The PCI chairperson however clarifies that he did not intend to humiliate or harm anyone

Two youths here have sent a legal notice to Press Council of India (PCI) chairperson Justice Markandey Katju for remarking that 90 per cent of Indians are idiots. Tanya Thakur, a first year law student, and her brother Aditya Thakur in their notice have asked Justice Katju to issue a public apology and said they would move court if he did not do so within 30 days.

Ms. Tanya and Mr. Aditya said they were deeply hurt and humiliated by Justice Katju’s remark. The statement would bring down the reputation of the country and its citizens, and a person of his stature should have deliberated on its implications, they said.

However, in a mail sent to the duo on Monday, Justice Katju clarified that the remark was meant to awaken people to the realities of social evils.

“I have been misquoted in the press reports, but it is true that I have said that 90 per cent Indians [not all] are fools. My intention in saying so was not to hurt anyone but to awaken people to the realities, that is, the widespread casteism, communalism, superstitions, and other backward traits in the mindset of a large section of our people which is blocking our progress,” he wrote.

“The figure 90 per cent is not a mathematical figure, it simply means that in my opinion a large proportion of Indians [and again I repeat, not all] are fools,” the PCI chairperson said. “I never named you, any community, caste, or sect, and I never said that you are in the category of 90 per cent. Hence I do not see how you are defamed,” Justice Katju added.

Justice Katju said he did not intend to humiliate or harm anyone, but said whatever he had said because he loved Indians and wished them to prosper for which they have to develop a scientific outlook...”

At a seminar organised by the South Asia Media Commission in Delhi on December 8, Justice Katju said 90 per cent of Indians were “idiots” who can easily be misled by mischievous elements in the name of religion.

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