Sunday 31 August 2014

India's finest hour in hockey

Indian hockey's day of glory was 15th August 1936, when our hockey team defeated Germany in the Berlin Olympics finals 8-1. The team was captained by the hockey wizard Dhyan Chand.

 Soon after our hockey team landed in Germany, and before the regular tournament began, our team played a friendly match against Germany. The field was wet that day as it had rained earlier, and our players were not accustomed to playing on a wet field, and often slipped. They were beaten by the Germans 4-1 in that friendly match.

  There was consternation among our players over this defeat. Dhyan Chand sent an urgent telegram to India asking Dara to join the team. Dara had fallen sick earlier, and could not accompany the team to Germany. Despite his illness, on receiving Dhyan Chand's telegram he immediately left for Germany and joined the team.

  In the semi finals India beat France 10-0, and entered the finals to face Germany, which was the favourite to win in view of their victory over India in the friendly match.

  But soon the tables turned. The Germans knew that they had to focus on Dhyan Chand, as he was known to be the most feared Indian player. So they crowded around him to eliminate him from the game. But again and again, like the sun coming out of the clouds, Dhyan Chand would emerge out of the crowd of German players, and dribbling around them like a magician,would score a goal. Ultimately India beat Germany 8-1, Dhyan Chand scoring a hat trick, and Dara ( who later in 1948 played for Pakistan ) scoring two. It was India's finest hour in hockey, never to be repeated.

The J&K Assembly Resolution for talks with Pakistan

The Jammu and Kashmir Assembly has passed a resolution urging the Indian Government to resume talks with Pakistan.

With respect to the Assembly, what it has totally overlooked is the fact that Pakistan is no country at all, it is a fake, artificial entity created by the British to keep Hindus and Muslims fighting each other, so that India ( of which Pakistan is really a part ) does not emerge as a powerful, highly industrialized nation ( for which it has all the potential now with its huge pool of engineers and scientists and huge natural resources and man power), and thus become another China.
What is Pakistan ? It is Punjab, Sindh, Baluchistan, and NWFP, which were all part of India in the time of the great Emperors Ashoka and Akbar, and even in British times.

When I meet Pakistanis I feel no different from them. We speak the same language, Hindustani ( called Hindi by us and Urdu by them), we look like each other, share a common culture, e.g. love for Urdu poetry and classical Indian music, the same dress and food, etc

Pakistan was created on the basis of the bogus two nation theory, that Hindus and Muslims are two separate nations. If religion is the basis of a nation, then hardly any nation in the world could survive. Britain will have to be partitioned into about 10 'nations', Anglican, Presbyterian, Roman Catholic,Jewish, Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, etc. So also U.S.A. Russia, France, Germany, etc. Almost all countries have people of different religions.

So what will talks achieve ? If there really are good relations between India and Pakistan, then the very purpose of creating Pakistan will cease to exist. The solution is reunification of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh under a strong, secular government which does not tolerate religious extremism of any kind and crushes it with an iron hand. but this reunification, though bound to happen, will probably take 15-20 years, because those who have divided us will not let us easily reunite, and we have to wage a long, arduous struggle to attain this objective

Saturday 30 August 2014

It must be understood that India is not like U.S.A. or Europe. In U.S.A. or Europe if someone says that Jesus Christ was gay. there may not be much of a reaction. But in India if one  says the same about Lord Rama or Prophet Mohammed there is bound to be a strong reaction, which may even turn violent. This is because most Indians are strongly religious. Hence while we must spread scientific ideas ( which I have been propagating throughout as that is necessary for India's progress), we must take care not to hurt peoples religious sentiments, as that would be counter productive. Surely scientific ideas can be spread without insulting the Quran or Prophet Mohammed or Lord Rama or Lord Ganesh.

Friday 29 August 2014

My First Home

I have seven homes in India, Kashmir, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bengal, Orissa, Tamilnadu, and Delhi and so I am truly all Indian. Let me mention about them one by one, in separate posts. This post is about Kashmir, my first home

I am a Kashmiri Pandit. There are two kinds of Kashmiri Pandits, the Kashmiri speaking ones, and the non Kashmiri speaking ones. The non Kashmiri speaking Kashmiri Pandits ( like myself) are those whose ancestors had migrated from Kashmir valley about 200 years back. These Kashmiri Pandits all migrated in exactly the same way, that is, they got employment in some princely state, i.e. in the Court of some Maharaja or Nawab ( they got such jobs as Kashmiri Pandits were highly proficient in Urdu and Persian, the Court languages).  The ancestors of Pt. Nehru, Sir Tej Bahadur Sapru, etc had all come from Kashmir in this way.Having left Kashmir, they forgot the Kashmiri language after about two generations, and know only,Hindi and English. My estimate is that they are between one and two lacs in number. My own ancestor, Pt. Mansa Ram Katju migrated from Kashmir about 200 years ago and got service in the Court of the Nawab of Jaora. Jaora is a town in Ratlam district in western Madhya Pradesh, on the border of Rajasthan. My family lived in Jaora for several generations

The Kashmiri speaking Pandits ( like my wife) are those who can speak Kashmiri ( apart from Hindi and English). Such Kashmiri Pandits are those who remained in Kashmir, and would be today about 3 lacs in number ( most of them fled from Kashmir after the selected killings of Kashmiri Pandits from 1989 onwards). Kashmiri language is totally different from Hindi, and when my wife speaks to her relatives in Kashmiri I cannot understand,though we have been married for over 40 years.

