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Poor Manu!He stands accused!

Discussion in 'Snippets of Life (Non-Fiction)' started by jayasala42, Jun 14, 2015.

  1. jayasala42

    jayasala42 IL Hall of Fame

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    There has been much talk about atrocities on women .Hundreds of articles have been written by doctors, lawyers, and sociologists, specially after the Nirbhaya incident in Delhi that shook the entire nation.
    While analysing the patriarchal set up of the society ,the sociologists have squarely blamed Manu Smrithi as the main culprit behind all these events.

    Traditionally accepted as one of the supplementary arms of the vedas Laws of Manu or Manava Dharma Shastra is one of the standard books in the Hindu canon, and a basic text for all gurus to base their teachings on. This 'revealed scripture' comprises 2684 verses, divided into twelve chapters presenting the norms of domestic, social, and religious life in India and is fundamental to the understanding of ancient Indian society.[COLOR=#000][FONT=HelveticaNeue] .
    [I]Yatra naryasto poojyantay, ramantay tatra devta [B][3/56][/B][/I] [I](where women are provided place of honor, gods are pleased and reside there in that household)[/I],is a famous Manu quote.



    Anti- Manuvadhis quote a few verses from the Manu smrithi to justify their stand.


    :
    1) 2/213. It is the nature of women to seduce men in this world; for that reason the wise are never unguarded in the company of females.
    2.) 2/214. Women, true to their class character, are capable of leading astray men in this world, not only a fool but even a learned and wise man. Both become slaves of desire.
    3) 2/215. Wise people should avoid sitting alone with one’s mother, daughter or sister. Since carnal desire is always strong, it can lead to temptation.


    4) 5/150. A female child, young woman or old woman is not supposed to work independently even at her place of residence
    5) 5/151. Girls are supposed to be in the custody of their father when they are children, women must be under the custody of their husband when married and under the custody of her son as widows. In no circumstances is she allowed to assert herself independently.
    6) Men may be lacking virtue, be sexual perverts, immoral and devoid of any good qualities, and yet women must constantly worship and serve their husbands.
    7) 5/158. Women have no divine right to perform any religious ritual, nor make vows or observe a fast. Her only duty is to obey and please her husband and she will for that reason alone be exalted in heaven.
    8) 9/3. Since women are not capable of living independently, she is to be kept under the custody of her father as child, under her husband as a woman and under her son as widow.
    9) 9/6. It is the duty of all husbands to exert total control over their wives. Even physically weak husbands must strive to control their wives.
    10)9/80. A barren wife may be superseded in the 8[SUP]th[/SUP] year; she whose children die may be superseded in the 10[SUP]th[/SUP] year and she who bears only daughters may be superseded in the 11[SUP]th[/SUP] year; but she who is quarrelsome may be superseded without delay.



    It is argued that the Manu Smrithi 'hang over' of horrific codes in the average Indian mind set that is -woman is a 'thing' and is to be dealt with harsh -these and other Manu prescribed ideas

    [INDENT][COLOR=#000][FONT=bookman old style]that still form the background of an average Indian home,notwithstanding the developmental programmes of the Govt,not withstanding 'women empowerment'movements and education of women.
    Added to this are TV shows replete with men,MIL,Aunts in Law, SIL slapping women,and men molesting women at every twist and turn-highly disgusting.


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    [/INDENT]
    If we review this original Manu Smriti, one can proudly assert that there is perhaps no other text in world (except Vedas of course!) that accords so much of respect and rights to women. [B]Even the modern feminist books would have to seek further amendments to match up to Manu Smriti.[/B]
    [B][I]Here are a few quotes for example
    [/I][/B]
    1)3.55 A father,brother,husband or BIL should keep their daughter, sister wife happy and pleased thro gentle words, respectful behaviour etc.
    2)3.57 A family where women are happy, is bound to prosper for ever.
    3)9.26 Women give birth to next generation and enlighten home .The bring fortune and prosperity( Gruha lakshmi)

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    [I][B].[/B][/I]
    [I]4.)9.4 A father who does not marry his daughter to a deserving groom deserves condemnation. A husband who does not fulfill just demands of his wife deserves condemnation. A son who does not take care of her widow mother deserves condemnation.[/I]

    [I]5)9.11. Women should be provided autonomy and leadership in managing the finances, maintaining hygiene, spiritual and religious activities, nutrition and overall management of home.[/I]



    [I][B]6)[/B]9.89. It is better to keep the daughter unmarried than force her to marry an undeserving person.[/I] 7).90-91. A woman can choose her own husband after attaining maturity. If her parents are unable to choose a deserving groom, she can herself choose her husband


    [COLOR=#222222][/COLOR] [I]8)9.130. A daughter is equivalent to a son. In her presence, how can any one snatch away her right over the property?[/I]


    [I]9)9.131. A daughter alone has the right over personal property of her mother. [/I]



    Thus, as per Manu, while daughter has equal share as her brothers over property of her father, she has exclusive rights over property of her mother. The reason for this special treatment of women is to ensure that women are never at mercy of anyone. After all happy dignified women form the foundation of a happy society!


