August 13, 2016 12:58:34 am
Former Supreme Court judge Markandey Katju’s blog describing Keralites as the “real Indians” has gone viral on the social media.
The post even prompted Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan to respond. Thanking Katju for his “kind words”, Vijayan attributed the present-day Kerala to the struggles of the Communists.
In the blog ‘Who are the real Indians’, Katju, former chairman of the Press Council of India, on Wednesday wrote that “thinking rationally, I believe that the real Indians are the Keralites, because they have in them the quintessential qualities of Indians”.
He wrote, “I regard Kerala as the real India because it represents a microcosm of India… Kerala is open to external influence. Keralites are great travellers…” Stating that India is a country of immigrants and the ancestors of perhaps 95 per cent people living in India today came from abroad, Katju wrote, “So to live united and in harmony we must respect every group of people. In my opinion the Keralites do this the best, and therefore they are symbolic and represent the whole of India. So they are the real Indians, and all of us must try to emulate them and imbibe their spirit.”
While Katju’s blog buzzed on the social media, Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan took to Facebook to say, “Thank you for your kind words about Kerala. As a Keralite and as the Chief Minister of Kerala, I feel proud. As mentioned in your post, Kerala has always nourished a democratic ethos that has enabled it to accept people from different nations and religions.”
The CPM politburo member went on to correct Katju over his comment on untouchability: “There was a time when untouchability was practised in Kerala. The powerful struggles waged against caste discrimination and feudalism which strengthened it resulted in Kerala becoming what it is today.”
Vijayan explained the struggles against landlords and feudalism, all led by Communists. “I wish to state that Kerala stands apart from the other states because of the severe blow it dealt to feudalism through land reforms and democratic decentralisation,” he wrote.
The CM also reminded Katju, “The question of who the real Indians are also suggests that there is no single notion of India, particularly when we talk of issues related to Jammu and Kashmir and Northeast India.”
Later in the day, Katju clarified on his earlier post, “Let me tell Keralites. I don’t want your votes. I don’t want to please you. But the truth is you represent the whole of India, which is a pluralistic country. I find in you the essence of India. Therefore you are the greatest of Indians. All Indians must learn from you.’’
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