Why did Babasaheb
Dr B R Ambedkar Burn the Manusmriti on December 25, 1927 ? 🟣🟣
Manusmriti is a Charter of rights for so-called Orthodox Caste Hindus, but a Bible of Slavery for Untouchables
Dr B R Ambedkar
JAI BHIM 🙏
93 Years ago, on Dec 25, 1927, the number one scholar of the world and Saviour of the Depressed Classes Dr B R Ambedkar, who held Manusmriti as responsible for caste system in India. In a protest held at Mahad in Maharashtra, he publicly Condemned and Burnt Manusmriti (Book of Inequality) in a specially constructed symbolic funeral of pyre before thousands of volunteers as a symbol of rejection of the religion basis of untouchability for self dignity of Depressed Classes. This is called Manusmriti Dahan Din.
Mahad Conference for taking Drinking Water from Chowder Public Tank
Mahad Municipality had thrown open the Chowdar Tank to the untouchables in 1926 based on the resolution of the Bombay Legislative Council. However, the resolution of the Municipality remained a mere gesture in that the untouchables had not exercised their right owing to the hostility of the Caste Hindus.
It was, therefore decided by the Kolaba District Depressed Classes to hold a Conference for the civil rights at Mahad on March 19 and 20, 1927 under the Leadership of Babasaheb. About 10,000 Workers and Leaders of the Depressed Classes from almost all the District of Maharashtra attended the conference. Babasaheb delivered Presidential address with great earnestness to the huge participants which echoed throughout the hills, dales and villages of Maharashtra.
In the conference, a few Caste Hindu Spokesmen, local as well as outsiders, made speeches justifying the rights of the Depressed Classes and promised their full support. On the first day night, after taking the sense of the Leaders of upper classes who attended the conference, decided to go the Chowdar Tank to establish their right to take water. Accordingly, the delegates began to march peacefully in a body to the Chowdar Tank to assert their right of taking water from the tank from which the Muslims and Christians took water along with the so-called touchable Hindus, but from which the untouchable Hindus, who worshipped the Hindu Gods, stuck to the same Hindu religion through ages past were not allowed to take even a drop of water. A virile and aggressive Champion of Social revolution, Babasaheb was marching with an army of 10,000 People to attack all the so-called venerable accepted customs.
Thus, led for the first time in their history by a Great Leader of their own, the untouchables were marching to vindicate their rights. They all displayed discipline, energy and enthusiasm. The march wended its way through the streets of Mahad and terminated at the Chowdar Tank.
Our Saviour, Mook Nayak, Babasaheb Dr B R Ambedkar took water from the Tank and drank it. The vast multitude of men followed suit and vindicated their right. The processionists then returned peacefully to the conference pandal.
Two hours after this event, some evil minded Caste Hindus raised a false rumour that the untouchables were also planning to enter the Temple of their Veereshwar. At this a large crowd of riff-raff armed with bamboo sticks collected at street corners. All orthodox Mahad was up in arms and the whole town at once became a surging mass of rowdies. They said that their religion was in danger, and strangely enough they clamoured that their God too was in danger of being polluted. The Caste Hindus dashed into the Pandal of the Depressed Classes conference. Majority of the delegates were at that time scattered in small groups in the city. The rowdies pounced upon the delegates in the pandal, knocked down their food in the dust, pounded the utensils, and belaboured some before they knew what had happened. The rowdies then began patrolling the main streets and assaulting members of the Depressed Classes who were in stray batches on the way to their villages. This news of the brutal attack on the delegates spread like wildfire. However hundreds of men impatiently awaiting his orders. But Babasaheb appealed for peace and discipline.
After this Brutal attack on Depressed members, the orthodox and reactionary Hindus called a meeting at the Temple of Veereshwar to consider the question of the purification of the tank. They had a remedy for purifying and damned and polluted earthly thing. To them a mixture of cow-dung, cow-urine, curd and water was the potent remedy for all manner of pollution. Accordingly water in 108 earthen pots was taken out from the tank. These pots full of curd, cow-dung, cow-urine, and milk were dipped in the tank in the midst of air rending mantras uttered by Brahmin priests, the eclact. It was then declared that water was purified for the use of the Caste Hindus.
The News of the so-called purification of the Chowdar Tank lacerated the hearts of Depressed Classes, and so deep was the wound on Ambedkar’s heart that he grew indignant and decided to launch a massive strong Satyagraha Struggle for the vindication of our people’s rights.
Accordingly it was announced by the committee formed for that purpose and declared Dec 25 and 26, 1927 as the dates for offering the Satyagraha.
Meeting of the Mahad Caste Hindus against Satyagraha
The day of the proposed conference and the Satyagraha at Mahad was drawing near. Mahad began to stir again. The opponents of the struggle held a meeting on Nov 27, at the Veereshwar Temple to formulate a plan to flout the attempts of Babasaheb and the Depressed Classes to take water from the Chowdar Tank. But owing to the pressure of the sympathisers of the Depressed Classes the meeting ended in pandemonium. Some Hindu leaders tried to dissuade the Caste Hindus from the struggle, but to no purpose.
Court Stay Order against Meeting, Satyagraha and for taking Water from Chowdar Tank
The District Magistrate visited Mahad on Dec 7, and the Leaders of both sides discussed the question with him. He asked the Caste Hindus to have recourse to law and refused to issue an order prohibiting the untouchables from taking water from the Chowdar Tank.
