Justice Katju is narrating a funny story When Indians fooled Time magazine

TIME

The genius of the Indian people

By Justice Markandey Katju

This incident happened about 50 years ago when I was a student in Allahabad University, but it is still fresh in my memory, as it depicts the genius of the Indian people.

An article had been published in the famous American Time magazine, which was critical of India ( I forget the details ).

Some Indians wrote letters to the Editor of Time, in which they fully and strongly supported what was written in the article, and they requested that their letters be published in the next issue of Time.

However, the writers of these letters gave the choicest and filthiest Hindi abuses ( compared to which MC, BC, BW, UKP etc sound decent, sweet and honourable ) as their names.

The editorial staff of Time were obviously ignorant of these Hindi abuses, and they were very happy that Indians had supported their article. Hence they published these letters in the next issue of Time, along with the names ( or rather, filthy abuses ), oblivious of the fact that the writers had befooled them.

Some copies of Time in which these letters were published were actually distributed, and I could lay my hands on one of the copies.

However, it seems that thereafter someone informed the Editor that he and his staff had been taken for a ride, and the result was that the names ( rather, abuses ) in the copies which had not yet been distributed, were blacked out before distribution.

Moral of the story : don’t ever mess with the Indian people !

(Justice Markandey Katju is former Chairman, Press Council of India and former Judge, Supreme Court of India.)

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