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Discussion on Manusmriti

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senthil

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This thread is created from the discussed based on following thread..
http://www.tamilbrahmins.com/general-discussions/4806-britis-blame-21.html#post56086

In the entire history of the world, the defeated armies were employed as slaves in the victor's empire.. and they were always kept in check so that they would not raise again challenging the empire..

In the west, it was brutal slavery system, where the slaves were properties of the fuedal lords who were the noble class (or equivalent of higher class).. by property, they were sold like animals, and before the arrival of serfdom, there were extensive slave markets across europe..

Refer the below link..

History of slavery - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Later europe came with a more refined system called "Serfdom".. its a form of indentured labour.. where the labours have the right to work in the field, and landowners right over the land and produce.. its is more humane than slavery, because, the serfs has a land to work and live.. however, the serfs could not change their owner without the permission..

Refer the below link on serfdom..
Serfdom - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

There are other forms of labours, like villeins etc which are described above..

We could very well agree that in the context of prevailing wars, there were prisoners of war who were employed for manual labour..
And in my understanding, manusmritis had been written in such a society, where it converted the society in to role based, freeing up the slaves in to shudras.. Unlike slavery, the shudras had the freedom to marry, have a family, live as a community, the freedom to change owners, and the freedom to have their own god and customs.. Only thing is that by virtue of their position, their role is placed at the bottom..

It makes sense, that the prisoners of war, cannot claim to have all the luxuries or rights anywhere in the world, even up to 18th and 19th century.. with this reality, manusmriti (and other smritis) had given them a level of freedom, and a level of protection with a limited rights..

I am reproducing the quote of greek historian from the wikipedia source..


The Greek historian Arrian writes in his book Indica:
"This also is remarkable in India, that all Indians are free, and no Indian at all is a slave. In this the Indians agree with the Lacedaemonians. Yet the Lacedaemonians have Helots for slaves, who perform the duties of slaves; but the Indians have no slaves at all, much less is any Indian a slave." (Book VIII, Chapter X)
The manusmriti in all respects is a practical solution according to the times in which it was written..

So if at all, we have to compare manu smriti with, it has to be the history of the world of its times and NOT with the modern day world..

This thread is an attempt for debate (fierce or hot or cool.. :) ) on manu smriti, and if possible on the sacred texts..
 
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