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India is in great distress… intellectual level of majority very low: Markandey Katju

Katju said only way to regain India’s past glory was through rapid industrialisation,modernisation.

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi |
November 15, 2011 3:07:21 am

India is going through a period of extreme turmoil,something similar to what Europe went through in the 16th and 17th centuries,and only after passing through this painful experience will it usher into a modern age.

That was the essence of a lecture by chairman of the Press Council of India Justice (retd) Markandey Katju — recently in news for expressing his not-so-flattering views on the media — at Jawaharlal Nehru University on Monday. ‘

He saw this “extremely traumatic and agonising” transition — from the largely feudal society to a modern,industrial one — to be over in about 15-20 years.

Katju,who was the author of many landmark judgments in the Supreme Court,said judges had to play a special role during these turbulent times as they formed the only pillar of democracy that was not tied to “vote bank considerations” and did not have to pander to political masters.

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“The judge must do whatever is in the national interest,” Katju said.

“Our country is in great distress. There are huge problems,relating to poverty,unemployment,price rise,healthcare,education… massive problems facing the country. Every patriotic Indian must come forward and contribute…,” he said.

Katju was speaking on the subject “What is India” while delivering the eighth Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial lecture. He dwelt at length on India’s glorious past,often inviting big applause from the students and teaching community.

Katju said the only way to regain India’s past glory was through rapid industrialisation and modernisation. “Unfortunately,the intellectual level of a majority of our countrymen is very low,” he remarked.

“We must promote rational ideas,scientific ideas and junk outdated,backward and feudal ideas. That is what I call being modern. If you want to win the respect of the rest of the world,then we must modernise our society and go for more industrialisation. The worst thing in this world is poverty,” Katju said.

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