The Indian Herald

The Indian Herald

February 17, 2009

'Remove anti-Dalit references from Hindu scriptures'

Once again demand for removal of derogatory references to Dalits, Untouchables and lower castes from the Hindu religious scriptures like Gita and Ramayana has been raised.

"There are hundreds of abusive comments about Dalits that ought to be erased and expunged from the dozen-odd Hindu texts", said Satish Chandra, who is spearheading the agitation.

Talking to journalists in New Delhi, Chandra said that there are Sanskrit shlokas that are contemptuous towards the Dalits and hurt the sensibilities of the community members.

Chandra, who is patron of the Society for Perfection in Education (SFPE), has said that Dr BR Ambedkar faced opposition when he had set afire Manu Smriti (The Code of Manu) and it is natural that there will be opposition even now, but such remarks ought to be taken away as Hinduism has a unique flexibility.

He said that statements like 'teaching shudra a lesson by pouring burning hot oil in his ear' and 'killing him for no offence' abound in the texts of Hinduism. Chandra showed such objectionable references.

He said that Manusmriti alone has 250 anti-Dalit remarks. "A high-level committee is needed to ensure that the books like Valmiki Ramayana, Bhagwad Gita and Manu Smriti are cleansed of such objectionable shlokas", he said. Society secretary Kapil Garg was also present.

TIH Bureau

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