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Jan 25, 2012
05:15 PM

Mail received:

O Justice Katju
So wonderful are you
Without your insight
We are dark without light
So thank you, we do

Sundeep Dougal, New Delhi
Jan 25, 2012
05:15 PM

Another mail received:

O Justice Katju
Without you, what will we do?
Shine on your light divine
For us thoughtless bovine
You are our hero, we moo

Sundeep Dougal, New Delhi
Jan 25, 2012
06:27 PM

Mr. Katju looking for the "good old days". Why doesn't he start a litfest based on his objectives? BTW, did anyone say Rushdie is great or best or greatest. He was invited as an author of Indian descent with some decent novels to a Litfest. He could have just come and gone without any of the hungama or domination of the event but for a section of the population making it into a big deal and the government showing no spine what so ever.

Why not make the arguments to the supposedly offended population to ignore him rather than give him more oxygen of publicity? Do that please, Mr. Katju instead of preaching to the "so called educated".

Arun Maheshwari, Bangalore
Jan 25, 2012
06:38 PM

 Who is the critic: former judge, chairman or a reader/writer/literary & film critic? If it is the first two, it can be rejected as the views of a pro-establishment gentleman. On the other hand, if it is literary or film critic, he has the privilege to express his views. But such critic must quote one contemporary writer, whom he thinks superior to the London based writer or the Bombay based film personalities, who has written great literature on issues he has highlighted and who surpass all writers from the ancient Kabir to Gorky or even Neruda. He should also specify the parameters of literary criticism he is applying or wants us to apply. He should also educate us on Kapil Sibal as a poet or writer or literary critic as he reportedly was another participant at Jaipur. And finally, why has he ignored the eminent poets from Urdu? Because they are more fierce in their attack on the Mullahs from the Mayakhanas and Katju fears courting controversies with the section of the Muslim community that effectively ran its writ over that of the law? Is Manto okay for secondary school syllabus, Sir???

M.L.Gupta, New Delhi
Jan 25, 2012
07:30 PM

>>Kabir and Tulsidas are no good because they lived on the ghats of Benaras

Katju ...thats why your mentality is typical of a guy living in a ghat !!

Jo Mb, kolkata
Jan 25, 2012
08:59 PM

 We needed a Laloo Yadav version of a Public Intellectual. Otherwise where is the mirth?  I love to see Laloo the parliamentarian, and now I wait for the next humrous episode from "Justice" Katju.

Tearful Onion, Jhumri Talaiyya
Jan 25, 2012
09:22 PM

This guy will do and say anything to get some ink.  Is he saying that Mr. Rusdie should not have been invited to this conference?  Is he saying that all who attended this conference were better authors?  Does he know every country and region have their own complexes?  The western world have complexes that eastern world authors who demonize their own culture/country/religion are great authotrs.  That is why Arundhati Roy became very famous in western world (of course, until she attacked western government's policy and she became overnight a facist in their opinion).

P.B. Joshipura, Suffolk, Virginia
Jan 25, 2012
09:22 PM

Because he has spent a career writing legal  judgments ,Katju believes he has the automatic and ultimate authority to pass on  judgement about literature as well.

This is an Indian problem, the judiciary is accustomed to overreaching its area of function. I am an authority on law, so I am an authority on everything under the sun!

Rushdie had become famous and won a Booker prize long before the Satanic Verses controversy arose. He received recognition from the stalwarts of literature in contemporary England. Remember those who conferred him awards and recognition are among the respected names from literature and they are not organizing the Jaipur literary festival.

As a reader Katju may not be an admirer of Rushdie's writings. He may find Kabir or Tulsidas more appealing. But that is true with any author-reader relationship, Tagore had as many admirers as his critics who complained that Tagore's poetry was too complex. However if a reader cannot appreciate an author's writing does that make him a sub-standard writer -quite contrary to what the experts from literature are saying?

Katju's legal judgment cannot be criticized because of the dictat called "contempt of the court". But literature? That's not your area of expertise. Back off Mr. Katju.

