New Delhi: India is
not a full-fledged democracy as 90 percent of its people vote like
sheep and cattle, Press Council of India chairman Justice Markandey Katju said here Saturday.
Speaking to TV channel Headlines Today, Katju said: "Ninety
percent Indians vote in droves like sheep and cattle. They are
like a herd of cattle voting along caste and religious lines."
"Because Indians vote like livestock, there are so many criminals
in parliament," he added.
The former Supreme Court judge said that he would not vote as
India was being run by leaders elected on the basis of their
caste, which is not the true form of democracy.
"I won't vote because my vote is meaningless. Votes are cast in
the name of Jats, Muslims, Yadavs or Harijans. Democracy is not
meant to be run like this. Why should I waste my time in joining
the cattle queue?" he said.
Boasting of his secular credentials, Katju said that he was
against communal forces and "by being secular, if I am branded a
Congressman, you are entitled to your view".
Katju has been in news for seeking a pardon for actor Sanjay Dutt
and Zaibunnisa Kazi, charged with illegal possession of arms in
the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case by the Supreme Court.
Katju has argued that Dutt stacked the weapons for self defence
and to protect his family from the threats that they were getting
in the aftermath of the Babri demolition.
"Sanjay Dutt is a shattered man. He has suffered enough but he has
reformed," he said.
Katju said that he was prepared to seek pardons for other stars,
Saif Ali Khan and Salman Khan, who have been charged for killing
endangered blackbucks in Jodhpur.
"I will study their cases and if I am satisfied that I should
speak out, I will surely plead their case," he said.
Accused of being hungry for publicity, the former judge said that
"seeking publicity is a form of vulgarity". He added that he never
chases controversy but what can he do if controversy chases him.
He also mocked Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal and his
former associate Anna Hazare, saying that corruption was a
"malaise which cannot be eradicated in the next 20 years".
"This campaign is like the tale told by an idiot signifying
nothing. There's no morality code in the country, so corruption
cannot be wiped out," Katju said.