In the 26th Justice Sunanda Bhandare Memorial Lecture held on April 16th, Justice Rohinton Nariman, son of senior advocate Fali Nariman, gave a lecture on “Great Women of History” in which he made some unsavoury comments on the attitude towards women in the Rig Veda.

The Bar & Bench which covered the event live had stated, Justice Rohinton commenced his address by tracing Bible and Rig Veda’s attitude towards women.

Justice Rohinton reportedly said, “Rig Veda says do not make lasting friendship with women because she would be like hyena.”

This comment of Justice Rohinton on Rig Veda hurt cultural and religious sentiments of many Hindus and several netizens expressed their displeasure on social media platforms.

The Opindia has reported that, Swami Vigyananand, founder of the World Hindu Foundation, expressed his outrage on the aforementioned comments of Justice Nariman on Rig Veda.

Swami Vigyananand reportedly said, ” I am wounded and outraged at Justice Rohinton Nariman’s disparaging and incorrect comments on Rig Veda…. As a Panini grammar, Vedang, Eastern Philosophy, Brahmana and Vedic Samhita scholar, I wish to bring to Justice Nariman’s notice that Vedas are not the scriptures to be translated literally.”

He further stated, “I believe you are not qualified to interpret Vedas and ancient Hindu scriptures. Therefore, you must resist from making any commentary on Hindu scriptures and Vedas based on your reading of secondary sources. Moreover, you hold a responsible position in judiciary. You must behave responsibly in speaking about issues concerning the great Dharma and Bharat’s civilizational heritage.”

Swami Vigyananand further requested Rohinton to retract his comments by stating, “Finally, I request you to take back your incorrect interpretation of Rigveda through your lecture. If you have any doubts about interpretation of Vedas, I invite you for an open debate on any platform. I hope you shall amend at the earliest the hurt and outrage caused to 1.2 billion followers of the faith by your mischievous comments on Rig Veda”.

Visibly, Rohinton’s knowledge of Rig Veda and the importance it attaches to women is completely erroneous and seems to be based on reading one of the mischievous translations and interpretations of the Veda by people inimical to Hinduism.

It is quite likely that he bases his knowledge on the Vedas on any of the distorted writings of DN Jha or Romila Thapar or their likes who write trash about Hinduism having no knowledge of classical languages like Sanskrit, Pali or Brahmi in which the ancient scriptures were written.

Notably, Justice Rohinton in his aforementioned speech later went on to praise two women who according to him are epitome of women with valour and freedom of thought assuming powerful positions as independent rulers, they are according to him Cleopatra and Razia Sultan who were done in by jealous men and patriarchal society.

Justice Rohinton couldn’t think of other more successful and valourous Hindu women who fought against all odds to battle the marauding Islamist invaders and colonial British/ Portuguese army like Rani Durgavati, Rani Laxmibai, Rani Chennamma, Rani Abbakka Chowta etc. Neither could Justice Nariman see the great Rani Ahilyabai Holkar who was an exemplary ruler of Indore for 30 years, while she personally led the army in battles to ward away invaders, she also was a great institution builder and promoter of arts and culture.

On August 18, 2018, as reported in an news article by News 18, Justice Nariman had lamented, while hearing a case on caste-based reservations, that even his religion has been “Hinduised”. He reportedly said, “Even my religion has been Hinduised”.

Pertinently, Justice Nariman, being born in a Parsi priest family and a trained practicing priest is said to be a Parsi priest by heart and a Judge only by profession.

His comments on the Rig Veda should be seen in the light of his utmost hands off approach and derision to even examine the controversial verses of Quran with respect to non-Muslims when he dismissed summarily a petition with a punitive fine of Rs.50,000 Waseem Rizvi’s plea for deletion of the Quranic verses.

He has also earlier formed a constitution bench to examine the meaning and interpretation of Sanskrit shloka, “Astoma Sadagamaya” which is recited as prayer in Kendriya Vidyalaya Schools to check whether it is a ‘communal Hindu’ prayer!

It seems that certain faiths are very sacrosanct and not open to question even when they call for the death of non-believers, while scriptures and treatises on Hinduism can be open to any kind of twisted interpretation!

Ironically, the very fact that anybody can get away with all kinds of Hinduphobic interpretations of Hindu scriptures, displays the cultured tolerance and freedom of thought inbuilt within the great Sanatan Dharma followers as they only challenge the ignorant for a debate rather than fanatic barbaric call for beheadings in the name of faith unlike followers of certain other faiths.



News Input: Opindia, Bar & Bench

Image sourced from internet

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