The Leaders of the orthodox section, therefore, on Dec 12, filed a suit against Babasaheb and other Local Frontline Depressed Classes Leaders in the City Civil Court at Mahad for a Temporary Injunction. The court issued a Temporary Injunction on Dec 14, against Babasaheb and others pending the decision of the suit. Accordingly notices were served on Babasaheb and other Local Depressed Classes Leaders prohibiting them from going to the Chowdar Tank or from taking Water from the Tank until further orders.
Hurdles and Sabotages Created by Caste Hindus
Pressure of an unimaginary kind was put by Caste Hindus headed by orthodox Brahmins to somehow about the protest. This included tightening access to any public ground for the proposed meeting. Finally, a Local Muslim gentleman gave his own private land for the protest extending solidarity with the struggle. As the local merchants refused to have any dealings with the mass connected with the conference, arrangements for food, water and other supplies had to be made meticulously by the organisers facing a revolt in the village. Enormous hurdles and all kinds of sabotage including stoppage of road transport were created by Caste Hindus to prevent Babasaheb and Delegates. This was a well planned strategy. But our Saviour Babasaheb came from Bombay by Boat to the nearest port Dasgaon, 5 miles off Mahad on Dec 25 noon instead of road journey, with a batch of 200 Delegates and Leaders. There he was received by an army of 3000 Satyagrahis with tumultuous applause.
Meeting with District Magistrate and Bold Decision by Babasaheb
After reception over, the Police Superintendent of Mahad handed over a letter from the District Magistrate to Babasaheb, requesting him to see the Dist Magistrate at his Mahad office without loss of time. Babasaheb, with one of his Lieutenants Sahasrabudhe, met District Magistrate. The District Magistrate pressed for the postponement of the struggle, but our Babasaheb dit not accept. Ultimately, it was agreed that he should be given an opportunity to address the conference.
Enthusiastic Fiery Speech of Babasaheb
After Meeting with the District Magistrate, the conference commenced its proceedings in the evening hours. Babasaheb rose to address the conference amidst deafening cheers, shouts and slogans. A majority of them had no clothes to their backs. Their old turbans were torn. Their chins were unshaven: but their sunburnt faces shone with a peculiar enthusiasm and hope. The vast audience calmed down, and Babasaheb began his speech in a low, dignified but forceful voice. He said, ” At the outset let me tell those who oppose us that we did not perish because we couldn’t drink water from this Chowdar Tank. We now want to go to the tank only to prove that, like others, we are also human beings.” He added, ” Removal of untouchability and Inter Caste marriage alone will not put an end to our ills. All Departments of services such as courts, military, police and commerce should be thrown open to us.” Concluding his speech he said ” Hindu society should be re-organised on two main principles – equality and absence of casteism.”
Attack on Hindu Scriptures
The conference repudiated the authorities of all the ancient and modern Hindu scriptures that teemed with the doctrines of Social Inequality, and reiterated its opposition to applying these Scriptures to the present social order.
Babasaheb felt that Manusmriti was a Charter of rights for the so-called Orthodox Caste Hindus, but a Bible of Slavery for Untouchables. So he gave a call to publicly burn copies of the book. In his speech, he made bitter attack on the Hindu reactionaries.
After his historic speech, the conference declared that the Manusmriti which directed molten lead to be poured into the ears of such shudras as would hear or read the Vedas, and which decried the shudras, stunted their growth, impaired their self-respect, and perpetuated their social, economic, religious and political slavery, be publicly burnt.
Resolution to Burn Manusmriti
The resolution to burn Manusmriti was moved by Babasaheb’s Brahmin Associate Shri Sahasrabudhe and seconded by Shri Rajabhoj, one of the Leader of untouchables.
In this resolution blazing speeches were made by Sahasrabudhe and Rajbhoj. Sahasrabudhe, the mover of the foregoing resolution on the Manusmriti condemning the holy Scripture outright, said that It was a Symbol of Inequality, Cruelty and Injustice. It was a furious onslaught on the scriptures. The wrath of the conference didn’t stop at verbal condemning.
At Nine ‘o’clock that night, in front of the pandal where Babasaheb made his soul-string address, the pyre was created and Manusmriti was placed on it, in a specially dug pit, and was ceremoniesly burnt at the hands of Sahasrabudhe, the Brahmin Associate of Babasaheb and untouchable hermits.
Beforehand to burn the book Manusmriti, on its four corners, poles were erected, bearing on three sides with the following words :
1) Manusmriti Chi
2) Destroy Untouchability
3) Burry Brahminasm.
This explosive deed rocked all the Charlatans, Pandits, Acharyas and Shankaracharyas in India. The Mahad struggle had a far-reaching effect upon the untouchables and it gave a rude shock to the orthodox section of the Hindus. The Mahad proved that Babasaheb was a statesman as well as savant, a man of study as well as a man of action.
Dec 25, 1927, is therefore a Golden Letter day in the annals of India as it was on this day that Babasaheb Burnt the old Smritis and demanded the life of so vast a people.
Of late, the Orthodox Communal Religious fanatics are started to voice the symbol of Inequality Manusmriti again by using their political power and seriously trying to abolish the identity of Equality the Constitution of India drafted by our Saviour Babasaheb Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar, to put an end to Reservation, Communal harmony, Secularism, Women rights and Social Justice, in toto.
We, the Leaders, Office Bearers and Members of SEWA, Should Stand and Fight against Manusmriti which is the sole reason for discrimination and Inequality of Indian Nation.