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The Manusmṛiti (Sanskrit: मनुस्मृति), also known as the Mānava-Dharmaśāstra or Laws of Manu, is one of the many legal texts and constitution among the many Dharmaśāstras of Hinduism. In ancient India, the sages often wrote their ideas on how society should run in the manuscripts. It is believed that the original form of Manusmriti was changed as many things written in the manuscript contradict each other.
It was one of the first Sanskrit texts to be translated into English in 1776, by British philologist Sir William Jones and was used to construct the Hindu law code, for the East India Company administered enclaves. Over fifty manuscripts of the Manusmriti are now known, but the earliest discovered, most translated and presumed authentic version since the 18th century has been the “Kolkata (formerly Calcutta) manuscript with Kulluka Bhatta commentary”.

Modern scholarship states this presumed authenticity is false, and the various manuscripts of Manusmriti discovered in India are inconsistent with each other, and within themselves, raising concerns of its authenticity, insertions and interpolations made into the text in later times. The metrical text is in Sanskrit, is variously dated to be from the 2nd century BCE to 3rd century CE, and it presents itself as a discourse given by Manu (Svayambhuva) and Bhrigu on dharma topics such as duties, rights, laws, conduct, virtues and others. The text’s fame spread outside Bharat (India), long before the colonial era. The medieval era Buddhistic law of Myanmar and Thailand are also ascribed to Manu, and the text influenced past Hindu kingdoms in Cambodia and Indonesia.