January 01, 2023

Delhi: DSMM Organises Manusmriti Burning Day

THE fight against oppressive social structures needs a strong resolve and a united movement against the so-called laws of Manu or Manusmriti, a highly repressive text providing legitimacy to brahmanism and the caste system. B R Ambedkar burned the copies of the book almost a hundred years ago to give this particular message. This was the central point of ‘Manusmriti burning day’ organised by the Dalit Shoshan Mukti Manch (DSMM) Delhi state committee on December 25.

Before burning the copies of the Manusmriti, the large gathering was addressed by Prof. Ratan Lal from University of Delhi who had recently been arrested by Delhi police on the orders of the Amit Shah and Modi government for standing against their brahmanical and communal politics. During his address Prof Ratan Lal highlighted how a true emancipation from manuvad requires us to fight against its institutions on a regular basis, in our personal lives by rejecting oppressive, obstructionist practices and institutions such as caste, brahmanical rituals and beliefs. He emphasised that Ambedkar talked about building an alternative to the so-called laws of Manu which would mean focusing on education, discarding caste based professions, believing in men-women equality and standing for dignity. He noted that the first burning of Manusmriti was organised by Ambedkar on December 25, 1927 with these objectives in mind.

Prof. Ratan Lal also talked about the amount of attacks he had to face personally while challenging the manuvadi forces. He talked about safeguarding the Indian Constitution which is under tremendous attacks from the Hindutva and brahmanical forces.

The meeting was inaugurated by Nathu Prasad, secretary, Delhi state committee who enlisted the struggles and movements waged by the DSMM state committee. He also underlined the need to see manuvad as a way to facilitate exploitation of the working classes.

The meeting was also addressed by B V Raghavulu, in-charge of DSMM and a member of the CPI(M) Polit Bureau, B Venkat, secretary of the All India Agricultural Workers’ Union (AIAWU) and Vikram Singh, joint secretary of the AIAWU. 

Raghavulu congratulated Prof Ratan Lal for his relentless fight against brahmanical forces and highlighted the need of building a joint movement of organisations fighting against the brahmanical hegemony in the coming days.

B Venkat talked about persistent movements waged by the Left and progressive forces all across the country against the brahmanical hegemony. He expressed hope that such fights will continue in the future until we achieve a casteless and classless society.

Vikram Singh talked about the role played by the Left in building the anti-caste and anti-manuvadi struggles waged by Dr Ambedkar. He pointed out that the so-called laws of Manu and religious sanctions on caste and gender discrimination are attempts to silence all kinds of opposition to them.

The meeting was chaired by Brahmjeet Singh, president of the DSMM Delhi state committee. He thanked all the participants and speakers.

At the end of the meeting participants burned the copies of the Manusmriti shouting slogans against caste system and for gender equality.    

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