The editor of ‘The Wire’ is an Indian born Leftist from an upper middle class family and is a citizen of Capitalist USA too. From USA, he, in all likelihood, has aligned with ‘Tukde Tukde Gang’ of India and doing a sustained anti-Hindu propaganda through his Delhi based news website “The Wire”. The recent anti-Hindu feather in his cap (of The Wire) is an article criticizing and abusing ‘Manusmriti’.
I have been seeing posts and remarks in social media criticizing and abusing the allegedly wicked Hindu holy religious scripture (?) called ‘Manusmriti’. For criticizing Hinduism, as a counter to the violent and xenophobic verses of the desert cult, people have even equated Manusmriti with Asmani Kitab. The desperation to criticize Hinduism was too obvious in those posts and remarks.
No Hindu, worth his salt, can claim that Hinduism is beyond any criticism. Of course Hinduism has no concept of ‘Kafir’, ‘Jihad’, ‘Blasphemy’ and ‘Apostasy’. It even accommodates atheists in its fold. So anyone, including a Hindu, can criticize Hinduism to her/his heart’s fill without fear of being killed even by near and dear ones as sanctified in scripture of some other religion, which you will not dare to talk about.
Coming back to Manusmriti, it should be noted that Hindu philosophy, not religion, is divided into Smriti (roughly meaning ‘traditions’) and Sruti (roughly meaning inspired ‘revelations’). So, ‘Manusmriti’ is actually a commentary on traditions (Smriti) by sage Manu. As is known, Hinduism does not have a single scripture. Moreover, scriptures of Hinduism are not ‘prescriptive’. So if anybody wants to draw a parallel between Manusmriti and Asmani Kitab, then she/he neither has idea about Manusmriti nor about Quran.
There is also uncertainty and lack of agreement among scholars of Hinduism about the source, time of writing and authenticity of multiple manuscripts of Manusmriti with variations in texts. So Manusmriti is a dicey issue too. Manusmriti is not all about ‘chaturvarnya’ (caste system) alone. ‘Casteism’ among Hindus has been there and Hindus don’t refer to Manusmriti to justify about the practice of ‘casteism’ today. Manusmriti has no authority to issue ordinance like Asmani Kitab and no Hindu claims its divine origin either.
‘Casteism’ is an evil form of social stratification like Arab Muslims and non-Arab Muslims or Ashraf, Ajlaf and Arzal or Mawali and Jinz etc., as are still in practice among Muslims. To make the point clear, Defense Minister of Saudi Arabia had sometimes back called Pakistan their slave country. Saudi Muslims consider Muslims of Pakistan, India and Bangladesh as inferior Muslims. On the other hand, even till today Pakistan has Muslims with Rajput, Jat and Gujjar identity of pride, which is the driving force of caste pride even in today’s Pakistani society.
Yes, Manusmriti has bad things. But the larger question is as to how many Hindus have heard of Manusmriti in today’s India, least to speak of reading it and reinstalling its bad teachings by the priests of temples in the brains of Hindus on regular weekly basis for practicing the bad tenets of Manusmriti? Even how many Hindus visit temples on regular basis today?
It should not be forgotten that over the centuries Hinduism has evolved a lot. It is a flowing river and not any stagnant pond like the desert cult. In many Hindu families there are inter-caste marriages today. But it is also true that passion of caste can lead to violence in many places of present day India. So, the actual situation is not a ‘black and white’, which ‘The Wire’ has been trying to push through our throats.
In the political field of North India, the name ‘Manu’ was heard by common Hindus and Muslims for the first time when ‘Manuvad’ became a ‘catch word’ (Taqiya Kalam) in the lips of BSP leader Mayawati. In actual there is nothing like ‘Manuvad’ in Hinduism. Mayawati has been using it to draw ‘Dalit’ votes in her favour. Otherwise unlike prophet of some religion, ‘Manu’ has nothing to do with day to day life of Hindus at conscious or unconscious level.
It will be interesting to survey one thousand randomly selected Hindus from different social-economic strata of India covering its all geographical parts and pose questions like, “Have you heard of Manusmriti”? If the answer is ‘yes’, then ask “what is Manusmriti”? The same question can be asked by replacing Manusmriti with Quran to similarly selected one thousand Muslims. The result of survey is foregone conclusion!!!
The bottom line is, from legal point of view, Casteism (of Manusmriti or otherwise) is illegal in India and upper caste Hindus have never fought for imposition of Manusmriti in independent India. On the other hand, passion for imposition of Sharia across the non-Muslim world is too obvious Mr Editor of ‘The Wire’ and that makes the whole difference.
I am sure that Editor of ‘The Wire’ will be happy to remember what his Guru Karl Marx wrote in New-York Daily Tribune on 15 April 1854, “…….The Koran and the Mussulman legislation emanating from it reduce the geography and ethnography of the various people to the simple and convenient distinction of two nations and of two countries; those of the Faithful and of the Infidels. The Infidel is “harby,” i.e. the enemy. Islamism proscribes the nation of the Infidels, constituting a state of permanent hostility between the Mussulman and the unbeliever. In that sense the corsair-ships of the Berber States were the holy fleet of Islam. How, then, is the existence of Christian subjects of the Porte (Ottoman Government of Istanbul) to be reconciled with the Koran?…..”
Mr Editor of ‘The Wire’, be informed and sensible!