'Manusmriti' for LLB students: DU VC issues clarification, says proposal rejected

NewsDrum Desk
New Update

New Delhi, Jul 11 (PTI) Following reports that a proposal to teach 'Manusmriti' to Delhi University's LLB students is placed for approval, the varsity's Vice-chancellor Yogesh Singh on Thursday clarified that the suggestions have been rejected and the students will not be taught the manuscript.

"Today a proposal by the Faculty of Law was submitted to the Delhi University. In the proposal, they had suggested changes in the paper titled Jurisprudence. One of the changes was to include readings on Manusmriti. We have rejected both the suggested readings and the amendments proposed by the Faculty. Nothing of this sort will be taught to students," said Singh in a video message shared by the varsity.

A proposal to teach 'Manusmriti' (Laws of Manu) to Delhi University's LLB students was slated to be discussed in a meeting of its Academic Council on Friday, a move which drew criticism from a section of teachers.

The Faculty of Law had sought approval from the highest decision-making body of the Delhi University (DU) to revise the syllabus of its first and third-year students to teach them 'Manusmriti'.

The changes in the syllabus of the jurisprudence paper pertained to semesters one and six of LLB.

According to the revisions, two readings on Manusmriti -- Manusmriti with the Manubhasya of Medhatithi by G N Jha and Commentary of Manu Smriti - Smritichandrika by T Kristnasawmi Iyer -- were proposed to be introduced for the students.

The decision to suggest the revisions was unanimously approved in a June 24 meeting of the faculty's Course Committee headed by its dean Anju Vali Tikoo, according to the minutes of the meeting.

Objecting to the move, the Left-backed Social Democratic Teachers Front (SDTF) had written to the vice-chancellor stating the manuscript propagates a "regressive" outlook towards the rights of women and the marginalised communities and it is against a "progressive education system".

In a letter to Singh, SDTF general secretary S S Barwal and chairperson S K Sagar said recommending Manusmriti to the students as a suggested reading "is highly objectionable as this text is adverse to the progress and education of women and marginalised communities in India".

"In Manusmriti, in several sections, it opposes women's education and equal rights. Introduction of any section or part of Manusmriti is against the basic structure of our Constitution and principles of the Indian Constitution," the letter read.

The SDTF demanded that the proposal be immediately withdrawn and it should not be approved in the Academic Council's meeting scheduled to be held on July 12.

It further requested the vice-chancellor to issue an order to the law faculty and the concerned staff members to continue teaching the paper jurisprudence based on the existing syllabus. PTI SJJ AS AS