Why did Justice Katju say that Muslims are not a separate nation in India?

Amalendu Upadhyaya
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Muslims are not a separate nation in India

Why did Justice Katju say that Muslims are not a separate nation in India?

By Justice Markandey Katju

I posted this on fb and twitter :

''Muslims should themselves demand ban/suppression of sharia, burqa, madarsas, maulanas and All India Muslim Personal Law Board, which are keeping them backward.

In my opinion, Muslim women should not be given the choice to wear burqa or not. It is a feudal practice which must be suppressed, as was done by the great Mustafa Kemal in Turkey in the 1920s, and as has been done in France and in many other countries. Too much freedom is also bad ''.

Even some Muslim countries have banned burqa

In response someone named Sadique tweeted :

We Muslims do not have a problem with sharia, burqa, madarasa and AIMPLB. Then why should we demand their abolition? Now you tell me what problem you have with Muslims?

To which I replied :

Muslims are not a separate nation. As an Indian I have a right to criticise backward and feudal practices of all Indians, whether Hindu, Muslim or any other community. I have often criticised backward &feudal practices among Hindus e.g. caste system, looking down on dalits, or regarding cow as 'gomata' ( when it is just an animal like a horse or a dog ), or regarding eating beef something evil ( when 90% of the world eats it ).

Someone else asked '' Since you dont want Muslim women to wear burqa, should they go around naked, or in a bikini ? ''

I replied :

If a woman wears a sari or shalwar kameez, is she naked or in a bikini? The Quran only requires women to dress modestly. It nowhere requires them to wear a burqa.

Islam came in the world as a great liberating force, as it spread the great message of equality. But burqa puts a woman in a cage, and so it is directly contrary to the spirit of Islam.

As regards sharia, let me tell you that a law ordinarily reflects social conditions in a society at a particular stage of its historical development. So as society changes, the law too must change. How can a law which arose in Arabia in the 7th or 8th century be relevant in the 21st century ? Society has totally changed in these 1400 years. Can we have Manusmriti, which was written 2000 years ago, as the law for Hindus today ? Can we have stoning a woman to death for adultery, cutting off limbs for theft, nikah halaala, etc today? Sharia is totally outdated, and must be scrapped.

(Justice Katju is a retired judge of the Supreme Court of India. These are his personal views.)

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