New Delhi: Justice Markandey Katju’s poor ‘joke’ on Bihar has triggered a controversy, apparently inviting comments even from Pakistan, asking Pakistan to either take both Kashmir and Bihar or nothing.
“Pakistanis, let us end our dispute once and for all. We offer you Kashmir, but on the condition you also take Bihar. It is a package deal. You have to take the whole package, or none at all,” said Katju’s post, which was posted on Sunday.
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s party has taken major offence at his post and has demanded that Katju be booked for sedition. “It will be better if he stays within his limits and stop making such remarks against Bihar to grab attention,” Nitish Kumar said.
"He is not the Mai- Baap (guardian) of Bihar to make such an offer. He must know that Bihar has a glorious history. Bihar is the place where Buddha gained enlightenment and it is not simple for anyone to take away Bihar from India,” the CM added.
Katju’s post came at a time when tensions have been running high between India and Pakistan over the unrest that broke out in Kashmir following Burhan Wani’s death. The Nawaz Sharif government had been repeatedly provoking India by demanding a plebiscite in Kashmir.
The former Supreme Court judge decided to offer his ‘package deal’ to Pakistan to put an end to the simmering tensions between the two neighbours. “Either you take both Kashmir and Bihar, or nothing. We will not give you Kashmir alone,” he said.
RJD leader and Bihar’s deputy chief minister Tejashwi Yadav took to Twitter to criticise Katju and reminded him of his state’s contribution to the country. “Please be aware @mkatju (Mr Katju) that Bihar is the land of great rulers like Chandragupta Maurya, the Great Ashoka, Vikramaditya and Sher Shah Suri,” Tejashwi tweeted.
“Katju Ji, Bihar may lack resources but that doesn't mean anyone can lambast it. Bihar has always shown the way to country in good & bad times,” the leader added. Some leaders have demanded that Katju be arrested for his statements but the former top judge remained unfazed and rued that people seemed to have lost their sense of humour.
“It seems to me that many Biharis lack a sense of humour,” Katju tweeted. But he just did not stop there. He tweeted another joke mocking Bihar. "I have just received authoritative information from Pak Govt. They have point blank refuse offer of taking Kashmir along with Bihar. They profusely apologized for ever asking for Kashmir & have promised never to do it again. The idea of getting Bihar too has horrified them," said in another set of tweets mocking Bihar.