“Who are the original inhabitants of Maharashtra? Even Marathis are from outside”

Chairman of the Press Council of India (PCI) Markandey Katju on Sunday slammed the ‘sons-of-the-soil’ theory propagated by political leaders, calling it anti-national and unconstitutional.

“What is this sons-of-the-soil theory of some of the political leaders here [in Maharashtra]? Who do they think are the original inhabitants of this land? Even the Marathis are from outside. Their theory of only Marathi people being sons of [the] soil is completely anti-national. It clearly violates the constitutional provisions,” Justice Katju said, while speaking at a conference organised by the Islamic Social and Cultural Foundation in Bhiwandi in Thane district on the subject of Unity in Diversity.

‘Ostracise such persons’

Justice Katju, without naming anyone, said people who were propagating such theories should be ostracised. “Except tribal communities, none of us are the original inhabitants of this land. These people first targeted South Indians in Mumbai, and then they attacked Biharis and other North Indians. The Constitution gives everyone the right to stay anywhere in this country. Such violators of the Constitution should be kicked out of social circles,” he said.

Attacking the religious fundamentalists of Pakistan, he said there was need for union among India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

“The time is not far off when these three countries will come together as one nation, like before, under the leadership of a secular government,” said Justice Katju, adding that he considered Pakistan a “fake” country created by the British to divide the subcontinental people.

“A civilised society is judged by the condition of the minorities in it. Both India and Pakistan fail on this front as neither of them has been able to give a fair environment to its minorities,” he said.

Reiterating his earlier statement calling 90% of Indians “idiots,” Justice Katju said he meant that they could be fooled very easily by religious and casteist extremists.

“It is extremely easy to create a riot-like situation in India, as we have totally lost our ability to think scientifically and independently. We are blindly following what others tell us. This keeps us backward and poor.”

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