Fact Check: “Britishers introduced a law that prohibits killing of Shudra’s first child by Brahmins”

New Delhi: “Brahmins used to throw the first child of the Shudras into the Ganga river. They knew that the first newborn child is usually more muscular(than the younger siblings) and that’s why they used to throw the first child in the name of ‘offerings to God’. Britishers had come with a law to prohibit such practices in 1835.”

A social media post doing the rounds claims that to suppress the Shudras Brahmins used to kill their first child so that they can’t revolt against the Brahmanical society.

The viral post goes on to praise the Britishers as they brought the laws which prohibit such rituals. Also, the post includes two images of a drowning child. The comment section was simmering with the hate against Brahmins. A user named Archana Ambedkar commented that “These bastards have harassed our people a lot, one day they will pay the price.”

Since the Post has gone viral and creating a division in society, our fact check team at Neo has decided to scan the claims.

Starting with the Twitter profile of Neerav Kumar, who shared the post, we checked his recent Tweets, Retweets, and Bio. His bio states, “On Baba Saheb’s (Bhim Rao Ambedkar) mission”.

To know the reality, our team has divided the claim into three parts. First, the historical reference of the claim. Second, the medical acceptability of the claim and the last about the law.

For this, we talked to the doctors, lawyers and historical researchers.

To know the legal aspect of the viral post, which claims that, “Britishers had come with a law to prohibit these practices in 1835”, we contacted a criminal lawyer. Mr Avin Ji practises at the Rajasthan High Court. He was shocked over the claim. He called the claim as rubbish as the post is. “I have never gone through any such law or studied during my research on laws in Pre Independence India. There was no such law which had been passed by the Britishers”. Avin ruled out all the possibilities of any such law introduced by the Britishers.

Also in our findings, when we did an advance search on google no reference of such law has surfaced.

Further searching on Facebook and Twitter we found that all profiles which shared the post belong to the users who claimed themselves Ambedkarites and some of them were Parody accounts.

Before coming to any conclusion we decided to talk to an expert on the historical aspect of the post. We reached UPWord’s office(A research group on spiritual, intellectual, cultural and political aspirations of the Indian civilization) and met Shivam Mishra. He is a researcher at the UpWord Foundation. Shivam said that there is no evidence behind the claim that “Brahmins used to throw the first child into the Ganga ”. He added that to show the oppressive character of Brahmins on Dalits, these claims were propagated for a long time. These self-made intellect people won’t give any reference to back their material. Generally, these people make such claims on WhatsApp groups and people with no knowledge of history are consuming these contents. This is how the cycle of hatred and enmity continues.

“If there was any such practice that claimed to have taken the lives of thousands of children then it must have been documented”. You can’t simply vomit what you want to be, Shivam told NP.

Shivam reiterated that there is no historical reference nor any evidence to support the claims.

Moving towards the third claim that has been made about the first child, we contacted Dr Kaushal Kant, who serves as the Director of the Orthopedics department at Fortis Hospital. Dr Kaushal refutes the claim related to the muscularity or immunity of the first child. There is no scientific evidence that supports this claim. He said that it depends on parenting, not the birth order. Dr Anuj Bhatt from Gujarat also stated the same about the claim. He also said that the Firstborn child is more vulnerable to the disease like hypertrophic pyloric stenosis (HPS). Dr Anuj clarified that it depends on genetics and antenatal care but not on the birth order.

Conclusion: Hence, based on our discussions with the experts and our own investigation concludes that the viral post against Brahmins is false and misleading.

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