JAIPUR: Two women from Aurangabad city sprayed black paint on a Manu statue in the Rajasthan High Court’s premises on Monday, triggering uproar from a section of the society. Lawyers protested at the lack of security and ensured that the women were arrested for their actions. The two Dalit women were booked for harming the public property and hurting religious sentiments.
“Both the women, Sheelabai and Kanta Ramesh Ayare, have said that they oppose Manu’s philosophy and sprayed ink on the statue as a sign of protest,” said Station House Officer Madan Beniwal of the Ashok Nagar police station.
The Monday’s episode put in prominence the clamour for the removal of the ‘Manusmriti’ along with the Manu statue. Dalits have been opposing the construction of the statue since its inception 28 years ago. At that time, the court had given the order to take the statue down, but VHP leader Acharya Dharmendra had got a stay on the order.
Advocate Pahlad Sharma of the Rajasthan High Court said the statue was installed after the permission of the then Chief Justice. “Even at that time, there was opposition from certain elements of the society. Manu is considered important for Hindus and is also seen as the father of the human race,” he said. “It is not acceptable that the people come in the high court premises and resort to such actions. It raises serious questions on the security of such an important institution.”
Dalit activist Bharat Meghwanshi said the Manu ideology is against women and the people of lower castes. “Till the time these scriptures exist, there can be no equality in society. There is an urgent need to remove them and that is why a mass movement is needed to support our cause.”