    [I][B]10)[/B]8.323. Those who abduct women should be given death sentence.[/I]


    [I]11)[/I][I]8.352. Those who rape or molest women or incite them into adultery should be given harshest punishment that creates fear among others to even think of such a crime.[/I]



    Manusmriti was written thousands of years back.Naturally, as literature is the mirror of the society,the smrithi deals with the situations and practices obtained during the period.With all that Manu has taken into account many probable situations that might arise in due course.



    It is strange that people who have neither belief nor regard for scriptures want to shift the blame on

    the mythical Manu/manus when they are unable to solve problems with their constitution,their current Lawsand penal codes which they never bother to implement.They choose verses that most suit their stand and leave the rest.
    In many Western countries too such situations prevail.Do they also follow Indian Manu Smrithi?



    Poor Manu!! He stands accused.!


    Jayasala 42




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  2. Kamalji

    Kamalji IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Jaya,

    Maybe this blog of yours creates some controversy here, let me share my thoughts here. REgarding Manu, i had read that he treated women inferior to men, i mean i had that impression, i had read snatches of him as a child.

    But the second part where he praises women, is news to me, and good i a way that he is so preogressive.

    i hold women in high esteem, they are equal to men, at times better to men. Some of the biggest bankers today are women, look at kochar of ICICI, SBI cheif is a lady, pepsi lady, indra , the german chanceller is a lady.

    But we have some ladies who take this differently, like the Lady Don of Jaipur, the lady lawyer of mumbai drinking and driving, putting men to shame.we have some of these examples too.

    For people who rape, or molest, they must be hanged, no two questons of that.

    Regards

    kamal
     
  3. jayasala42

    jayasala42 IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Kamalji,
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts.
    I myself have pointed out to verses in both the categories. My thought is,Alright-He has written certain things that perhaps applied to the society some thousands of years back. Now so many things have changed, Women are educated and holding top positions. There is a cry of Women empowerment everywhere.This problem is a global problem that has to be solved by our own strict laws and a powerful constitution. How can we hold some author that lived 3000 years ago as responsible for today's atrocities on women?When we hesitate to implement the current penal provisions strictly how can we blame a mythical Manu/ Manus ?
    Jayasala 42
     
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  4. coolgal123

    coolgal123 Platinum IL'ite

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    People learn from historical and mythological books too....culture n beliefs dont get formed in one day....this takes ages and hence changes also require time...
    I have not read so many religious documents...but till now in my mind i have the impression of ancient hindu teaching is tht women are to be respected and to be kept happy....if women are unhappy society cant flourish...but at the same time man are above women and man are superieor....woman life has meaning only after she becomes wife...she gets ultimate respect by giving birth to son....son is must for family not the daughter....
    yesterday i was listening to lord Ganesha aarti n it caught my attention-"baanjhqn ko putra det"....everywhere in every aarti only putra is mentioned....
    so i feel our scriptures dont tell us to disrespect woman but they have reserved supreme place to man only and woman comes under the man however man shuld respect and care for woman while for woman man shuld be indispensable....they shudnt do w/o husband father or son...
     
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  5. jayasala42

    jayasala42 IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear coollgal123,
    Thank you for the response.No doubt prayers are everywhere to get a son, as there is a belief only a son can lead the parents to heaven.It is this belief that has resulted in female infanticide and foetiicide upsetting the gender ratio.
    Now the trend is for a single child. Parents should accept the child,girl or boy, as gift of God.

    jayasala 42
     
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  6. sindmani

    sindmani Platinum IL'ite

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    Learnt in history that women were highly respected in early Vedic period. Later the position of women became lower. I believe that . There were warriors in women , scholars too. She was regarded as the head of family.
     
  7. bruised234

    bruised234 Gold IL'ite

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    Jayasala 42, Manu is not there to defend himself, isn't it convenient to blame Manu than take responsibility? The concept of morals was much much more clearer in those days than it is now. And yes, certainly women were much more strong mentally and physically than women nowadays. Imagine being so cool about husband having other wives, how would a woman have focused on spirituality and the upbringing of the kids without getting disturbed at all, if not for mental strength. Certainly it was not because they were economically dependent, they probably were told that they may have to deal with such issues and to prepare themselves. I don't think women were inferior ever, it is just that they were much more practical those days and Manu probably detailed what the society was back then. When it comes to thinking, there is no difference between then and now. Men and women still think the same way.
     

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