By – Dr. K. Jamanadas
Today is Christmas, 25th of December. It is celebrated all over the Christian world as the birth of Jesus Christ. But for the whole world of Dalits, it is an important day as “Manu Smruti Dahan Din”, as it was on this day in 1927 that Manusmruti was publicly burned by Dr. Ambedkar, during the “Maha-Sangharsha” of Mahad Satyagraha, and is an important mile stone in Dalit struggle against Brahmanism. Let us all remember this day with pride.
Manuvadis had arranged that Ambedkar does not get a ground for meeting, but a Muslim gentleman, Mr. Fattekhan, gave his private land. They had arranged that no supplies of food, water or anything else could be bought, so everything was brought from outside by our men. The volunteers had to take a vow of five items:
1. I do not believe on Chaturvarna based on birth.
2. I do not believe in caste distinctions.
3. I believe that untouchability is an anathema on Hinduism and I will honestly try my best to completely destroy it.
4. Considering that there is no inequality, I will not follow any restrictions about food and drink among at least all Hindus.
5. I believe that untouchables must have equal rights in temples, water sources, schools and other amenities.
Dr. Ambedkar came from Bombay by boat “Padmavati” via Dasgaon port, instead of Dharamtar, though it is longer distance, because in the event of boycott by bus owners, they could walk down five miles to Mahad.
Some people later tried to say that Dr. Ambedkar decided to burn Manusmruti at the eleventh hour, as he had to withdraw the programme of drinking water from Chavadar Tank under court orders and persuasion by the Collector. That is not true, because right in front of the pendal of the meeting a “vedi” was created beforehand to burn Manusmruti. Six people were labouring for two days to prepare it. A pit six inches deep and one and half foot square was dug in, and filled with sandle wood pieces. On its four corners, poles were erected, bearing banners on three sides. Banners said,
1. “Manusmruti chi dahan bhumi”, i.e. Crematorium for Manusmruti.
2. Destroy Untouchability and
3. Bury the Brahmanism.
On 25th December, 1927, at 9 p.m., the book of Manusmruti was kept on this and burned at the hands of Bapusahib Sahastrabuddhe and another five six dalit sadhus.