Jan 25, 2012
09:59 PM

"Memory has its own special kind. It selects, eliminates, alters, exaggerates, minimizes, glorifies, and vilifies also; but in the end it creates its own reality, its heterogeneous but usually coherent version of events; and no sane human being ever trusts someone else's version more than his own.”......Rushdie, in Midnight's Children.

Anyone with even a minimal understanding of what constitutes good writing would unhesitatingly say that only a genius can write so elegantly and so profoundly. 

 I am sure that the good judge belongs to the "so-called educated" class of Indians, for whom he has so much contempt. He should realise, however, that just possessing an ability to read and write does not automatically confer on him the right to pronounce judgements on what constitutes good writing and what doesn't.He is a spectacularly incompetent literary critic.

D.L.Narayan, Visakhapatnam
Jan 25, 2012
10:52 PM

i have a stinking feeling that katju is an alcoholic like me. otherwise, how could he come up with such inane comments? 

jackass, lol
Jan 25, 2012
11:16 PM

 This guy is the Rakhi Sawant of our venerable judiciary. 

Amit, Tucson
Jan 25, 2012
11:39 PM

Jokers like Katju examplify all that is wrong with the Indian judiciary today.

The Irreverent Indian
Online, India
Jan 25, 2012
11:44 PM

One has only to hear this moron for a few minutes to lose all faith in the judiciary.

Whats InAName, San Francisco
Jan 26, 2012
12:26 AM

Justice Katju liked only one book: Emile Zola's 'I Accuse". As a genial curmudgeon he should be given the title of "Uncle of the Nation".

Anwaar, Dallas
Jan 26, 2012
12:34 AM

K.V. Bapa Rao writes:

Well, here's a quick attempt of mine to respond to Shri Mahamahopadhyaya Markandeya Katju:

What a blessing is old Katju
He is there to teach you
That an ass with status
Still got no afflatus
Say, don't let him catch you!, New Delhi
Jan 26, 2012
12:38 AM

 Actually, Rushdie was quite well-known well before Satanic Verses.  He had penned Grimus, Midnight's Children, Shame and The Jaguar Smile before the Satanic Verses.  Grimus is a very odd book, but the rest were well-received critically.

Ex-Justice Katju obviously knows not of what he speaks.

Srinivas Ramdas Sunder, Austin, Texas
Jan 26, 2012
01:03 AM

The old man is losing

Amit, Tucson
Jan 26, 2012
01:18 AM

He is competing with Diggi Raja in making stupid sentences. He is actually far more entertaining that Diggi. 

Maha, NJ
Jan 26, 2012
02:17 AM

>> As a genial curmudgeon he should be given the title of "Uncle of the Nation".

The only moniker he is earning right now is "idiot of the nation".

Can't MMS find even a single reasonable person to fill these appointed posts? Every one of his appointments, from Pratibha to Navin Chawla to Thomas to Katju has been a disappointment.

At least Pratibha had the good sense to keep quiet once she got elected, and complete her term without saying or doing anything. MMS must be thinking that he should have been president, since he does the exact same thing, but is criticized for it.

Whats InAName
San Francisco, United States
Jan 26, 2012
03:27 AM

 Rushdie is a writer of contemporary times. Kabir and Tulsidas are from the earlier era. Rushdies Satanic Verses does not match his Midnights Children in language and content. Justice Katju should compare his writings with others in the West or contemporary writers like Arundhati Roy. His Midnights Children is better than The God of Small things. 

Kabir and Tulsidas were detached and spritual souls with minimal needs. They did not work for money.  like Rushdie. Katju is simlpy indulging his retirement pastimes in comparing Raswriters ( Kabir and Tulsidas) . Both Kabir and Tulsidas were fully dipped in the Ras of spirituallity whereas Rushdie is like a sugar coated fairy floss to be consumed for temporary pleasure. 

Katju should do social work. Start old age homes for old people and not follow Diggyvij Singh

gajanan, Sydney
Jan 26, 2012
11:23 AM

My Lord, are you still having Indian-Judge-Is-Emperor hangover or looking to get elected in Rajya Sabha from Congress?

