Kochi: A day after Justice Markandey Katju called Keralites the greatest of Indians, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan thanked him for his words lauding Kerala. “Thank you for your kind words about Kerala in your Facebook post. As a Keralite and as the Chief Minister of Kerala, I feel proud. As mentioned in your post, Kerala has always nourished a democratic ethos that has enabled it to accept people from different nations and religions,” Mr Vijayan responded in a Facebook post.
Justice Katju, former chairman, Press Council of India, and former judge of the Supreme Court, had made the comment in his blog. The post evoked tremendous response on the social media and Keralites shared and discussed the topic throughout the day. Justice Katju was forced to make a fresh Facebook post saying he had no plans to please Keralites.
“Let me tell Keralites. I don't want your votes. I will never stand for elections in Kerala ( In fact, I will never stand for elections from anywhere ). I don’t want to please you. But the truth is you represent the whole of India, which is a pluralistic country. Therefore, you are the greatest of Indians. All Indians must learn from you. Long live the Keralites,” he said. Mr Vijayan, however, pointed out an inaccurate statement made by Katju on untouchability.
“I wish to express that a statement in your post which said that scheduled castes never suffered discrimination in Kerala is historically inaccurate. There was a time when untouchability was practised in Kerala. The powerful struggles waged against caste discrimination and feudalism which strengthened it resulted in Kerala becoming what it is today. Therefore, the history of Kerala is also a history of struggles,” he said.