Sunday, March 3, 2013


An examination of Justice Katju’s perspective


Dr. Seshachalam Dutta

Former Justice Markandey Katju of Supreme Court of India entered into confrontation with Arun Jaitley (BJP) labeling 90% of Indians who elect their leaders as fools and idiots. A couple of those ninety percent even sued him for defamation and admitted they are not among the ninety percent! I am writing as one of those 90%.

No one can call Katju a fool or idiot, for sure. The only person who could have called him a fool but not an idiot would have been his own dad who was a member of Vishwa Hindu Parishad and was placed under house arrest by the same Congress party whom Katju so much admires now.

We can say that Katju is “foolish” in making the following statements. The difference is that a fool is always a fool and a learned man like the Justice can only be foolish in his assertions especially when he becomes a political junky.

Another foolish statement by Katju is his question: Can poor people in Gujarat eat factories and roads? No one claimed poor people or any people can eat factories or roads. It is a common sense that factories and building roads provide employment and employment helps the people to feed their families. That is the reason; many cities try to attract businesses to locate in their territories to improve economy so people can feed their families. Here, he is so badly overtaken by his prejudice against the chief minister of Gujarat that he has given up his common sense in making such foolish statements.

There is another calculus by Katju that claims 80% of Hindus and equally 80% Muslims (not 90%) in India are “communal,” whatever he means by the term “communal”!! Here he tries to equate Muslims and Hindus, which is what the Congress Party has been doing, which he calls “Vote Bank politics.” That is what exactly he is engaged in too while pointing finger at others. Are the opinionated statistics of his justified considering the far exceeding number of riots against Hindus compared to the number riots against the Muslims all through the last 80 or 90 years in India? How did he get this 80% number on either side?

He supports his assumption of most people being idiots by quoting Shakespeare’s Macbeth and Julius Caesar. He says he would like truth even though by the ancient  tradition he should not speak truth that is unpleasant (Na bruyaat satyam-apriam, yeshad dharma Sanatanah) . This quote applies in social context only where you do not tell your friend, “your wife looks ugly,” even if it is true! This is not at all applicable to public debate of issues where honest confrontation with facts, figures and flaws in policies is a fair game. The man seems to be “deep in books and shallow in himself’.

He blames the British for setting up Muslims and Hindus against each other. There has never been any unity among them historically not because Hindus were intolerant, but because it was Muslims that were incapable of assimilating with Hindus like Parsees and treated Hindus as “Dhimmies” to be either converted and exploited or to be eventually annihilated but never to be accepted as equals deserving independent existence. Has he forgotten the verse by Kavi Bhushan (of Aurangazeb court) who said to Shivaji:

Shivaji na hote’ tum, sunnath hoti subki”. Had it not been for you, Shivaji, everyone would have been circumcised (converted to Islam).

Now “Katju’s government” (Katju holds a quasi-governmental quasi-political position as a retired Supreme Court Justice) wants to give preference for so called minorities so that Hindus can get figuratively as well as literally circumcised and gives Muslims enormous preferences: no need of Aurangazeb when UPA acts as one. Pretty soon Hindus will become minority. One thing for sure, the British taught Indians like Katju Shakespeare but not Milton for a reason. It was Milton who championed the freedom of speech as early as in 1664, in his famous document Aeropagitica. To recall, he wrote his famous words:

“Give me liberty to know, to utter and argue freely according to my conscience, above all liberties”

This is the foundation for the freedom of speech enshrined in U.S constitution. It was quoted by five Supreme Court justices of U.S courts on different occasions including in defense of Communist Party of America publications. What is his favorite Congress party doing? It shamelessly banned Satanic Verses and now wants to control Google and Internet publications. As a judge this is the “Apriam” (unpleasant  truth) he has to speak up but he clearly avoids mentioning it.

I am not a fan of BJP or any other political party. But, Katju has not answered the serious challenge by Arun Jaitley on the question of dynastic rule and inherited entitlement for ultimate leadership position in a Democracy. In a true democracy every citizen has equal right for leadership regardless of station and birth.   Nehru reportedly wrote that “when dynasties rule, fools come to power.” That happened for two generations in India. Forget about Modi. It is not important in larger context. Katju who is untiring on his crusade against “casteism” and sectarianism has to answer this one, dynastic entitlement earned merely by being born in a dynastic family,  reducing other leaders in the party to sycophants.

Are there no leaders in India available to have such an incompetent person like Rahul Gandhi to be named for Prime Ministership of India? How does he compare to other accomplished leaders within the Congress Party itself, leave alone in any other parties? Any one of leaders like, Chidambaram, Kapil Sibal and the youngest of them Shashi Tharoor can be the Congress leader and could become a better Prime Minister in his place.

For the recent slogan that youth should be elected, let us compare Shashi Tharoor with Rahul. Shashi Tharoor like Subramaniam Swamy received his Ph.D. at the age 23 from a U.S university, became an established writer, gifted speaker and was about to be elected to the post of Secretary General of United Nation but for the veto by the U.S Government. What is Rahul? He cannot hold candle to Shashi Tharoor. India does not have dearth of leaders in any party, not only in Congress, and B.J.P, but even in other parties. There are stalwarts like Subramaniam Swamy professor at Harvard, Karat, and Yechuri of communist party with education and experience outside the country, all of whom tower over Rahul. It is a cruel irony that no body speaks of it and people expect all leaders to live in the shadow of the dynasty choosing its own family members as the leaders to lead India and become Prime Minister of India.

We challenge Katju to answer this part of the question by Jaitley.  No use of him asking Jaitley to take “Sanyasa” and resign from Rajya
Sabha; it is not going happen as surely as Katju himself will not resign from his position acting like a less than honorable Justice.

(In December 2012, he was forced to clarify his remark '90 per cent of Indians are fools' by saying that it was meant to awaken people to the realities of social evils like casteism, communalism in the country when two Luckhnow students Tanaya and Aditya Thakur had sent him a legal notice. [41][42])

(Editorial Comment: Coincidentally Nehru, Katju, and Jaitley, all three are respected as “well trained legal scholars,” all three hailing from the same Saraswat lineage and none of whom have been known to be casteists, or communalists although Jaitley favors BJP which is misrepresented by congress as “communal” although it functioned as an elected ruling party for 8 years in India under its “secular” constitution and treated all sections of Indian society with fairness respecting the spirit of the Constitution of India. Such mudflinging as is demonstrated by Katju is purely political and not based on objective assessment of the performance of BJP as a political party and also that of Narendra Modi, Chief Minister of Gujarat)

(Editor's Note: It is perhaps a "displacement of anger" at UPA Government and Omar Abdullah for not selecting him (Markandey Katju) for appointment as Governor of Kashmir. The old connections with Motilal Nehru, Jawaharlal Nehru and Sheikh Abdullah are no longer workable. Kashmiri Muslims will not accept a Kashmiri Pandit like Katju to be their Governor. There is no Secular Kashmir any more. Besides the State Government or Government of Kashmir is bankrupt and cannot even pay the salaries
of government employees from month to month. So Katju is now stuck with the decorative position which he holds and nothing better is in sight but total retirement into an easy chair.)


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