The judiciary in India is infested by leftist jholawalas and malicious secularists. The way M.F. Hussain is let off again and again by these judges, I have lost all hope of Hindus getting justice in this country as long as these people presiding over our courts don’t retire and fade away. They have spent their youth in the era of the sixties and seventies when Naxalism and Nehruism were the dominant intellectual fashions, but they have forgotten to change with the times. The judges should understand that they exist to serve Hindus too, and not only the Muslims and Christians. Secularism does not mean habitually indulging in below-the-belt blows and sarcastic barbs at the majority of the people of the country.
I have always felt that the judges in India are hugely over-rated in terms of intellectual calibre. It is disgusting to see the antics of these judges once they retire. Quite a few attach themselves to the Congress party and churn out made-to-order enquiry reports, while others lobby through Western NGOs to get themselves awards such as Magsaysay. It is obvious that some of these judges are the victims of intellectual fashions they absorbed when in their youth while others are simply trying to bag an international award or two.
Radha Ranjan of Vigil Online has taken exception to the mindless and negative comments some Supreme Court judges keep passing about the Hindu nationalists and organisations and one state government or the other ruled by the BJP.
Last week, in what can only be termed extreme judicial imprudence, Justice Markandey Katju, one of the three judges on the Bench headed by the Chief Justice of India, seems to have lost control to do a Barkha Dutt in his august court. Their eminences were hearing a petition filed in the Supreme Court by the Archbishop of Orissa, Raphael Cheenath and this provided the Supreme Court the opportunity for some grandstanding; leaving some of us in no doubt whatever about their intended, invisible but powerful audience.
In typical Alice in Wonderland “off with their heads” style, Katju rattled his sabre and bellowed at Counsel for the Orissa government, “If your government is unable to protect minorities, then you quit office”. Just to make sure Senior Advocate KK Venugopal understood Alice Katju, the judge, a Kashmiri Hindu I would suppose from his name, bellowed again, “We can’t tolerate persecution of religious minorities. If your government cannot control such incidents, then quit office”.
This writer would dearly like to know if Justice Katju, a la Barkha, cradled Cheenath’s head in his arms when he hollered at hapless Venugopal. The writer would also like to know if the Senior Advocate has since obeyed his eminence’s Voice of Imprudence to “quit office” and resigned as Counsel for the Orissa government or better still, cringing with mortification, he has decided to give up his career in the Bar altogether and throw off his Senior Advocate black robes. Because I cannot imagine that even a Supreme Court judge can suffer from such hubris that sitting in the safety and immunity that his bench and robes provide him, he can actually order a government democratically elected by the people to “quit office” just because his eminence is displeased.
Hindus of the country may be forgiven for interpreting this ill-advised homily to mean that Justice Katju, who I suppose represents the collective wisdom of the Supreme Court, will be unruffled and “we CAN tolerate” persecution of the religious majority and will not call upon anyone to “quit office” when Hindus are persecuted, genocided, hounded out of their homes and homeland in Kashmir and the North-East, their places of worship defiled and destroyed in other parts of this country as long as “such incidents” are committed by the two most well-organized and well-funded religious minorities. The key word is ‘minorities’. This is not the first time Katju is flying off the handle to hector at Hindus. I wrote in July 2005 too about Katju’s penchant for delivering homilies instead of judgments. I reproduce below excerpts from the Vigil Plainspeak on Justice Markandey Katju –
“In a little village of Tamil Nadu, in a tiny corner of the globe, in Dindigul district, the Harijans of Balasamudram village denied the Muslims the path via their habitation to the Muslim burial ground. Now this is a very small local issue confined to the borders of the village which the Muslims rightly ought to have settled by dialogue with the Harijan community. Instead they chose to approach our secular courts for redress, a right they denied to poor Gudiya and poor Imrana. Also let us remember that while the Muslims abide by court verdicts whenever it is in their favour, they ignore court rulings whenever it is against them. The first bench of the Madras High Court heard the case for admission and as I read the newspaper report of the judgment, (The New Indian Express, July 16, page 4, “Give all sections due respect: HC”) it seemed to me the judges were addressing not the respondents or the defendants who belonged to a little corner of the globe but instead used the case for some pompous pronouncements to project their secular credentials. The insults heaped upon the Hindus of the country were completely disproportionate and unrelated to the issue in question.
