Katju hits out at Narendra Modi, says he's playing divisive politics
Talking about Hindu, Muslim, Sikh or Christian nationalism is anti-nationalist, said Katju.
Nagpur: Press Council of India chief Markandey Katju on Saturday hit out at Gujarat Chief Minister and BJP poll panel chief Narendra Modi saying that he has been playing divisive politics by raking up issues on Hindu nationalism.
"I don't agree with Hindu nationalism. We must be Indian nationalists not Hindu or Muslim. Talking about Hindu, Muslim, Sikh or Christian nationalism is anti-nationalist," Katju said.
He also requested the media and citizens to encourage Indian nationalism.
He was speaking about 'The Media's Role In Promoting Secularism' at an 'Excellence in Journalism' award function organised by Marathi daily 'Lokmat'.
Media and intellectuals must fight divisive tendencies like religion, caste, region, language and race, Katju said, adding that whatever united Indians would be the path to progress.
All Indians were first class citizens of the country and there cannot be any discrimination between communities, he said.
"Muslims have been wrongly painted. Whenever a bomb blast occurs, within no time TV channels start saying that an email or an SMS from some Muslim organisation has claimed responsibility, thus demonising the entire Muslim community. Is this responsible behaviour?" he asked.
"The truth is that 99 per cent people of all communities, be it Hindu, Muslim, Sikh or Christian, are good citizens.
"But often an attempt is made to depict all Muslims as terrorists," he said.
When the Babri Masjid was demolished, a section of the media had become "kar sewaks", instead of attacking communalism, Katju alleged.
He did not mince words in lashing out at superstitions, astrology and other blind beliefs, saying Indian people have a feudal mentality which the media should not promote.
The truth is that most Indians are still extremely backward and steeped in casteism or communalism, which is evident during elections when most people vote on the basis of caste or religion, he said.
(With additional inputs from PTI)