Justice Markandey Katju is back in the news. This time, he has thrown an open challenge to Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) students Kanhaiya Kumar, Umar Khalid and Shehla Rashid. Calling them “fake revolutionaries”, Justice Katju openly challenged the three feisty “heroes/heroines of JNU” to say the two statements that he has posted on his Facebook page.
He said: “If you are real revolutionaries, and not fake, say openly, as I say, the following:
1. There is nothing wrong in eating beef, and laws against cow slaughter should be repealed. To call a cow as ‘gomata’ is the height of stupidity.
2. Burqa should be banned as in France (women should be given no choice in the matter ), and the stupid, outdated sharia should be replaced by a uniform civil code.”
Kanhaiya, Umar and Shehla were among the five students who grabbed the headlines at the JNU campus where alleged anti-national slogans were raised. There were protests across the campus over Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru who was executed in 2013. Several human rights activists have claimed that the execution of the Parliament attack convict was flawed.
Often critical of the Narendra Modi government, Katju had written an open letter to the Prime Minister just a few days back saying: “Modiji, pardon me for saying so, even after almost 3 years of your rule, I am neither seeing vikas nor achche din, rather I am seeing mandi, girawat, berozgari and bure din.”
He added: “Modiji, achche din chhodiye, ab kamar tod mehngai hai. Kisan atma hatya kar rahen hain. Bharat ke 50% bachche kuposhit ( malnourished ) hain. Gharib janta ko swastha labh naseeb nahin hai. Achchi shiksha durlabh hai.
(Leave aside achche din, we are struggling with high prices. Farmers are committing suicide. 50% of the kids are malnourished. Poor in the country are struggling for good health and good there is also a dearth of good education.)”