Delhi High Court Judge Says Controversial Scripture Manusmriti That Scholars, Activists Have Decried As Casteist, Sexist
Delhi High Court Judge Prathiba M. Singh praised the controversial Hindu scripture Manusmriti, which Indian scholars and activists have labeled as sexist and casteist.
At an event, Singh was asked to comment on the challenges faced by women in STEM in India. Instead, she remarked that “[Hindu] scriptures have always given a very respectable position for women,” including the Manusmriti. She also encouraged women to live in joint families and “never seek sympathy.”
Women’s rights activist Kavita Krishan, Secretary of the All India Progressive Women’s Association (AIPWA), took to Twitter to slam Singh’s comments.
“What the Manusmriti calls ‘reverence’ or ‘worship’ of women is actually control of women – all to maintain caste apartheid,” Krishan wrote. “For a judge to call all this ‘respect’ is worse than absurd – it is downright scary that the rights of women in India lie at the mercy of judges like Pratibha Singh.”
Krishan also quoted excerpts from the Manusmriti that have been deemed controversial, including, “It is the very nature of women to corrupt men here on earth… A girl, a young woman, or even an old woman should not do anything independently, even in (her own) house.”
The Manusmriti also ordains that a man of a “subordinate” caste who enters a relationship with a woman of a higher caste should be put to death, and includes other references to casteism. Meena Kandasamy, a prominent Dalit rights activist, has written that the scripture “forms the basis of the caste system and the basis for the deplorable treatment of women within Indian society.”
Singh’s rhetoric echoes that of the paramilitary Hindu supremacist group Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), which is the ideological parent of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Soon after India’s constitution was passed in 1949, the RSS had notoriously called for the constitution to be replaced with the Manusmriti.
Hindu Extremists Demand Boycott Against Aamir Khan Bollywood Film, Claim Khan Is Against Hinduism
Hindu extremists have demanded a boycott against a new Bollywood adaptation of the 1994 film “Forrest Gump,” claiming that the Muslim lead actor, renowned Bollywood star and director Aamir Khan, has insulted Hindu deities.
The Hindu extremist group Sanatan Rakshak Sena staged a protest demanding that the film, titled “Laal Singh Chaddha,” be banned in Uttar Pradesh state.
Two leaders from the group, Chandra Prakash Singh and Arun Pandey, alleged that Aamir Khan is “against” Hinduism.
“[We] will not allow his films to run in our country,” they said. “We will go from door-to-door and request people to boycott Aamir Khan’s films. At the same time, we also request Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to ban the film.”
Despite previously being one of Bollywood’s most celebrated actors and directors, Khan has become the target of Hindu extremist harassment due to his Muslim identity. In 2015, Khan was lambasted by Hindu extremists for expressing alarm at India’s growing intolerance, costing him a brand deal and forcing him to refrain from being critical of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Hindu Extremists Pelt Stones At Muslim Procession In Uttar Pradesh, Several Injured
Hindu extremists pelted stones at a Muslim procession marking the Islamic month of Muharram in Uttar Pradesh state, causing six people to be injured in the ensuing clash between the groups.
The extremists complained that the Muslims had used a DJ in their procession. However, it has become the norm in India for Hindu extremist processions to blast songs that use anti-Muslim slurs and call for violence against minorities.
There are no reports that the Muslim procession had played music that was offensive to Hindus.
By contrast, Hindu supremacist processions that openly incite violence against minorities have been defended by Hindus across India. In April 2022, armed Hindu extremist mobs celebrated the Hindu festival Ram Navami by taking out processions through Muslim areas, blasting Islamophobic songs using DJs, chanting Hindu religious slogans, attacking mosques, shrines, Muslim families, homes and their businesses.
BJP Leader Threatens Muslim Comedian Munawar Faruqui Over False Claims Of Insulting Hindu Sentiments
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Raja Singh made an open threat against well-known Muslim comedian Munawar Faruqui, who has been the target of a relentless hate campaign by Hindu extremists over the false claim that Faruqui disrespected Hindu deities. Singh implied possible harm against Faruqui for planning to host a show in Telangana state’s Hyderabad city, threatening to use “the power of the Hindu community” to “teach [Faruqui] a lesson.”
“We have received the information that the horrible comedian Munawar Faruqui is yet to perform in Hyderabad… Wherever you organize it, we will stop it and teach Munawar Faruqui a lesson,” Singh said.
“We will show him the result of abusing our Lord Ram and Sita. We will show him the power of Hindus in Hyderabad and Telangana,” he added.
Faruqui has been the target of Hindu extremist harassment for over a year. In January 2021, he was jailed in Madhya Pradesh state for a joke he never made after Hindu extremists claimed that he had insulted Hindu gods. Despite being released from prison, Faruqui continues to face harassment, including death threats, forcing him to cancel several shows over concerns of violence from Hindu extremists. He has been forced to cancel a number of shows, including in Hyderabad, due to these threats.