Why is Justice Katju objecting to Arfa Khanum Sherwani being conferred the Kuldip Nayar Patrakarita Samman Award?

Amalendu Upadhyaya
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Awarding Arfa Khanum Sherwani

By Justice Markandey Katju

Arfa Khanum Sherwani, senior editor of thewire.in, will be receiving the Kuldip Nayar Patrakarita Samman Award from the Gandhi Peace Foundation, allegedly for her great achievements in journalism.

But her ‘achievements’ need some examination.

1. Arfa said India should have a Muslim Prime Minister. I regard this as a stupid idea. We need leaders who are truly secular and modern-minded, and their religion or caste are wholly irrelevant. But Arfa’s ‘secularism’ is revealed by this fatuous and inane idea.

2. Arfa often speaks out against evils in Hindu society, e.g. caste system, and she has defended reservations for Dalits and OBCs as they were oppressed for long.

Thus, regarding the recent SC verdict upholding 10% reservations for poor upper castes she tweeted against it, saying that reservations were meant to benefit the lower castes, not the upper castes.

What Arfa deliberately avoids saying is that all caste reservations, not just for upper castes, are political stunts for getting votes, and in fact, they have damaged the country, as I have explained in this article


So all reservations, whether for upper or lower castes, should be criticised, and not just those for upper castes. But Madam Arfa will never say this.

3. Moreover, while she criticises feudal evils in Hindu society e.g. caste system, she never criticises such evils in Muslim society e.g. sharia, burqa, madarsas and maulanas, which were suppressed by the great Turkish leader Mustafa Kemal Ataturk in the 1920s.

Secularism has to be a two-way, not one-way, traffic. To be truly secular one must condemn feudal, backward practices among both Hindus and Muslims. But Arfa only criticises evils in Hindu society. This is the truth about her ‘secularism’, which is a one-way traffic, a trait which she shares with much of our so-called ‘liberal’ and ‘secular’ intelligentsia.

(The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of THE HASTAKSHEP.)

What is India by Justice Markandey Katju

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