Well-known human rights activist Raju Rajagopal has started a petition to all Indians who oppose caste system, stating that the public statue of the author of the infamous Manusmṛiti in Rajasthan High Court premises has no place in India’s pluralistic society:
We support the call for the removal of Manu from the premises of the Rajasthan High Court. We stand united in sending a message across the world that caste bigotry and violence against Dalits must end.
Martin Macwan, co-founder of Navsarjan Trust and Dalit Shakti Kendra near Ahmedabad, recently wrote an Open Letter to India’s Congress Party demanding that it order the immediate removal of the statue of Manu, considered to be the author of the Manusmṛiti, from the Rajasthan High Court.
The Manusmṛiti is unarguably one of the vilest treatises among the body of Hindu scriptures. Many commentaries have been written about it and we will not repeat them here. Suffice it to say that it lays out detailed varna/caste rules and specifies consequences and penalties for trespassing them, including the misfortunes that may befall in one’s next birth(s). It also contains the most horrific and graphic descriptions of the prescribed treatment of the forebears of today’s Dalits.
In America today, a major effort is underway to recognize that Confederate monuments aren’t merely historical in their intent, but serve as continuing reminders to Black America of the daily discrimination that they still face. The George Floyd protests and the resonance of the Black Lives Matter among all Americans has energized calls for the removal of all such monuments.
It is in the same spirit that India must forthwith remove the statue of Manu, the most visible symbol of centuries of caste discrimination and atrocities on the basis of one’s birth. Most certainly, the author of the Manusmṛiti does not belong in a place dedicated to defending India’s constitution, which promises equality under the law to every citizen of India.
Please sign this petition to show solidarity with those who are taking the lead in India on this issue.
(Please see List of Initial Signatories of the Open Letter to the Congress Party from every state of India and from the U.S.)
It is high time that each one of us who cares for India’s democratic and constitutional values does our part, however small it may seem, to end the caste system and its cruel vestiges.
[It may worth noting that it was a small act of courage by a Belgian teenager in front of the statue of King Leopold II, which has resulted in the current King of Belgium sending his “deepest regrets” to the President of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) for the “suffering and humiliation” his nation inflicted while it colonized the region over a century back.]
Please also join the Missed Call Campaign that is underway by calling 98231-57779.
Dear Friends and Colleagues:
Thanks for signing the letter to Mrs. Gandhi for removing the statue of Manu. A total of 609 people signed the letter. We are updating the list as more than 150 signatories have just joined in.
To ensure that this movement becomes widespread and reaches to many more especially the rural communities, we have launched the MISSED CALL campaign. A missed call on 9823157779 will help us to see how many people support the campaign. Last time we had done this and we had got more than 20,00,000 people supporting this.
Please spread the message even with your personal appeal, message, video to appeal people to give a missed call.
Navsarjan Trust, Gujarat.
Petition authored and supported by:
Ambedkar King Study Circle (AKSC), California; Hindus for Human Rights – USA, New York. For further information: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sign the petition HERE