnt a Manusmriti. We burnt it outside RSS office because they are attacking the Constitution by trying to impose Hindutva raj. They see the Manusmriti as their constitution, which is not only misogynist but also against Dalits and the toiling masses.”Arya, Student
Arya added that burning the Manusmriti is significant as the RSS and the BJP are trying to replace the Indian Constitution and its values with those inspired by the ancient legal text.
‘CAA Rooted in Manuvaad’
Another student from Ambedkar University (who didn’t want to be named) asserted that not only had the RSS rejected the Indian Constitution when it was adopted but it is now actively trying to impose the Manusmriti today through all its groundwork.
She maintained that the thought behind the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Act that grants citizenship to non-muslim minorities from three neighbouring countries, is actually inspired by the Manusmriti.
“At its roots, CAA and NRC envision a country where casteism stays alive, where Muslims are suppressed, where women and transgenders can’t furnish documents, eventually leading to their exit.”
The student added that it’s a misconception to think of the document as a thing of the past as “those who wield power today are mostly upper-caste men who refuse to grant 33 percent reservation to women and come up with things like CAA instead.”
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