It is unbecoming of a person of the stature of Justice Markandey Katju to say that he could not pay tribute to the Shiv Sena leader (“Why I can’t pay tribute to Thackeray,” Nov.19).
As admitted by him, a dead man carries no past and should be allowed to rest in peace. If we keep on raking up the past of dead men, there is no end. If he does not want to pay tribute, it does not matter. He should have kept his opinions to himself.
The country needs writers like Justice Katju to point out how in almost every State, narrow-minded politicians are becoming leaders overnight by raising the bhumiputra theory. Bal Thackeray does not need to be praised since he embraced very narrow ideals nor can he be called a statesman.
The article must be appreciated for its candid and objective expressions. In addition to the unconstitutional and anti-national bhumiputra theory, the Shiv Sena leader supported intimidation and violence which is a greater blow to India’s secularism and democracy. The letter by M.V. Nahusharaj (Nov.19), on how he was “advised” to amend a recruitment policy is an example. It is wrong to presume that with his demise, the Shiv Sena and its constituents will mend their ways.
May I add an epilogue to the article. Neither can I admire those ministers in the Union Cabinet who are reluctant to give the States other than theirs their legitimate share — be it railway lines, Central investments or Plan outlay. It is high time all of us thought of a united India where all the States and citizens are treated as equals.
When politicians and leaders were paying rich tributes to the departed leader, we should hail the courage of Justice Katju in registering his vote of dissent.
There were numerous indictments against Bal Thackeray, but governments choose to look the other way. As Justice Katju says, it is the sacred duty of every Indian to work for the unity and integrity of the country and fight divisive forces.
The article was an eye-opener. Unity in diversity is the face of India and any partisan attitude will only help disintegrate and weaken our nation. Let us hope the heirs of Bal Thackeray will realise that the bhumiputra is the son of this soil and not only of Maharashtra.
A frank and forthright article. No ifs and buts. Just the plain truth.
It is disconcerting to note that, even after his death, Bal Thackeray commands the same amount of dread and fear, which is being misunderstood as respect. Justice Katju deserves praise.
It was interesting to look at the Thackeray-legacy against the perspective of our Indian Union. Bal Thackeray contributed immensely towards divisive and destructive forces and politics in Maharashtra. It is strange why citizens never resisted this.
The article was not dissent but much required dissection.