Manusmriti, the Indian courts, and their women

Manusmriti, the Indian courts, and their women
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Manu is considered to be India’s first law-giver. Even though his rules were overthrown by the Constitution of India, he is so revered that his statue has been erected in the precincts of the Rajasthan High Court, and an entire legal database, the ‘Manupatra’, is named after him. Believed to have been compiled somewhere between the second and third century BC – centuries before the beginning of Islamic rule – the laws of Manu or ‘Manudharma’ are a poignant reflection of the insecurities of the ruling caste men of that era over the lives and bodies of women. It says a lot about the founding nature of the Brahminical laws that continue to define women to this day.

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