Hitting out at the RSS and the BJP, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi on Monday said that while his party was trying to destroy Manu's ideology of a caste system, they were trying to protect it.
Addressing a rally here as part of B. R. Ambedkar's 125th birth anniversary celebrations, he said: "It is often said that around 1, 000 years ago, a person called Manu lived in India. Ambedkar ji was talking about that person's ideology. He was pained by his idea.
"The Congress stood with Ambedkar ji and together they drafted the constitution, which was against Manu's ideas. The truth is that we've been successful in defeating Manu's ideology. But his ideas could not be erased from the minds of (certain) people.
"The constitution and the right to vote was just the beginning to defeat Manu's ideology. But, the battle is a long one. "
Gandhi said that in India, there are only two ideologies - "one which protects Manu's ideology and the other which attacks it. The Congress talks about equality and in favour of the poor; on the other hand, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and the Bharatiay Janata Party (BJP) protects Manu's ideology. This is the truth of our country".
"The BJP is trying to eliminate Panchayati Raj in our coutry, which was started by us. Haryana and Rajasthan are glaring examples. They are saying if you don't go to schools, you can't contest panchayat elections. By doing so, they are denying lakhs of Dalit women the right to contest elections, " he said.
"On one hand, there is constant attack on democratic structures and Panchayati Raj, and on the other, people are being denied education. Their aim is to deny you access to better education. Now, there is RSS influence on everything - education, bureaucracy everywhere, " he added.
"Today, there is no university in India where there is no RSS person (in position of authority). They attack me because they know I will never surrender before the ideology of the RSS and Manu. "