Claiming that Indians vote in droves like sheep and cattle,PCI chief Justice Markandey Katju has said he would not vote as it was “meaningless” in a situation where democracy has been hijacked by feudal lords.
“Ninety per cent Indians vote in droves like sheep and cattle. They are like a herd of cattle voting along caste and religious lines. This is the bitter truth. And because Indians vote like livestock,there are so many criminals in Parliament,” Katju told news channel Headlines Today.
“I won’t vote because my vote is meaningless. Our democracy is still in transition and has been hijacked by feudal lords. Votes are cast in the name of Jats,Muslims,Yadavs or Harijans. Democracy is not meant to be run like this. My one vote will not make any difference. Why should I waste my time in joining the cattle queue?” he said.
The former Supreme Court judge said even the social elites like lawyers and professors vote along caste lines and added that he had seen this happening at the Allahabad Bar and at the university.
Katju also said he was secular and against communal forces,and it was upto the people to draw their conclusions.
“I am a complete secular person and by being secular if I am branded a Congressman,you are entitled to your view. I am against communal forces. This is a country of diversity and if we don’t take all our people together,we cannot survive for one day,” he said.
Katju also spoke in defence of actor Sanjay Dutt who was convicted under Arms Act in the 1993 Mumbai blasts case.
“When a mob of 100 people comes to your house,can a pistol suffice? He got an automatic weapon to protect his family. The Dutt family was getting threats when Mumbai was wracked by riots in the aftermath of the Babri demolition,” he said.
Katju said he is prepared to seek pardon not just for Dutt but also for other Bollywood stars if he is satisfied after studying their cases.
Explaining his decision to seek mercy for Dutt when the actor himself has said he would go to jail,Katju said the Bollywood star is a shattered man.
“Sanjay Dutt is a shattered man. He has suffered enough. He’s not in his right frame of mind. He has substantively served his sentence. He was linked to the underworld,but he has reformed,” the PCI chief said.
“A man changes in 20 years. Lets not take the approach of Shylock in the Merchant of Venice by demanding Dutt’s pound of flesh. I take the approach of Portia which exemplifies that justice should be tempered with mercy,” he added.
Katju,who is often in headlines for his controversial views,Katju said he did not chase publicity.
“Seeking publicity is a form of vulgarity. I don’t chase publicity,but if controversy chases me,what can I do? When I see something wrong,I will continue to speak out as a citizen of India. I have no desire to be in politics or create a votebank,” he said.
Speaking of the anti-corruption protests by Anna Hazare and Arvind Kejriwal,he said corruption is a malaise which cannot be eradicated in the next 20 years.
“This campaign is like the tale told by an idiot signifying nothing. There’s no morality code in the country,so corruption cannot be wiped out,” Katju said.