Gambler, Thar
Jan 26, 2012
12:53 PM

What one sided comments. Will someone please stand up and defend the Hon'ble Mr Justice Katju.

I found Midnight's Children to be an excellent cure for insomnia, but if other people think he is a great writer that's their privilege. Perhaps Justice Katju should let people choose their own literary models instead of dictating to us whom we should admire.

Bonita, Chennai
Jan 26, 2012
01:30 PM


"I found Midnight's Children to be an excellent cure for insomnia"

Have you ever watched a court proceeding and our lordships doing the "needful"?

Amit, Tucson
Jan 26, 2012
02:09 PM

It's now Justice Katju's turn to do a Rushdie. Another episode for that charlatan Arnab & another  back-slapping patronising waffling by that Radia's connect.

Jan 26, 2012
02:32 PM

I found Midnight's Children to be an excellent cure for insomnia

Everybody was talking Satanic Verses. I scratched some of them, found nobody has actually read it but incessantly talking it. So I thaught I would pull a smart one. Actually tried  reading the book. Don't recall if I really finished . This much I recall that I had an huge attack of kolavery . Only

Kaila glass-u
-Only english-a
Hand-u la glass-u
Glass la scotch-u

Saved the day.

Jan 26, 2012
02:54 PM

 I read Satanic Verses a long time ago. Its a good satire but not really classic, so have not re -read since. Midnight's Children is more like the move "hirak rajar deshe" by satyajit ray.

Justice Katju would have been ignored is he was not in a position to muzzel our press.

ANBanerjee, Newcastle
Jan 26, 2012
03:34 PM

At last Diggy Raja has found a competetor in Mr Justice Katju in shooting off  his mouth uttering gibberish profanities  day in and day out, so as just to be in public view !  What a fall, Justice Katju !! Well, the positive side of this development is  that we have found yet  another  person Entertainer the public free of cost.

G. Niranjan Rao, Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh
Jan 26, 2012
08:03 PM

While I disagree with a lot of what Justice Katju says, there is more than a grain of truth in:

"whole problem with the so-called educated Indians of today is that they still suffer from the colonial inferiority complex. So whoever lives in London and New York must be a great writer, while writers living in India are inferior."

Pradip Singh, STAFFORD
Jan 26, 2012
08:47 PM

Eccentric as a Press Chief, he might be, but Katju has called a spade a spade - a whiff of fresh air in an Indian media which hates people who do not 'conform'.

Male Unblocked, Chennai
Jan 26, 2012
09:31 PM

Merits or mediocrity of Rushdie is not the issue here. Justice Katju should have pontificated upon government's  deceit in keeping an invited guest out of India and denying him the chance to participate in a literary  festival even virtually. While on the other hand on the same day Chairman of United Jihad Council and supreme commander of a terrorist organization Hizbul-Mujahideen, Syed Salahuddin ; a known murderer , terrorist and fugitive from Indian Justice who is actively engaged in armed violent action against the Indian state addressed the press in India by telephone on communication links provided maintained and controlled the Government of India .

Ashutosh Kaul, Toronto
Jan 26, 2012
11:22 PM

Hitoshi Igarashi, its Japanese translator, was stabbed to death on 11 July 1991; Ettore Capriolo, the Italian translator, was seriously injured in a stabbing the same month; William Nygaard, the publisher in Norway, barely survived an attempted assassination in Oslo in October 1993, and Aziz Nesin, the Turkish translator, was the intended target in the events that led to the Sivas massacre on 2 July 1993 in Sivas, Turkey, which resulted in the deaths of 37 people.However, the only nation with a predominantly Muslim population where the novel remains legal is Turkey.

