On the eve of the birthday of the towering Indian scholar and undisputed Dalit leader, South Asian activists gathered in Surrey to light the pyre of a racist text that sanctions the brutal case system.
Manusmriti is an orthodox Hindu doctrine that divides society in four caste groups, and discriminates against the so called untouchables or Dalits.
Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, who later joined Buddhism and rejected Hinduism because of caste-based oppression, had mobilised his supporters to burn this controversial book back in 1927.
On the eve of his birth anniversary on April 14, members of the newly founded Anti-Manuwaad Front (AMF) re-enacted that historic event at Holland Park in Surrey.
Not only were copies of the script burnt, the participants also raised slogans denouncing the caste system.
AMF was formally launched in Surrey on April 1, the first day of Dalit History Month.
The launching was held in the presence of visiting Seattle City Councillor Kshama Sawant, who was instrumental behind the ordinance against caste-based discrimination. Sawnat and her supporters in Metro Vancouver have now started a petition asking for a similar law in BC.
April 13, Ambedkar’s birth anniversary, was purposely chosen to kick start its upcoming activities by burning the copies of Manusmriti. The event coincided with the birth anniversary of the Khalsa, an army raised by the tenth master of the Sikhs Guru Gobind Singh ji to end the caste system.
Those who addressed the gathering included the cofounders of AMF Gurvinder Singh Dhaliwal and Gurpreet Singh, besides well-known Ambedkarites Kamlesh Ahir and Rashpal Bhardhawaj.
The speakers unanimously called for removal of statues of the writer of Manusmriti in India, and abolition of the caste system. They urged the people to organize and agitate like Ambedkar against those who still follow his hateful ideology, and yet continue to govern the country in the name of Hindu nationalism under the garb of secularism and democracy. They also warned the participants against the ongoing repression of women, Dalits and other minorities in India by the ruling Manuwaadis.