Row erupts over Banaras Hindu University’s new project, “Applicability of Manusmriti in Indian Society”

Banaras Hindu University in Uttar Pradesh has come under fire over a university sponsored project titled “Applicability of Manusmriti in Indian Society.”

Manusmriti, a Hindu text with verses that endorsed social inequalities and Brahmanism, has been widely criticised by many social reformers, including Dr. Ambedkar and many Dalit and tribal groups in India.

“Applications are invited for the post of project fellow in the salary/stipend/fellowship/fixed/contractual of Rs 25,380 per month in a sponsored BHU IoE Scheme Initative Research Grant under Dev Scheme No-6031 entitled “Applicability of Manusmriti in Indian Society” sanctioned up to 31 March 2024,” read advertaisment by professor Shankar Kumar Mishra, head of Department of Dharmashatra & Mimansa.

The letter is dated on 17 February 2023.

“In new #India you are paid to study the “applicability of the Manusmriti on Indian society”! And then they try to appropriate Ambedkar….” said G Arunima, author and JNU professor.

“So now public universities are spending money to study the applicability of #ManuSmriti in Indian society. Hey Ram!” said a user.

“Casteism is alive and kicking in India under BJP. Next they might try to implement Manusmriti based Casteism in India under BJP,” read another tweet.

Ambedkar had famously burned Manusmriti in the Mahad convention on December 25, 1927, the event now celebrated by many anti-caste activists as ‘women’s liberation day.’