Kiran Voleti, Chennai
Jan 27, 2012
03:20 AM

This comment by Markandey Katju (“recently a judge of the Supreme Court” and “Chairman of Press Council of India”) completely misses the point and strays into obscurantism. (I had to read his comment twice before I realized it was not satire!)
The point is freedom of expression and freedom from ignorance. Mr. Katju It’s not only the Jaipur Festival that has sunk to a low, it’s the Government of India, whose ruling party has only one raison d’être – the getting and keeping of power. It has no principle, nor scruple to stand in the way of dynastic succession. Also, Mr Katju through your comments you too have put yourself and the calibere of Supreme Court judges in a poor light. Indeed, as a Supreme Court judge, you must be somewhat acquainted with the principle of freedom of expression and the need to protect it. Indeed, these comments have also sullied the reputation of the Press Council of India. Having the Chair of Press Council of India making such turgid and off the point comments must have the members  scratching their heads and wondering if this is the man to preserve and maintain the freedom of the press.

Raja Panwar, Edmonton
Jan 27, 2012
12:57 PM

From Indira days all institutions have been headed by congress sympathisers.This Katju fellow seems to be doing more for ruling party than the Nation.Shame on him.

Paramvir Sawhney, Gurgaon
Jan 27, 2012
06:15 PM

good one justice

fine, delhi
Jan 28, 2012
08:32 PM

So befitting  a Baboo
Is our  Honorable Katzoooo 
History may  miss  your Judicial judgements
But your literary pronouncements, like your excrement,
Best kept to your loo, Sri Katzooo 

Tushar Patel, Jamnagar
Jan 29, 2012
03:26 AM

No Katju "Clown" is the greatest writer. This man is getting irrelevent.Now he has lost last iota of grey matter he ever head. Retire and stop embarrasing yourself.

Jitendra, Melbourne
Jan 29, 2012
10:06 AM

Rushdie a Poor, Sub-Standard Writer: Katju
PTI | New Delhi | Jan 25, 2012

The literary jamboree at Jaipur (JFL) was hijacked by the  Indian National Congress in collusion with the corrupt and pliable bureaucracy.  This exposed how could the intelligence agencies be mis-used  by the power that be for narrow political ends.How alerts are fabricated to create  artificial crises and confusions to stifle people's voice?

And, now is the turn of loud mouth former judge Markandey Katju ,who is hell bent on exercising his Right to Freedom of Speech. In their anxiety to remain in the news, they make outrageous statements for whomsoever they like. Such unsolicited comments are given undue coverage by the Media;he being the Chairman of Press council of India.No editor worth his salt,has the courage to criticise him,even if justified. He criticises every one except the corrupt Congressmen and their scams. Is the Media scared of his uncharitable and undeserved comments made in exercise  of  the Freedom of Speech.Was he appointed by the GOI to implement the Congress agenda? At least,so it seems.Let him learn to shut up and stop pontificating.Let him participate in meaningful live debates along with legal luminaries on judicial reforms,instead of

A K SAXENA  (A retired civil servant)

Jan 29, 2012
10:33 AM

Rushdie a Poor, Sub-Standard Writer: Katju
PTI | New Delhi | Jan 25, 2012

His Master's Voice called (Retired) Justice Markandey Katju, has a political agenda to  justify all  despotic actions of  the Indian National Congress.He must express his views freely on various corruption scams of UPA  regime since 2004.He must endeavour to reduce his huge trust deficit with the Media instead of following the confrontationist approach. Let some Retired Judge  scrutinise the merit  of  Justice Katju's  judgements during his entire career to expose his ideological inclinations and preferences. This is suggested as the Chairperson  of Press Council of India is expected  not only to be neutral but must appear to be so !

A K SAXENA  (A retired civil servant)

Jan 29, 2012
10:33 AM

Rushdie a Poor, Sub-Standard Writer: Katju
PTI | New Delhi | Jan 25, 2012

His Master's Voice called (Retired) Justice Markandey Katju, has a political agenda to  justify all  despotic actions of  the Indian National Congress.He must express his views freely on various corruption scams of UPA  regime since 2004.He must endeavour to reduce his huge trust deficit with the Media instead of following the confrontationist approach. Let some Retired Judge  scrutinise the merit  of  Justice Katju's  judgements during his entire career to expose his ideological inclinations and preferences. This is suggested as the Chairperson  of Press Council of India is expected  not only to be neutral but must appear to be so !

