‘What is Pakistan? It is Punjab and Sindh, which is actually part of India’
New Delhi: Pakistan is a "fake" country which was created artificially by the Britishers who started the "bogus two-nation theory", Press Council of India Chairman Justice (retd) Markandey Katju said in New Delhi on Tuesday.
The former Chief Justice of India was confident that in next 15-20 years India and Pakistan would reunite and a strong, powerful, secular and modern minded government would come to power.
He condemned the recent war hysteria created by media in the wake of beheading of an Indian soldier by Pakistanis troops in a cross LoC attack in Jammu and Kashmir.
"First of all let me tell you one thing Pakistan is no country. It's a fake country, it's artificially created country by the British who had the policy of divide and rule by starting this bogus two-nation theory that Hindus and Muslims have two separate nations," he said at a panel discussion here.
"And we are fools and were taken for a ride by the Britishers. Same artificial entity Pakistan was created. What is Pakistan? It is Punjab and Sindh, which is actually part of India," he said at the discussion on "Fuelling Indo-Pak Crisis: Mutilation or the media" at Delhi University.
"It is anti-national to talk about war between the two nations. Our economies, which is already in poor state, would be ruined. You must know that war is very expensive affair and we are poor country. We have fought three wars, has the standard of living of the people risen because of wars," Katju said.
He criticised media for making hue and cry over non-issues like news items related to film stars and cricketers while leaving behind important issues of poverty, price rise, unemployment and malnutrition among children and farmers' suicide.
"In last 15 years, 2.5 lakh farmers have committed suicide but it was suppressed by the media for five years and it came to light only when P Sainath had reported it. Even now no one is reporting it, instead they are reporting with whom Karina is having affair or (Sachin) Tendulkar making his 100th hundred," Katju said, wondering how Tendulkar's 100th hundred will raise the standard of living of the people.
Katju also attacked the media over its round-the-clock coverage of Anna Hazare's agitation and said there was great hue and cry about his agitation as if he would solve all problems.
"Is he a modern Moses... He has no scientific ideas. He has honesty but what about scientific ideas, take the example of his way of eradication of alcoholism. Media created a hype him as if now all the problems would solved," he said.
Katju cautioned media and asked them to decide if it is on the side of the people or those anti-people as India was passing through a transitional phase in its history from feudal, agricultural society to modern industrial society.
"In this transitional period, role of media is very important as it not only gives information which is the primary role, but also it should give leadership ideas to the people," the PCI Chairman said, adding media should support a cause and cannot remain neutral.
He also attacked "educated elite" for promoting communalism and casteism and said while voting they do not go by the merit of a candidate but by his or her caste.
Terming India as an extremely backward country, he said 90 per cent of Indians are fools. They are full of casteism, full of communalism and full of superstitions.
"80% of Hindus are communal and 80% of the Muslims are communal, this is truth and this is reality," he said.
Other panelists included Resident Editor of The Hindu Praveen Swami, Senior Anchor of CNN-IBN Suhasini Haider, Senior Journalist of NDTV Nidhi Razdan and Maj Gen (retd) GD Bakshi.
Razdan said, "Our responsibility as a journalist is to ask both sides tough questions and not take for granted what our state was saying. Pakistani journalists are questioning their state more than Indian journalists, especially on the issue of national security," she said.
Swami said journalists while reporting attacks should have an objective view and remain neutral.