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Friday, September 30, 2022

Dear JNU VC, leave our Bhagwan & Dharma out of your caste-obsessed conjectures

Giving a casteist spin to everything about Hindu Dharma has become the norm among Hindu haters, self-serving politicians and even ill-informed, approval-seeking Hindus. JNU VC (Vice Chancellor) Santishree Dhulipudi Pandit has gone too far by bringing up the ‘caste’ of Bhagwan Shiva.

She was speaking on Monday at the Dr BR Ambedkar Lecture Series titled Dr BR Ambedkar’s Thoughts on Gender Justice: Decoding the Uniform Civil Code organised by the Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment where she remarked that “anthropologically” gods do not belong to the upper caste and that even Bhagwan Shiva “could be from a scheduled caste or tribe”.

What did JNU VC say?

Quoting her, a report by Outlook India says:

“Let me tell all women that all women according to Manusmriti are Shudras so no woman can claim she is a brahmin or anything else and it is only by marriage that you get the husband or father’s caste on you. I think this is something which is extraordinarily regressive.

Most of you should know the origins of our gods anthropologically. No god is a brahmin, the highest is a Kshatriya. Lord Shiva must be a scheduled caste or a scheduled tribe because he sits in a cemetery with a snake and has very little clothes to wear. I don’t think Brahmins can sit in the cemetery.

She also said that “anthropologically” Gods, including Lakshmi, Shakti, or even Jagannath do not come from the upper caste. In fact, she said, Jagannath has tribal origins.

Hinduism is not a religion, it is a way of life and if it is the way of life then why are we scared of criticism? Gautam Buddha was one of the first to wake us up to the discrimination which is embedded, and structured in our society.”

Hindu Devis & Devatas have no caste

Theories peddled by the VC have no base in Dharma. How can Bhagwan Shiv belong to any class when He is ajanma (one who hasn’t taken birth) and Swayambhu? Boxing Hindu Devis and Devatas into classes is uncalled for. Such statements reek of a lack of knowledge of Dharma or could possibly be a deliberate ploy to spread misinformation. A human construct like Anthropology cannot and should not be superimposed on our deities.

Manusmriti is the favourite punching bag of ‘social justice warriors’ including neo-Buddhists. The discourse around Manusmriti, a historical scripture which primarily addresses the duties and virtues expected from the ruling and priestly class, has been mangled beyond recognition as we have analyzed in depth in a previous article.

We don’t know which verse of the Manusmriti the JNU VC is referring to when she says “all women according to Manusmriti are Shudras….it is only by marriage that you get the husband or father’s caste on you”, but this statement fails a basic logic test. As it is a biological necessity for all humans, male or female, to have a father, how can a woman not get the father’s varna (‘caste’) just like the son does?

What we do know is that the Manusmriti verses 3.55-3.56 declare that “women must be honored and adorned”, and “where women are revered, there the gods rejoice; but where they are not, no sacred rite bears any fruit.” Another thing we know is that the renowned European philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche deemed Manusmriti “an incomparably spiritual and superior work” to the Bible.

Also, contrary to the derogatory connotation attached to the word ‘Shudra’ in modern times, Shudras were respected and an integral part of ancient society consisting of artisans, sculptors, farmers etc. In fact, Shudras had far less restrictions on diet and lifestyle than austerities expected from Brahmins. But today, the focus is on the things they were ‘denied’, not the additional liberties they enjoyed compared to other sections.

Finally, its important to remember that Manusmriti is a historical scripture that is not followed or even discussed by most Hindus today. But that does not mean we should disown it, or give in to the falsehoods and intimidation of the anti-Hindu brigade. As the first-ever legal text, Manusmriti was way ahead of its times and marks an important milestone of our civilization.

In conclusion, neither Dharma nor our deities are tools of modern-day notions of ‘social justice’ and ‘social engineering’. The VC of a university making ill-informed statements only adds to the misinformation. One hopes that Smt. Santishree Dhulipudi Pandit will do an immediate course correction and avoid the slippery slope of trying to ingratiate herself with JNU’s left-liberal cabal. There is no end to their depravity and Hindu hate.

(Featured Image Source: Zee Business)

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