I had once been an admirer of Mr Markandeya Katju, particularly in those days when he was a judge in the Supreme Court. I have even written a couple of articles on him when he spoke about the utility of Mimamsa principles in interpreting penal codes and in declaring that it is a myth that today's scheduled castes were always treated with indignity. (Use Mimamsa principles – SC tells and The 'caste' shadow 'cast' in our country! )
Perhaps those were the only views that deserved commendation because on the other occasions he had only demonstrated how much less he knows. Towards the end of his tenure he exposed his utter lack of knowledge of our country's past history by his misinterpretation of Ekalavya's story. (For Kapil and Katju, Hinduism is not a religion!)
Though he has been periodically mouthing rubbish even since he became the Chairman of Press Council of India, by living up to the adage, 'Be a Roman while in Rome', his recent comment on the anti-corruption efforts by Baba Ramdev reached its pinnacle of absurdity which no other writer from the print media had ever attempted to reach. Fittingly enough, The Hindu gave the platform to publish that article.
It really intrigues me how none of these people from the media including the PTI chairman Katju, raises a whimper against the stubborn nature of the Congress for shielding the corrupt and not showing any sign of action to check corruption and bring back black money, but pounce on anyone who questions the government and its attitude. Katju does just that against Baba Ramdev – in a despicable way that derides the very culture of this nation and its people.
The very culture of this nation and the way of life - for which he referred to Yajnavalkya Smruthi and Mimamsa in his judgements -were handed down to us by Swamis and Sanyasis only. They lived in remote places but did not hesitate to question the rulers (kings) when the rulers abdicated their responsibility or resorted to mis-rule. He may say that their goal is to reach Moksha and also help people to reach Moksha only and that they have no business in mundane affairs. But the goal of Moksha cannot be practiced in an atmosphere of Adharma. There should be rule of Dharma in the land for its people to become elevated selves so that they go in the path of Moksha. In today's condition, an elementary type of Moksha is needed – in other words, this country needs Moksha or release from the corrupt government so that rule of Dharma is allowed to prevail. By speaking in the tongue of the media, Katju reminds us that we need Moksha from the media too that protects the corrupt govt by criticising every effort against corruption.
The situation has come to such a state, that people would support anyone who speaks against the Government at the Centre in its approach to check corruption. If not many people participated in the fasts for Lok pal or Black money issue, that does not mean that people are not bothered about those issues. Lok pal and Black money are in fact euphemisms for fight against corruption. Not many might have understood them, but the fact is that people are angry against the attitude of this government, its attitude towards the corrupt and its arm twisting ways to silence the people who question this attitude.
The congress think -tank may be of the opinion that corruption is a non issue (electorally) with the people, as is the issue of price rise. Price rise is an issue but when it hurts common man, it comes with a supplementary anger that they have to bear the heat of price rise because their money has looted by the Congress in particular or that they need not have to bear the heat of price rise if only black money has been brought back to the country. People are also watching the methods of the Congress govt in trying to silence those who raise these issues. The Babas and Annas are helping in creating awareness among the masses, as the scenes of their fasts are reaching every nook and corner of the country through television channels. Go anywhere in India, the only question you hear is when this corrupt Government is going to go. As an astrologer, this is one question I am hearing from all the persons who meet me to discuss their personal problems. Once their personal problem is discussed, they ask me this question before leaving. This reminds me of the days of DMK Govt before the last State elections in Tamilnadu when people were very much fed up with Karunanidhi. A sense of similar anger and frustration is seen now.
The pulse of the people is that they are disillusioned with this govt. But that doesn't mean they will come out of their houses to participate in the fasts and the meetings to express their solidarity. The monumental looting of this govt and its ministers have sunk so well with the public that any diversionary tactic employed by the writers including Katju to belittle the anti corruption efforts would not go well with the Public. Behind every such writing we see many Nira Radias and the power of money. The anti – corruption fastings may have failed but the most urgent thing needed to be done before the next election is to get the EVMs removed and reverting back to paper ballot. If that is not done, people would lose hope in future and might even express their anger through violence.
