KOCHI: Former Supreme Court Judge Justice Markendaya Katju says the Union Government should not be guided by a ‘Vietnam Syndrome’ like situation in Kashmir by talking only in the language of revenge against the killing of CRPF Jawans in a terrorist attack at Pulwama in the state. The Vietnam Syndrome refers to American forces punishing whole villages in retaliation to Viet Cong guerilla ambushes which led to the entire population turning against US forces in Vietnam.
The tendency of punishing ordinary people in the name of fighting insurgency and the culture of revenge and retaliation will only help to convert non-militants to militants. The situation in Kashmir is becoming very much similar to the Vietnam Syndrome, Justice Katju, said and cautioned against ordinary people being targeted in the name of fighting insurgency following the suicide attack.
“The stupid policies followed by the political leaders in the past few decades has made majority of the people in Kashmir to turn against India. We have to face this truth”, the former judge, a native of Kashmir said. He said a solution for Kashmir problem is the unification of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh as a single country.
Justice Katju has also opposed the majority judgment of the Supreme Court bench permitting women of reproductive age group to enter Sabarimala Temple. Stating that he is an atheist with no faith in any religion or God. Justice Katju however, said min-ority judgment of Justice Indu Malhotra was the correct in connection with Sabarimala Case.
“Religion is a matter of faith and not of reason”, he said. Article 14 of the Constitution that guarantee right to equality has to be read along with article 25 providing the right to religion, he added. He also dismissed the attempt to equate Sabarimala verdict with abolition of the custom Sati by saying that the practice of Sati amounted to subjecting a woman to a brutal death by burning while denial of menstruating women to enter Sabarimla is not having any such horrible practices.
Justice Katju berated the Supreme Court for its failure to quash the prosecution of activists in the Bhima-Koregaon case. Citing two of his own judgments when he was in Supreme Court he said such cases have to be decided according to the principle of “imminent lawless action test” used by the US Supreme Court in Brandenburg Vs State of Ohio in 1969.
The imminent lawless action test will show argument of the prosecution in the case have no merit and the same deserved to be quashed. Saying that regional parties will emerge as decisive forces in the forthcoming parliament elections he said BJP is likely to win 125 seats only....