Manusmriti was composed at a period when genetic research showed that caste groupings were becoming increasingly endogamous, with strong laws banning inter-caste marriage (even today, less than 10 per cent of marriages in India are inter-caste). The authors of Manusmriti, who were mostly high-ranking priests and scholars, wanted to ensure that India's nascent democracy did not lead to social chaos by preventing any one community from gaining an unfair advantage over the others.
In addition to being India's first documented example of constitutional law, Manusmriti also contains some of the earliest references to medical sciences. It is believed that the writers of Manusmriti had access to extensive medical knowledge obtained through pilgrimage visits to holy cities like Ayodhya and Mathura. They used this information to come up with a system for classifying diseases and providing remedies for them. For example, they divided diseases into three categories - those that could be cured with medication, those that required surgery and those that were incurable - and came up with guidelines for treating different ailments.
Another interesting aspect of Manusmriti is its attempt to include all major communities living in northern India at the time. Although it does not take into account the practices of the so-called "outcastes", it does allow for some degree of interaction between them and the other castes.
Manusmriti established a caste system in India that is still in use today. It is the underlying source of inequity, oppression, and bonded labor. The Indian government protects repressed outcastes known as schedule castes and schedule tribes based on religion, i.e., Hindus and Sikhs but not Christians and Muslims. In addition, women of all religions are denied equal rights by law.
In conclusion, manusmriti is important because it is the basis of caste discrimination in India. Its influence extends beyond its original context to affect society at large. Manusmriti has had a significant impact on how people perceive other groups of people in India and continues to do so today.
Babasaheb Ambedkar burnt Manusmriti on December 25, 1927, as a gesture of rejection of the theological underpinning of untouchability. During the Mahad Satyagraha, the event was arranged. The Mahad Satyagraha was a campaign to establish Dalits' entitlement to public water as well as to embrace compassion and dignity. This act was done to send a message that Dalits were not going to be governed from above, but instead wanted to take charge of their own lives.
In today's world, many laws are based on Manusmriti. So, if we reject Manusmriti, then we would be rejecting the basis of many laws in India. This is why Bapu (as Ambedkar is popularly called) did not want to destroy Manusmriti; he wanted to render it void through his actions.
Ambedkar believed that by burning the Manusmriti, it would send a strong message to the government and people that Dalits were not going to be treated as inferior beings, but instead wanted to be accepted with all others. He also believed that by doing this act, he was fulfilling his religious duties as a Buddhist.
Burning of books has been used as a tool for protest in many countries including India. In 2008, activists in Dalit communities burned more than 1000 copies of the Hindu holy book, the Bhagavad Gita.
The form and contents of the Manusmriti indicate that it is primarily intended for Brahmins (priestly class) and Kshatriyas (king, administration, and warrior class). The text devotes the majority of its verses, 1,034 verses, to laws for and expected virtues of Brahmins, and 971 verses to Kshatriyas. There are also some verses which seem to apply to both groups, such as the verse that begins: "He who desires to go beyond [the three ages of life]..."
In addition to these two main groups, there are several other categories of people mentioned in the Manusmriti. These include Shudras (servants of priests), Vaisya's (merchants), and even some words of advice to women. The last category is particularly interesting because the majority of the texts that deal with women are directed at them. It can be inferred from this that many women had influence over religion in ancient India. However, evidence suggests that they were not allowed to read or write at the time so could not have created the text themselves.
The first chapter of the Manusmriti introduces the idea that humans can be divided into three main classes - priests, warriors, and traders - and goes on to describe the proper conduct needed by each group. For example, a priest is one who knows the Vedas, conducts sacrifices, gives blessings, administers justice, etc. A warrior fights for others; a trader does business with both priests and warriors.