MANUSMRITI IN MODERN ERA
TOK Topics: Indigenous Knowledge systems , Faith , Emotion , Human Sciences/Society & Culture
Case Description: Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s (RSS) cultural affiliate plans to bring out a sanitised version of Manusmriti without the harsh references to women and lowest caste groups in India. Manusmriti , dates back to 200 B.C., is a set of rules , advocating the exploitative and hierarchical caste structure of Indian society. Although the organisation’s effort is to remove some of the rules of conduct that offend women and Dalits(lowest caste groups) with the modern-day notions of gender equality and discrimination against the marginalised sections of society, the move has been doubted by historians and experts.
TOK LINK: The experts feel that the set of rules and codes , even in sanitised form , is not relevant and not applicable in any modern form to the indian society. Even in its reworked form , the ancient rule book goes against the principles of equality enshrined in the Indian constitution.Dr B R Ambedkar , the Dalit leader , publicly set fire to the original text in December 1927 and more recently the same was kept on by protesting student groups .
To what extent should we depend on ancient texts for knowledge acquisition?
How far is indigenous knowledge relevant to our modern existence?