New Delhi: Indians ought to be all
Indian nationalists first and those talking about Hindu, Muslim, Sikh or
Christian nationalism were really anti-national, Press Council of India
Chairman, Justice (retd) Markandey Katju said here.
requested the media and citizens to encourage Indian nationalism.
don't agree with the remarks by Hindu nationalists as (their's) is
divisive talk and such divisive policies can't run the nation," he said in
comments apparently aimed at Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi,
although he mentioned no names.
He was speaking about 'The
Media's Role In Promoting Secularism' at an 'Excellence in Journalism'
award function organised by Marathi daily 'Lokmat'.
intellectuals must fight divisive tendencies like religion, caste, region,
language and race, Katju said, adding that whatever united Indians would
be the path to progress.
All Indians were first class citizens of
the country and there cannot be any discrimination between communities, he
"Muslims have been wrongly painted. Whenever a bomb blast
occurs, within no time TV channels start saying that an email or an SMS
from some Muslim organisation has claimed responsibility, thus demonising
the entire Muslim community. Is this responsible behaviour?" he asked.
truth is that 99 per cent people of all communities, be it Hindu, Muslim,
Sikh or Christian, are good citizens.
"But often an attempt is
made to depict all Muslims as terrorists," he said.
Babri Masjid was demolished, a section of the media had become "kar
sewaks", instead of attacking communalism, Katju alleged.
not mince words in lashing out at superstitions, astrology and other blind
beliefs, saying Indian people have a feudal mentality which the media
should not promote.
The truth is that most Indians are still
extremely backward and steeped in casteism or communalism, which is
evident during elections when most people vote on the basis of caste or
religion, he said.