A group of students of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), which included former and current Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) members, on Tuesday night burnt portions of Manusmriti, an ancient legal text on Tuesday, terming it to be derogatory for women. “Manusmriti has content which is derogatory for women. There are things said in this book which have absolutely no place in our society. By burning these portions, we want to say that we condemn ideas that are against women," said Pradeep Narwal, former joint secretary of ABVP's JNU unit.
Narwal pointed out that the text says, “a female child, young woman or old woman is not supposed to work independently even at her place of residence". “Such regressive thoughts are not acceptable," he said. Students went ahead with the event even after permission for the same was not denied by the university administration. Two of the three students who left ABVP and current vice-president of JNU ABVP unit Jatin Goraiya were present at the event.
Students from Left parties such as All India Students Association and Democratic Students Federation were also present in the event. Three students had recently left ABVP, the student wing of BJP criticising the way the central government has been tackling the issue of JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar. However, the lone ABVP member in the JNU student union condemned the incident saying ABVP did not believe in burning books as they symbolise Goddess Saraswati.