The Social System In Manusmriti

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The continuation of age-old social institution or caste system in India is profoundly engrained in the mindset of the Hindu upper class in our society. This system is based on social classification. Despite several attempts at social and political levels, we could not have rejected those social perceptions and attitudes towards ‘untouchables’ defined by caste based social system even after independence from British rule. Question arises, why is it so? What are the responsible factors for it? One of the important liable factor for it is that it has been vindicated and validated by Hindu sacred texts. In this direction, Manusmriti is one of the important ancient text which acknowledged caste based distinction. “The Manusmriti” has structured…show more content…
It paved the way for socio-economic and political segregation, fragmentation and detestation for those whom Manu has categorized socially as untouchables or ‘Shudras’. For instance according to Manusmriti, “Let (the first part of) a Brahmana's name (denote something) auspicious, a Kshatriya's be connected with power, and a Vaisya's with wealth, but a Sudra's (express something) contemptible” and “No collection of wealth must be made by a Sudra, even though he be able (to do it); for a Sudra who has acquired wealth, gives pain to Brahmanas”. It constructed mythological conception and the social perception and the attitude towards untouchables which aggrevated their social humiliation, economic exploitation and marginalization for the ages. In other terms, it is also true that before advent of British rule in India, Manu had divided Indian society by creating a gulf based on caste system and by thus, categorization of social masses. To say that it was the beginning point of the divide and rule in India. Hence, it would be correct to assert that Britishers by interpreting ancient Indian religious texts framed their administrative policies to control over Indian masses and Manusmriti was one of the primary source of their policy of divide and rule. A number of researches in India has pointed out…show more content…
Not only this, for the same crime Manusmriti has discriminatory penal codes for Sudras. According to Manusmriti, “A once-born man ‘a Sudra’, who humiliates a twice-born man with gross invective, shall have his tongue cut out; he is of low origin”. It is evident that to what extent a Sudra could have been punished just for verbal humiliation. In the similar manner, “Stealing grain, base metals, or cattle, intercourse with women who drink spirituous liquor, slaying women, Sudras, Vaisyas, or Kshatriyas, and atheism, are all minor offences, leading loss of caste (Upapataka).” It suggests murder of women, Sudras, Vaishyas, Kshatriya etc. lead only either loss of caste or degradation in caste hierarchy. It demonstrates inherent socially ranked hierarchy pertaining socio-economic and political conducts an individual has to follow in his life involved in religion reffered in Manusmriti. Brahmin should not be killed since he is ranked supreme in social hierarchy and among the living beings. However, Brahmin can kill to others and would merely lose his caste rank. Kshatriya, ranked second in social hierarchy could kill anyone beside Brahmin. Apart from it, Manusmriti suggests, A Kshatriya, having defamed a Brahmana, shall be fined one hundred (panas); a Vaisya one hundred and fifty or two hundred; a Sudra shall suffer corporal
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