A K SAXENA  (A retired civil servant)

Jan 29, 2012
03:48 PM

I am not aware whether Jaipur Literature Festival deals with the works of only contemporary authors or of all authors since the dawn of human civilisation. If former is the case, then Justice Katju comments are irrelevant.

India courts' judgements are probably the worst example of English prose. They are highly verbose and pontificate too much, and written in archaic style with liberal use of Latin phrases and uncommon words.

Indian judges need to be taught to write simple, plain English.   

Anupam Rae, Virajpet
Jan 29, 2012
07:39 PM

 Katju is forgetting that he has been appointed the Chairman of Press Council of India not the Chairman of Press Council of Congress .

a k ghai, mumbai
Jan 30, 2012
06:05 AM

Despite no Dickens:

Letters from the Festival Directors

From which:

Our offerings this time are as diverse as in previous years, with session subjects ranging from myth, religion, art, architecture, archaeology and music to gardening and economics. Debut writers and unheard voices share the sky with international stars and popular bestsellers.

We celebrate the art of writing for stage and screen, and of the novel and the short story. We introduce Indian readers to extraordinary new talents such as Teju Cole, Taiye Selasi and Pola Oloxiarac. We are particularly proud this year to have Tom Stoppard, David Hare and Ariel Dorfman, three of the greatest living playwrights in the company of legendary Indian theatre personalities like Girish Karnad and Asghar Wajahat. The festival will host fine novelists such as Annie Proulx, Ben Okri, Kiran Nagarkar, Lionel Shriver and Michael Ondaatje, as well as Salman Rushdie, winner of the Booker of Bookers, and friend of the festival at its very beginning, who is now returning for a second visit. We are also thrilled to host Oprah Winfrey, sometimes said to be the most powerful woman in America and the woman who, along with JK Rowling, has probably done as much as anyone else alive to get people reading books.

We have so much to offer that it is difficult to know where to begin. ‘Prison Diaries’ discusses the powerful and moving memoirs written by Iftekhar Gilani, Anjum Zamarud Habib, and Sahil Maqbool, during their days in jail. Conservationists hold up a vision for a sustainable ecological future in ‘Born Free: Tiger Tales from Ranthambore’. Hugely beloved poets and legendary lyricists like Gulzar, Javed Akhtar and Prasoon Joshi bring a whiff of Bollywood andaaz to the gardens of the Diggi palace. We will also be analysing the fascinatingly interwoven lives and relationships of Tolstoy and Tagore, Gandhi and Ambedkar.

There is a special emphasis on the Bhakti and Sufi poets who illumined the literature of medieval South Asia, from Kabir and Meera Bai to Rumi and Shams Tabrizi…. While we venerate the great literature inspired by religious faith, and are proud to present writers on popular spirituality as widely read as Deepak Chopra, we also celebrate humanism - both in ancient Indian and Enlightenment versions, with discussions about God and man in the presence of some of the world’s most articulate and literate athiests such as Richard Dawkins, Javed Akhtar, Steven Pinker and AC Grayling.

With its 22 scheduled languages, 122 regional languages, four classical languages (Sanskrit, Tamil, Kannada and Telugu) thousands of mother tongues and countless dialects, India exists in a constant and ongoing state of translation. While Indian literature in English is visible in the mainstream media, the vibrant writing in the various Indian languages is not always accessible. Writers from Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Bengal, Assam, Goa, Maharashtra, the Konkan coast, Karnataka and Punjab showcase the linguistic diversity of these regions, and the compelling thread of shared sensibility which binds them together. ‘Raavi Paar’ and ‘Amar Bangla’ evoke literature across borders while Dalit writers like OP Valmiki, Bama and Gogu Shyamala question the hierarchies of caste and language.