Coming to Katju's article, after acceding to the power of penance and Shiva's boon in the first part of his narration, he goes on to discredit in the latter part and the one who did penance and got the boon. This makes me suggest that he would better remove 'Markandeya' from his name as it no longer fits into his way of thinking. Let him replace it with the term 'Mleccha'. Only a Mleccha Katju would not understand the glory of the tradition of penance for which Markandeya is a finest example and the glory of Lord Shiva in making his boon work despite odds.
By this narration, his name Markandeya will be remembered with a short lived glory and fame. Katju as a judge will be totally forgotten for whatever finest judgements he had given but will only be remembered as a C-class person – C for Corruption –cum - Congress. The diminishing state of his mind is also exhibited in the concluding part of his narration where he refers to the act of headstand (sheersasana) done by the Yogi and his followers (read Baba Ramdev and his followers at Ram lila maidhan fast) as a final attempt to bring about a revolution against corruption etc. He indirectly refers this as an act of buffoons, whereas the reality picture in India against corruption is that– even if we stand upside down on our head, the Congress government is not listening and is not going to listen. If by so doing, we are called buffoons, by what name the Congress government must be called?
Given below is the obnoxious article written by Mr Markandeya Katju , followed by a response from Mr Bala Gauthaman, Director, Centre for Research in Vedic Science.
The Swami and the Amogh Astra
Once upon a time in a country called Buffoonistan there was a Swami (and there were hordes of them) called Mokshaprapta (one who has attained salvation). One day he decided to pray to Lord Shiva for a boon. So he stood on one leg for 1,000 years with both hands raised and eyes closed (which is the classic method of obtaining nirvana in India), praying for Lord Shiva's darshan (revelation).
Pleased with his indefatigable devotion, Lord Shiva appeared and blessed him. He then told the Swami to ask for a boon.
The Swami said, "Mahadev, I am deeply dejected because while all countries in the world have invented wonderful weapons, my country Buffoonistan has invented none. The Chinese have invented gunpowder, the British warships, the Germans tanks, the Japanese kamimaze pilots, and the Americans atom bombs, my country has produced nothing."
At this Lord Shiva said, "Do not be dejected. Your country will produce an Amogh Astra [invincible weapon] which none can match."
"What is that?" enquired the Swami.
"It is anshan [fasting]" replied Lord Shiva. "No weapon can match this."
The Swami became very happy, and asked for details of this wonderful weapon.
Lord Shiva said: "This weapon has no match because none can equal its spiritual power. However, there is a secret key for using this weapon. And that is this: whether you fast for 3 days or 10 or 20, at the end of it your weight must be more than what it was before you started fasting."
The Swami felt a bit disturbed. "How is that possible?" he asked. "That is possible only by cheating and eating on the quiet."
"Chee, chee, chee" said the Lord. "Can I advise you to cheat? No, I will tell you a miraculous method by which you can gain weight while fasting. You should close your eyes, open the third one, which, as Yogis have explained, is on everyone's forehead, and while doing transcendental meditation, imagine seeing a lot of delicious dishes there. Then you must in your imagination eat that. That will really fill your stomach, and increase your weight."
The Swami was delighted and he fell at the feet of Lord Shiva, who then disappeared.
The next day the Swami began his fast for abolition of corruption in Buffoonistan. Buffoons from all over the country had assembled in the shamshanghat (cremation ground) where the Swami always held his meetings. He chose this place rather than Jantar Mantar or the Ramlila ground because he wanted his followers to develop a spirit of detachment, forgetting about this world and thinking about the next.
The Swami stood up on an elevated platform before the huge crowd of buffoons and declared that if a law for abolition of corruption was not passed in 3 days his peaceful protest would turn into a revolution.
Now this word 'revolution' is dicey. It can mean different things to different people.
In the audience a rakshas (demon) called Charvak was sitting, and he was known to be a mischievous fellow. He had the nasty habit of asking uncomfortable questions. He got up and said, "As far as I know, a revolution seeks to totally transform the entire society, like the French Revolution. You have never mentioned what kind of revolution you want. I think you are a fraud."
