As an Ex-Christian Aldrin Deepak was attracted to the deeply liberal and caring values of the Hindus that he met during his childhood. As a teenager, he went to temples to preach the message of Christ around the temples and yet met with the Hindu Pandits who would just take time to explain their point of view about idol worship. No one was rude to him about his proselytizing around the temple. Meeting his Hindu relatives later in life completely convinced him to move towards Hindu Dharma.
Today Aldrin is more Dharmik than most Hindus who were born into the Dharma. As an avid reader of Dharmik texts, Aldrin was deeply disturbed by the trend in the US to malign the Manusmriti which he has read and which he found to be more liberal than the Bible in its values and how it deals with women, marital issues, and LGBTQ issues.
Manusmriti is one of the texts of Hindu Dharma which is most discussed but least read by Hindus. So of the thousands of lofty Hindu texts, how did the Manusmriti become one of the most discussed and cited texts among neo-Ambedkarites, Indologists, and dominant discourses on Hinduism?
Even as the colonizers tried to pigeonhole and malign Hindu Dharma using a few verses from the Manusmriti and the Gentoo Laws, they sought inspiration from the Gita, the Vedas, and the Upanishads for their renaissance and enlightenment movements.
The impacts of such machinations and manipulations continue to be felt by the global Hindu community even today, whether through textbooks, media, or policy-making efforts. The Colonial Imposition of Caste, Dalit, and misguided translation of Manusmriti into Gentoo Laws came along with British rule in India. These were never part of Hindu Dharma. Yet these tropes are hurled like insults at every Hindu and Hindus are made to feel that Caste and Dalit are embedded into Hindu Dharma and that Manusmriti is oppressive.
Nothing can be further from the truth because Manusmriti resembles other Dharmik texts in its loftiness and inclusiveness, its diversity, and liberal and humanitarian values.
Manusmriti holds women in the highest esteem and equal to men in every way. Additionally, it treats homosexuality, divorce, different kinds of marriages including love marriages as par for the course.
Hindus need to effectively counter the false and vicious narratives of the leftist movement and Hinduphobic forces that will stop at nothing to destroy the reputation of Hindu society and Hinduism, tagging it with labels of being inherently oppressive and backward.
A straw poll of 1000 people conducted by Shri Sanjay Dixit an ex-bureaucrat turned media owner and author revealed that Hanuman Chalisa, Ramayan, and Gita were found in over 95% of the homes while Manusmriti was found in less than 1% (4 only) of the homes. Those four were Dalit households.
The narrative on Manusmriti runs deep and Manusmriti burning has become a way of not just insulting Hinduism but also falsely declaring it inherently oppressive. Discussions on Manusmriti are important for all Hindus and awareness of its content is relevant to all of us in the face of such falsehoods.
Even though Manusmriti remains the least read text among Hindus, the neo Ambedkarites and so-called Dalit Christians are using the narrative to convert more and more people into Christianity.
Reputable surveys like Carnegie Endowment and Pew Research have shown Caste consciousness is low and Caste discrimination negligible in the Hindu Diaspora and in Indian Hindus. So this targeted attack on Hindus and conflating caste with Hindus has to stop.
It is time to take back our narrative on our sacred texts and show the mirror to folks calling us out using fake manufactured tropes of falsified translations and colonial impositions like Dalit and Caste.
The bottom line remains that Manusmriti is not the legal reference guide for our civilization at this time and it remains very unfair that some converts into Christianity call themselves Dalit Christians and then spread distasteful lies about and even if it were, it is clearly less oppressive than the Bible and more liberal than texts of any other religion.
For more please watch our discussion with Mr. Aldrin Deepak who as an ex-Christian and follower of Hinduism and student of Hindu texts explains the above in great detail in his talk on Manusmriti and women’s marriage and homosexuality.
Here is the link to the video recording of the presentation on Manusmriti on Women Marriage and LGBTQ
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