Tuesday, October 08, 2002

VHP to distance itself from `Manusmrithi'

THRISSUR OCT. 7. The Viswa Hindu Parishad (VHP) seems to have embarked on a mission to distance the Sangh Parivar from `Manusmrithi', a Hindu religious code being used for ages to sanctify the caste system, in an apparent bid to change the image of the parivar as an upper caste formation.

Addressing a `Meet-the-Press' programme organised by the Thrissur Press Club today, the VHP international general secretary, Pravin Togadia, said there is no need for following the `Manusmrithi' in the present context. The purpose of the mission is to bring in unity in the Hindu religion and to fight against `external aggressions' against it. `Dharm Sansad', a congregation of Hindu religious leaders, has already made it clear that there is no need for following the `Manusmrithi', which is only one among the various `smrithis' (religious code) of Hinduism.

He argued that in Hinduism no `smrithi' is final as it is an evolving and multi-centric religion. So there is no harm in not following a particular smrithi.

The VHP leader welcomed the Supreme Court decision permitting non-Brahmins to become temple pujaris. He said the VHP by itself would encourage non-Brahmins to become pujaris. Under its single-teacher education programme, the VHP focuses on people from the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.

He alleged that all `madrasas' in the country are teaching the concepts of `jihad' and hatred against non-Muslim religions. They should either be banned or asked to stop teaching it. According to him, during an Israel-Egypt pact, Egypt had agreed to stop teaching the concept of jihad in its schools. Similarly, India should ban teaching jehad in the madrasas in the country.

Asked whether he would launch a similar campaign against controversial texts like the `Manusmrithi', Mr. Togadia said the Sadhus of Hindu religion have already spoken against the Manusmrithi, so there is no need for any campaign against it.

Source: The Hindu, October 08, 2002


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