This report was not available on the website of this newspaper. I would request every one of you to read the news report and the words of Their Eminences with great care and ask yourselves the question: Will these eminences render the same judgment, word for word if I were to approach the Madras High Court for redress because the Muslims of Madras will not allow me to carry my Ganesha along the street where their mosque is located.
“Allowing the petition, the Bench observed that the Muslims in the village were entitled to take the bodies of the dead through public streets. The authorities should ensure that there were no communal clashes or disturbance of public order by any one.
‘Whoever tries to create communal tension or ill-will must be dealt with, with an iron hand in accordance with law, including the relevant provisions of the IPC, Cr.PC and other penal statutes”, the Bench said.
The Bench also observed that India was a free, democratic and secular country. People of all religions, castes and communities were equal under the Constitution, vide Articles 14 to 18 and they had a right to freely practice their religion, vide Article 25.”
“India does not belong to the Hindus alone. It belongs equally to Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Jews and all are equal before the law, the Madras High Court has observed.”
“It is not that the Hindus can live in this country as first rate citizens while others can live only as second rate citizens. In our country all citizens are entitled to live as first rate citizens,” the First Bench comprising Chief Justice Markandey Katju and Justice FM Kalifulla observed while allowing a Public Interest Litigation on Friday.”
And after many other such profound pronouncements their grey eminences concluded this wannabe landmark judgment thus: “Hence the only policy which will work in our country, hold it together and take us to the path of prosperity is the policy of secularism and equal respect to all communities. This was the path shown to us by our great emperors Ashoka and Akbar, who gave equal respect to all religions and communities,” the Bench said and added that without such a policy India as a democracy could not survive for long.”
Wah, wah, wah wah!!!! This was swatting a fly with a sledge-hammer. This judgment is yet another instance in the long series of similar judgments by the Indian judiciary insulting and demeaning Hindus on issues which concern the two communities. Not in one single instance has the Indian judiciary seen fit to advise the Muslim community to respect Hindu sentiments or advised it to live in harmony with other communities in their locality. This issue was not about practicing one’s religion. It was not about ‘sub-continental madness of 1947” or about the wisdom of our Founding Fathers (what did they ‘found’ for Gods sake) and the secular constitution. It was about the Harijans of a tiny village denying the Muslims path through their habitation. Muslims and Christians are habitually inclined to locating their mosques and churches in places which affront and offend Hindu religious sensibilities. And the Muslims of Chennai have for years denied the Hindus the right to practice their religion as guaranteed by our Constitution, or so our judges tell us. We have not been allowed by the Muslims to carry our Ganesha along ‘communally sensitive’ streets and roads.
And yet, these judges used the case as a platform to lecture to the Harijans of Balasamudram about religious freedom, about the greatness of the founding fathers, about the inviolability of the constitution, about Partition, about secularism and about the demerits of a Hindu state. Only instead of addressing the Harijans directly by name which would have been grossly politically incorrect, the judges slandered the Hindus. This was a great opportunity for Hindu-bashing and such opportunities come rarely and so their grey eminences utilized the moment to its full. The Judges could have served communal harmony better had they advised the Muslims to live in peace with the Harijans in their village by taking an alternate route to their graveyard, a prescription that they have been giving to the Hindus of Madras during Ganesh Chaturti festivities”. (Radha Rajan, July 17, 2005)
Justice Markandey Katju was elevated soon thereafter to the Supreme Court and this time he was presented with the opportunity to hector the Hindus by the Christians of Orissa. Not to be outdone in the business of competitive Hindu-bashing, the Chief Justice of India, for his part, left with little to proclaim after Katju’s monopoly in secularism, made a detour to the infamous and highly suspicious nun-rape case in Kandhamal.
