A large number of people can be seen in the recent times who are trying their best to denigrate Vedas, ancient scriptures of rishis(sages) and Hinduism. This blog space is the contribution in refuting the false claims with the help of collection of articles and books written by scholars. http://www.agniveer.com is the major source for this collection. But, it is also tried to use other sources as well.
In this brief article, we shall review the second popular allegation on Maharshi Manu – that he legalized harsh punishments for Shudras and special penal provisions for upper-castes and especially Brahmins.
As we have reviewed in previous article http://agniveer.com/3308/manu-smriti-and-shudras, around 1471 out of 2685 shlokas have been proven to be later adulterations.
Thus all those shlokas that recommend special provisions for upper-castes and harsher punishments for Shudras are part of these bogus adulterations that are very easily identifiable.
If we review the original Manu Smriti, that is based on Vedas, the situation is completely opposite. As per Manu, penal system takes into account the education, social influence, designation, nature of crime and impact of crime while recommending punishments.
Manu offers greater respect and status to Brahmins – the educated ones. Dwijas or twice born or those who completed their education are provided heightened standing in society so far they conduct noble deeds. But when it comes to crimes, they also have to face more severe punishments. With greater potentials, come greater responsibilities and stricter punishments when one fails to fulfill those responsibilities.
(Here, I would like to emphasize once again that Brahmin or Dwija has nothing to do with birth. Its all about education.)
If such a penal code be adopted in our nation, bulk of the crimes and corruptions would cease to exist and politics will become a field where any Tom, Dick or Harry does not dare to enter and pollute like it is happening today.
For a more detailed coverage, please refer Chapter 6 of Satyarth Prakash or Light of Truth by Swami Dayanand Saraswati which is available at http://agniveer.com/2037/satyarth-prakash/ and http://agniveer.com/2092/light-of-truth/
Also review Chapter 8,9 and 10 of Manu Smriti edited by Dr Surendra Kumar (Aarsh Sahitya Prachar Trust, Delhi)
We reproduce a few shlokas that are relevant in the current discussion. 8.335: Be it the father, mother, teacher, friend, wife, son or priest, one who conducts a crime is punishable by the ruler. 8.336: When the punishment for an ordinary citizen is 1 cent, the punishment for those in ruling class should be 1000 cents. In other words, the punishment for those in legislation, executive or judiciary should be 1000 times that for ordinary citizens. The concept of immunity to MPs and Judges from impeachment and legal framework is shamelessly against Manu Smriti.
Swami Dayanand adds here – Even a peon in any department of government should have a punishment that is 8 times that for ordinary citizens. And all other office bearers should have a punishment proportionate to their designation till it is 1000 times for the topmost designation. Because unless government officials have a punishment that is significantly harsher compared to ordinary citizens, the government would destroy the public. Just as taming a lion demands harsher control and a goat much lesser control, similarly to ensure safety of public, government officials should have extremely harsh punishments.
Deviation from this penal code is the root cause of all these corruption stories. Unless this is rectified, all other efforts to transform the nation would fall flat. 8.337-338: If one conducts a theft willingly and in full senses knowing the implications, he should be penalized 8 times that of ordinary thief if he is a Shudra. The penalty should be 16 times if he is a Vaishya, 32 times if he is a Kshatriya and 64 times if he is a Brahmin. The punishment can be even 100 times or 128 times if he is a Brahmin. In other words, the punishment should be directly proportional to knowledge and social status of the criminal.
Thus contrary to popular perceptions, when it comes to punishments, Manu Smriti is most lenient on Shudras because of their lack of education, significantly harsher on Brahmins and harshest on the government officials. In current context, the Prime Minister, Chief Minister, Chief Justice, Leaders of National Political Parties deserve harshest punishments if they do something wrong. The Ministers, MPs, MLAs, Governors, Judges come the next. Then comes the turn of Bureaucrats and Government Officials. And even a peon of a Government Department deserves much harsher punishment compared to ordinary citizens.
Among ordinary citizens, the educated class and those with influential social status who neglect their duties deserve harsher punishments.
As we said, with greater responsibilities come greater punishments. This is the real penal system of Manu Smriti.
And if so-called birth based Brahmins indeed want to claim supremacy over so-called birth-based Shudras, then they should also be ready to accept stricter punishments for themselves. Most birth-based Brahmins do not know about Vedas. Now Manu says that those Brahmins who put efforts in other areas except Vedas are Shudras. Refer 2.168. This is insult to Brahmins. As per fake verses of Manu Smriti, the minimal repentance for harming a Brahmin even verbally is to remain hungry for a day (11.204 as per fake Manu Smriti). Thus, those who claim birth-right to Brahminism based on fake verses of Manu Smriti should remain hungry for at least 64 days continuously unless they are masters of Vedas and completely free of any vices including harsh language! (Punishment for Brahmins is 64 – 128 times that of ordinary mortals).
You cannot have "Heads I win and Tails you lose". Either be logical and honest, follow the real Manu Smriti and reject birth-based caste-system totally OR be prepared for a minimum of 64 days hunger strike until you master Vedas. And then continue the strike for another 64 days if you still do not master Vedas in 64 days! The bottomline is that birth-based caste system does not even vaguely fit in Manu's scheme of society. Those who support it or recommend special treatment of birth-based Brahmins in matters of punishments are shamelessly against Manu, Vedas and humanity in general. And as per Manu, such persons who cause harm to society deserve extremely severe punishments.
The notion of Shudras deserving harsher punishments is simply a hoax. May we all adopt the penal system proposed by Manu Smriti to save the nation from claws of corrupt politicians, judiciary and other pseudo-intellectuals.
Manusmriti 7.17-20: A powerful and rational penal system (Dand) is the true ruler. Dand is the propagator of Justice. Dand is the discipliner. Dand is the administrator. Dand alone protects the 4 Varnas and 4 Phases of life. Dand protects the public and Dand keeps the nation awakened. That is why wise people proclaim that Dand is the Dharma. When Dand is used with wisdom and responsibility, it brings prosperity and bliss among public. And when Dand is used recklessly, it destroys the ruler. It seems that time has come that the corrupt leaders and officials are destroyed because they have misused the Dand a bit too much! Its also time that we use Dand to punish those who support birth-based discrimination in any manner. This alone can save society, nation and humanity. There is no other way!
References: Works of Dr Surendra Kumar, Pt Gangaprasad Updhyaya, and Swami Dayanand Saraswati.