Press Council Chief Markandey Katju deserves nothing less than a recap of his choicest
statements as a tribute. Tribute for what? Do we need to think of a valid reason to pay tribute to him when Katju himself does not think twice before shooting these gems? So here goes out the list of his five most absurd statements:
#1 ”India is not a full-fledged democracy as 90 per cent of its people vote like sheep and cattle.”
This is the latest gem which Markandey Katju has delivered to us while speaking to a TV Channel on 30th March,2013. He added, “ Ninety per cent of Indians vote in droves like sheep and cattle. They are like a herd of cattle voting along caste and religious lines…because Indians vote like livestock, there are so many criminals in parliament.”
What he meant was that Indians follow a herd mentality while voting on caste and communal rights. It was a strong rebuke from the retired Supreme Court judge but clearly not in a well-thought choice of words.
#2 “Very poor intellectual level of Journalists”
Katju in 2011, rightfully as the Chief of Press Council of India, pointed out the lack of intellectual armour in Indian journalists, when he said, “The general rut is very low and I have a poor opinion of most media people. Frankly, I don’t think they have much knowledge of economic theory or political science or literature or philosophy. I don’t think they have studied all this.” Recently he went on to call for a minimum qualification and professional degree for journalists, on similar lines as lawyers and doctors.
#3 Salman Rushdie is a “poor”, “substandard writer” and if not for his ‘Satanic Verses’ he would have remained unknown
This was Markandey Katju on Salman Rushdie after the controversy over Rushdie’s visit to Jaipur Literature Fest, 2013. Katju seemed to be reprimanding the intellectual circle of India (and whatever that means!) when he called Indian people as suffering from colonial inferiority complex because they valued writers living abroad, the likes of Rushdie who live on the “ghats of the Thames” but not indigenous writers like Kabir, Premchand, Sharat Chandra, Manto, Ghalib, Faiz, Kazi Nazrul Islam and Subramania Bharti.
#4 It is hard to believe “”that Modi had no hand in 2002″
In mid-February, Katju in an article questioned the role of Narendra Modi in Godhra riots by saying that there is a mystery surrounding what happened in Gujarat and even if no law has found him guilty so far but it was tough for him to believe that Modi has no role in 2002 Godhra riots. His article led to a bitter war of words between him and Arun Jaitley with Jaitley calling him “more congress than congress”, a label he readily accepted today by calling himself- ‘Congman’.
#5 “90% of Indians are idiots”
Katju said this in a seminar in December, 2012 while he also added that 80% of Hindus and 80% of Muslims are communal. He blamed this on the colonial policy of divide and rule. It was a statement given with an apparent noble intention but as usual Katju framed it in way that it snowballed into a controversy.
#6 “Shazia Ilmi should be made CM candidate because she is more beautiful than Kiran Bedi”
I regard Shazia Ilmi much more beautiful than Kiran Bedi. If Shazia had been made their C.M. candidate BJP wud have definitely won the Delhi
— Markandey Katju (@mkatju) January 30, 2015