Katju lands in trouble over his ‘1+1 offer’ to Pakistan
Amidst Indo-Pak flare-up comes a whimsical relief from the inimitable former Supreme Court judge Markandey Katju. In a taunt that upset a lot of people from all walks of life, he offered a package deal to Pakistan on a social networking site: You will get Kashmir if you are ready to take Bihar as well.
What prompted the learned judge to make a 1+1 offer to our arch rival is difficult to fathom out. But he is a man who loves and lives in controversies. Clearly, his so-called ‘offer’ is an insult to Bihar state and its people and leaders. Though Katju said later it was a joke, all the hell broke loose by that time and the social media had pounced upon him.
By Wednesday, two complaints had been filed against him, including a sedition charge, in courts. Despite facing the wrath of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and other leaders for his remarks, an undaunted Katju continued his jibes, adding fuel to the fire. In the latest Facebook post, he said: “I suggest Biharis should take their complaint against me to the UN. When ‘cheer haran’ of Draupadi was being done, she appealed to Lord Krishna to save her honour.”
Among scores of his remarks, spiked with venom and sarcasm, that spared none, the most quoted and well remembered ones are about Indians. “Ninety per cent of Indians are idiots … that was the unpleasant truth”. In another context, “You people don’t have brains in your heads. It is so easy to take you for a ride”.
It’s difficult to foresee when the former chairman of the Press Council of India would fire his cannon at unsuspected target. In a recent post, he called Mother Theresa “unscientific and a buffoon.” In his acerbic remarks devoid of respect for national iconic figures, Katju called Mahatma Gandhi “a British agent who did great harm to India”; Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore a “loyal British stooge” and Subhas Chandra Bose “an agent of the Japanese fascist imperialists.”
Despite his spite for others, Katju seems to have an eye for beauty and pretty things. At one time, he felt Bollywood heartthrob Katrina Kaif would make a good President (because she is beautiful) and former Aam Aadmi Party convener Shazia Ilmi should have been the BJP face for Delhi CM’s post!
Of course, every time he put his foot in his mouth, Katju apologized. But he continues his onslaught. Is his a case of unlimited freedom of speech and writing?