Press Council of India Chairman Justice Markandey Katju was at his best on Saturday, the subject of his ire being Aam Admi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal, and Kejriwal’s former colleague, Anna Hazare.
Katju was speaking at a function organised by Mumbai University on Indian and Modern Jurisprudence. The PCI chairman's tirade against the duo was in reply to a question from the audience. Ironically, just a few minutes before this, he had chastised and warned the gathered dignitaries by saying: “If you don't ask me questions, I will assume you are stupid.” Strangely, when media persons wanted to ask him questions, he refused to answer!
Earlier, Katju enlightened the audience about Hazare and Kejriwal. He said, “Let me tell you about Anna Hazare. He can shout and scream all he likes, organise gatherings, but after two or three months of that, has corruption gone down by even 0.1 per cent?” Katju also lambasted Kejriwal, adding, “I would like to know which caste Kejriwal represents.”
He also said: “The Americans and Europeans do not respect us. Not because our skin is brown, but because all our people are corrupt. Unlike the US, where corruption is only at high levels, in India corruption penetrates every strata of society. If you try to bribe a policeman in the US after speeding, the punishment will be even worse.”
Katju reiterated his vision for India as a “modern, developed, industrialised nation with equal opportunity for all,” before ending his lecture on jurisprudence with a gauntlet thrown at the audience: “Please ask me questions. Only intelligent people ask questions. If you don't ask me questions I will assume you are stupid and I have wasted your time.”