“At this point, the CJI asked Cheenath’s counsel about the infamous gangrape case pertaining to the nun and said he had been flooded with queries from different countries about it”.
To state in open court that he had been flooded with queries from different countries is not just judicial imprudence but borders on judicial misconduct; the Chief Justice of India is in fact implying that he is raising the issue of the alleged and since denied ‘gangrape’ of the nun only because there are queries from outside the country. This implies external influence and worse, international pressure. The high status of the judiciary in this country is predicated upon two cardinal and inviolable principles – the absolute independence of the judiciary and the supremacy of the Indian Constitution.
There was a time, and I am told that it is still practiced scrupulously by honest judges, when judges in our High Courts and Supreme Court would not permit lawyers to visit them in their homes or in their chambers. Some judges, living up to the high standards expected from them as a matter of routine, will even now not read newspaper reports or watch television channels on matters pending before them. This was to ensure that the matter was tried and settled only and only on the basis of evidence, points in law and arguments in the court. Extraneous considerations, especially attempts to influence or pressure the judges or the proceedings in court are rightly held to be contempt of court. All in all, the conduct of the judges on the First Bench in the Supreme Court last week must cause grave disquiet at the falling standards of procedural behavior and due process.
This country’s Hindu civilizational ethos has set very high standards of public conduct behooving persons in high institutions; only in Hindu dharma is the king subordinate to dharma. The King was God on Earth only because he was supposed to embody dharma. Hindu tradition gives the ordinary person who abides by dharma, the right to question the tallest individual, the right to test the integrity of the tallest individual, the right to speak openly when he or she perceives in these individuals in public life, conduct deviating even marginally from dharma. It is integrity to this tradition which the ordinary citizen has the right to demand from people in high positions. No institution – our Courts, Parliament or Rashtrapati Bhavan is exempt from this rule. They must all be subordinate to the civilizational ethos and derive their legitimacy only from the people.
Justice Markandey Katju and the Chief Justice of India have between them, transgressed the limits of appropriate conduct in court. They know that today people ascend to high positions for reasons which have nothing to do with merit. Connections to powerful politicians and even their domestic help, has paratrooped people with dubious reputations and incompetent people to the highest positions in the country’s tall institutions. Such people or their family members are known to be collection agents, fixers, boot-lickers, charlatans or worse. The Chief Justice of India would serve his country better by listening to the voice of the people of his country and cleanse the system of undeserving greatness, and Justice Markandey Katju may profitably read the real history of the last two centuries for a better understanding of Hindu-Muslim relations and the defaced basis of nationhood of this nation. Hindus are soft targets and it would seem Hindu harijans softer targets than dalit Christians. The judiciary must protect the interests of the majority community too instead of actively contributing to Hindu-bashing in the climate created by secular Indian polity.
Most of these demeaning and insulting statements about Indian nationalists and our national identity are coming from only one judge: Justice Katju. The man is really on a trip of his own and seems to be tailoring his official statements for Western senisibilites (what Richard Crasta calls “impressing the Whites.”) He is regurgitating rabid missionary propaganda in his judgements about Indian nation. I hope he is not angling for a Magsaysay, like another Supreme Court judge who made laughing stock of himself after retirment lobbying with Western embassies to get some international award for environmental activism.
Supreme Court Justice Markandey Katju, citing western historians, asserts that the Munda tribes are the only true natives and that 95 percent of Indians are immigrants; that all so-called Aryan and Dravidian classical languages are foreign, ruling out anything as pan-Indian in our antiquity; and that worthwhile Indian civilisation begins with Akbar, “the greatest ruler the world has ever seen.”