Now saying such a thing, particularly in a crowd of Buffoons, is extremely dangerous. The crowd has a mob mentality, like the Roman mob in Shakespeare's Julius Caesar . When Mark Antony incited the mob against Caesar's murderers, the mob went around seeking them. They caught hold of a poet called Cinna, who was different from Cinna the conspirator, and although he kept protesting that he was Cinna the poet, and not Cinna the conspirator, they lynched him saying, "Hang him for his bad verses."
Something equally sinister may have happened to our rakshas friend, but the Swami, who is a benevolent person and above petty feelings, beckoned Charvak to the dais, embraced him, and whispered smilingly in his ears, "One more word and I will hang you here upside down." But no one heard him say this, and people thought that out of magnanimity the Swami had forgiven Charvak.
The Swami then said loudly, "Our brother has raised a valid point and we must consider it seriously," and having said so he let him back into the crowd, from where he disappeared post haste before the Swami or his followers could change their minds.
The Swami said, "Our brother has raised an important point. How do we make revolution? Can any of you answer? After a revolution Buffoonistan will become a land of milk and honey, there will be no more corruption, or poverty, unemployment, price rise, sickness, etc.
"To achieve all this we must realise that this world is Maya, that is, illusion, as our Vedanta philosophy teaches. So we must realise that corruption, poverty, unemployment, etc., are all illusions. Once we realise this, the revolution will have been achieved.
"So I request all of you to stand on your heads and contemplate the world as Maya."
Everyone in the crowd then performed the yogic headstand (sheershasana), and that is the last they were seen doing by this observer.
The moral of this story is that everyone in Buffoonistan must have implicit faith in Babas and Swamis to achieve salvation and total revolution.
Mr Bala Gauthaman's response to the above article :-
The Diwan and the Divine khanoon
There was a country called Buffoonistan, which was invaded by barbarians for more than 1000 years. The country was raided,looted and disfigured by these barbarians and after a prolonged freedom struggle the country was freed from foreign invaders and a secular government was installed . In that country, there lived a responsible Sarpanch by the name Prafull. The Sarpanch decided to renovate a dilapidated temple in his village and approached the local Diwan HH.Market Kaju to release funds from the royal treasury. The diwan refused to do that citing the constitution of the country that states
No person shall be compelled to pay any taxes, the proceeds of which are specifically appropriated in payment of expenses for the promotion or maintenance of any particular religion or religious denomination.
A visibly upset Prafull left the Diwan's mansion and headed towards his village . On his way, he heard drum beats with the royal announcement that people belonging to the 'musmam' community can avail concessions for their pilgrimage to the desert land. On hearing this announcement in the Diwan's land, Prafull headed towards the mansion of the Divan.
Diwan HH.Martket Kaju was cosily sitting with another Peshkar in his court room.Praful entered the room and asked the diwan "My Lord, On what basis you are giving money to Musmams for pilgrimage? Is it not a violation of the constitution you cited to me earlier?"
Diwan HH.Market Kaju become furious and shouted "who are you to ask this question?"
A trembling Prafull with folded hands replied, "My Lord, I am a sarpanch of a village and all my forefathers hail from this Baffoonistan. We fought for the country's freedom and ...."
Unwilling to listen to Prafull's words the, angry Diwan Market Kaju shoted "You are a descendent of an immigrant!92 per cent of the people living in the sub continent are descendants of immigrants!"
On hearing this Prafull was taken aback for a moment and he continued, "My Lord!, if you say that 92% of the people are from outside, where is the evidence that some other part has held a proportional amount of population of this huge size in the past? and My Lord! when they have migrated? My Lord.."
"Behold you......"shouted Market Kaju and continued "I am not here to give explanations to you. "Baffoonistan is broadly a country of immigrants (like North America).It is due to the wisdom of our founding fathers that we have a Constitution which is secular in character, and which caters to the tremendous diversity in our country."
At this point of time Prafull thought that Diwan HH Market Kaju has come back to his senses and conceded "Diwan saab now I understood that constitution is supreme. I withdraw my request for temple donations."