We are proud to look outwards as well as within. We present frontline reports from the Arab Spring and the troubled embrace of Israel and Palestine; we report on migration, exile, and on genocide. We ask what is the role of the writer when faced with oppression or military tyranny, and we speculate on who will be the superpowers of the 20th century. We examine the literature of Latin America, look at screenwriting from Hollywood to China, and the literature of the Afropolitans, the new generation of global writers who have their roots in Africa.

Travelling across genres, we examine the art of narrative non-fiction, literary journalism, military history and travel writing, with cutting edge writers of non-fiction like the Tiger Mother Amy Chua, and masters of long form journalism as distinguished as the editor of the New Yorker, David Remnick and the former editor of the Paris Review, Philip Gourevitch. We are lucky this year to have an especially strong team of prize-winning biographers: Purushottam Agarwal on Kabir, Simon Sebag Montefiore on Stalin, Rosamund Bartlett on Tolstoy, Peter Popham on Aung Saan Suu Kyi, James Shapiro on Shakespeare, Joseph Lelyveld on Gandhi and Sugata Bose on Subhash Chandra Bose.

Literature Festivals like Jaipur help us reflect on the changing nature of words, the shared stories they tell and the histories that they condense. In a virtual age, festivals like ours assert the joy of engaging face to face in dialogue and debate. The Katha Sarit Sagar, the 'Sea of Stories' which is Indian literature, is renewed and revived every year by the extraordinary phenomenon of the Jaipur Literature Festival, which remains the most democratic and egalitarian book festival in the world. All literary events are completely free, the authors mingle with the crowds, and seating is on a first-come, first-served basis.
We thank the writers, the participants, the sponsors and the committed and engaged audiences who make possible the collective energy of the festival.

Every year, in January, the world visits India, and India visits the world. We hope you enjoy the journey.

Zafar, Sydney
Jan 30, 2012
11:57 AM
Comment removed for violation of Website Policy
jokepal, Kotlu
Jan 31, 2012
04:39 AM

Midnight Children was the only good work from Rushdie.

I tried to read Satanic Verses and found it really boring and

somewhat disgusting. Not only Justice Katju but some other

reviwers in USA have also made similar remark about Rushdie.

Justice Katju's point is that Rushdie is not a writer of such quality that

his absence would undermine the success of the festival. It is not like

Djokovic and Nadal were kicked out of Tennis tournament in Jaipur.

Anyway he is busy chasing some women for his fith wife.

sajid khan, Providence
Jan 31, 2012
04:34 PM

Waiting for the next instalment of pearls of 'wisdom'  from the resident court jester of  the modern Delhi darbar.

Bhagat Singh, Atlantis
Jan 31, 2012
08:19 PM

Marknade Katju is apower monger. With in a week of his retirement Markande Katju managed to get the post of the chairperson of the PCI.. But he ienjoyed enormous power as a Suprme Court Judgge. H eis the person who  wrote in one of his judgements that all Indians are Foreigners as all their ancestors were from the tribes of invaders.This view is often uttered by the Late Marxist Leader Comrade Jyothi Basu.H eis the man who while still as the Judge of SC made an appeal in his personal capacity to release a Paksiatni National who is undergoing Life Imprisonment in connection with a murder case in Rajastan. He said that the person was 80 Year old.and that would help in Indo- Pakistan Friendship Can a sitting Judge of SC say so?. The  JUdiciary later regected the mercy petetion of that Paksitani National.He calls all sub-standard and below average.. Some days back he commented abouit Journalists and Columnists as sub-standard fellows qithout knolwedge. A man calling others sub standrad is a Doubtful Asset  or Bad Asset to use the Banking Terminology..

Karavadi Raghava Rao, Vijayawada
Jan 31, 2012
10:38 PM

The only time Mr Katju has sounded sensible and scholarly,was when he spoke on the perfectness of Devanagari script and the unsceintific formation of the English alphabet.That must be the first and last time he has shown erudition.Now,i have started doubting whether it was his own contribution or picked from someone else.

S.S.Nagaraj, Bangalore
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