Expressing their disgust over the oppressive and highly discriminatory content of the text, three students belonging to the ABVP has burned selected excerpts of the Manusmriti in the JNU campus on Tuesday evening.
“We essentially got printouts of around 40 verses from the text that we feel had extremely derogatory references against women and burnt them. Today (Tuesday) is International Women’s Day we thought this was the day when we should burn this text that contains highly derogatory remarks against women,” said Jatin Goraiya, ABVP Vice President of JNU.
On asking why he thinks that on a university campus, the burning of Manusmriti even holds symbolic value, Goraiya said, “When I came to JNU, I was also not aware of the Manusmriti but then I got to know about it. I realised that even today many social evils like child marriage mentioned in Manusmriti are prevalent in our society. By burning Manusmriti, we are burning discrimination”
Pradeep Narwal, who resigned from ABVP following the arrest of Kanhaiya Kumar and the protests that followed, said that they have been demanding the burning of the Manusmriti, but the ABVP did not listen to them. “We have problems with the 40 points of the text, copies of which we burnt as we felt that they were extremely derogatory towards women and Dalits”, says Narwal.