Divan HH Market Kaju was elated by the response and started his usual sermon
"It may be mentioned that when Baffoonistan became independent there were partition riots in many parts of the sub-continent, and a large number of people were killed, injured and displaced. Religious passions were inflamed at that time, and when passions are inflamed it is difficult to keep a cool head. It is the greatness of our founding fathers that under the leadership of Chamcha Chacha they kept a cool head and decided to declare Baffoonistan a secular country . This was a very difficult decision at that time because Musmastan had declared itself an musman State and hence there must have been tremendous pressure on Chamcha Chacha and our other leaders to declare a buffoon State. It is their greatness that they resisted this pressure and kept a cool head and rightly declared Buffoonistan to be a secular state."
After hearing this long bashan, Prafull thought that something went amiss there and looked at the HH Diwan, with folded hands and started with a trembling voice
"HH Diwan, I am indeed enlightened by your baashan. Even in your baashan, you said it is a secular state then it should not patronise any religion. Then why this Government is patronising Musmams' to undertake a pilgrimage to the desert land". On seeing the angry face of Divan Market Kaju, the sarpanch bowed and continued without lifting his head "My Lord will the constitutional clause that states No person shall be compelled to pay any taxes, the proceeds of which are specifically appropriated in payment of expenses for the promotion or maintenance of any particular religion or religious denomination applicable here?"
HH Market Kaju realised that he was trapped by the ordinary village man and doesnt want to concede his defeat as it is the usual practice of the rulers and Nobles in Baffoonistan.
As the normal practice of this land, HH Market Kaju asked the sarpanch to come for his judgement after a week's time.
The D-day came and the court hall was filled to its brim.On that day 4 more cases were slated to be heard by the Divan. Three of them were very high profile. One involving a noble who cheated 1.75 lakh crore gold coins, another Noble amassed 66 crore gold coins without proper accounting, another Noble looted 1000 crore gold coins allotted to the royal stable.
On seeing Royals and Nobles, Prafull decided to leave the court room. While he is about to leave the room ,the Diwan thundered "Prafull!". A frightened Praful turned towards the Diwan with folded hands.
"There is no king or commoner here.All are same before me and the constitution. I will pronounce your judgement and then proceed to the other cases." said the Diwan with a grim face
The Nobles in the court room were trembling as to what is going to happen to their case, since the Diwan appeared to be so strict and neutral.They all started thinking of buying time till the next Diwan takes over.
The statement of the Diwan and a dead silent court room infused fresh confidence in Prafull and he asked HH Market Kaju with folded hands, "My Lord ! Do you agree with me that subsidy to desert pilgrimage is unconstitutional!"
Market Kaju starred at Prafull and replied "No, you are mistaken".
"In our opinion constitution would be violated if a substantial part of the entire income tax collected in Baffoonistan, or a substantial part of the entire central excise or the customs duties or sales tax, or a substantial part of any other tax collected in Baffoonistan, were to be utilized for promotion or maintenance of any particular religion or religious denomination. In other words, suppose 25 per cent of the entire income tax collected in Baffoonistan was utilized for promoting or maintaining any particular religion or religious denomination, that, in our opinion, would be violative of the Constitution.
In our opinion, we must not be too rigid in these matters, and must give some free play to the joints of the State machinery. A balanced view has to be taken here, and we cannot say that even if one paisa of Government money is spent for a particular religion there will be violation of constitution"
On pronouncement of this verdict, the Noble who faced a 66 crore graft case shouted in joy! I am acquitted! I am acquitted!
A curious onlooker asked the Noble "but your case has not come up"
The Noble replied, "You buffoon, Don't you hear what the Divan HH Market Kaju said?"
"I have looted only 66 crores, there are big looters inside this room and many more outside. Considering the amount of loot, 66 crore is not considerable It is not even 0.25% of the total loot....hahaha.I now understand that HH.Market Kaju is not too rigid, he gives freeplay and always takes a balanced view."
A deflated Prafull stared at the proud Diwan and said" Yes, Indeed it is a Baffoonistan"
The moral of this story is that everyone in Buffoonistan must have implicit faith in its constitution and its implementers to protect its Secular fabric.
Disclaimer: The bolded and underlined portions may have the ressemblence of judgements or observations of our Hon.Supreme court It is not intentional on my part to reproduce the same.