Though the non Kashmiri speaking Kashmiri Pandits had left Kashmir about 200 years ago, they married only among themselves, and not with the local Pandits or other communities. Also, they retained their food habits. They are non vegetarians, their preference being for Kashmiri mutton dishes, e.g. roghanjosh, yaqni,kabargah, kofta, rista, etc, apart from vegetarian dishes like dam aloo, haq, etc.
Although such Kashmiri Pandits had migrated about 200 years ago, we never forgot Kashmir, and proudly called ourselves Kashmiris. We were like the Jews who had migrated a long time back from their homeland, but said in their prayers :
 " If I forget thee, O Jerusalem
   let my right hand forget its skill
   If I do not remember thee
   let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth"
                                     Psalm : 137.5
 The same was always our sentiment for Kashmir

Despite leaving Kashmir so long ago, we would perform the Kashmiri Pandit religious rituals regularly, e.g. Shivratri puja, pun, etc. I remember when I was very young on Shivratri day my family members used to go in a procession to a door, behind which was another family member. We used to say " Kuch choo, kuch choo", and the person inside would say, "Kay heyth ", and we would say " An dhan Laxmi", and then the door would be opened and we would enter. It was only after my marriage with a Kashmiri speaking lady that I came to know what we had been chanting for 200 years without understanding its meaning ( like many people chanting Sanskrit mantras). In Kashmiri language, ' kus choo ?" means "who is it?". "Kus choo" became "Kuch Choo" after 200 years, and "kay hyeth" i.e. ' what have you brought with you ?", became "kay heyth". It was only when my wife told us the meaning of what we had been chanting for 200 years that we understood its meaning.

Although the Kashmiri Pandits who had migrated about 200 years ago were only a tiny community in the regions where they had settled, their influence ( like that of the Parsis, another tiny community) far outweighed their numbers. We were a highly respected intellectual community, and having first taken up service in some princely state, in a later generation we entered the legal profession, where we excelled. In U.P. not only were some of the top lawyers in the Allahabad High Court Kashmiri Pandits, in about one half of the district Courts in U.P. the leader of the bar was a Kashmiri Pandit ( though in each town we were only a few dozen in numbers). The same was the position in many other north Indian states where Kashmiri Pandits had settled

Still later many of us entered the civil services, or became business executives, etc, and some migrated to foreign countries.

Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia and Amir Khusro

When the great sufi saint Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia ( 1238-1325) died in Delhi, his favourite disciple Amir Khusro ( 1253-1325), was away from Delhi. On hearing of the death of his guru, Amir Khusro rushed back to Delhi, and on reaching his fresh grave broke down, and recited one of the most pathetic and heart rending couplets in Hindi :

" Gori sove sej pe, mukh pe daare kes
   Chal Khusro ghar aapne, saanjh bhai chahu des"
 "The fair maiden lies on a bed of flowers, her tresses covering her  face
   Come Khusro, go back to home, for the sunset is all around "

Soon thereafter Amir Khusro also died.

99% people are good by nature

I am a disciple of the great French philosopher Rousseau ( 1712-1778), who believed that basically men are good by nature, unlike the English philosopher Thomas Hobbes ( 1588-1679), who believed that men are evil by nature.

 That is why I believe that 99% of all people, whether Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Christian, Parsi, Jain, Baudh, etc, and of all castes, races, languages, regions, etc are good by nature. But being simple by nature they are often deceived and misguided by the 1% wicked and crafty persons who have their own nefarious purposes and vested interests, and who often make people fight with each other. Such agent provocateurs should be exposed and severely punished

Thursday 28 August 2014

Appointment of Chief Justice of India

I have read the article of Mr. Sankaranarayanan published in Times of India (25.8.2014) which was in response to my article published on 24.08.2014 in which I had written that the CJI should be appointed on merit, not seniority. My reply to Mr. Sankaranarayanan is as follows :

1. Article 124(2) of the Indian Constitution states : " Every Judge of the Supreme Court shall be appointed by the President--after consultation with such of the Judges of the Supreme Court and of the High Courts as the President may deem necessary for the purpose"

 In the Second Judges case, referred to by Mr. Sankaranarayanan, has not the Supreme Court practically amended Article 124(2) of the Constitution, and substituted a different provision in its place by a judicial verdict ? Amendment to the Constitution can only be done by Parliament under Article 368. By which principle of interpretation was this power taken over by the Supreme Court ? In the garb of interpretation can the judges amend a statutory or Constitutional provision ? If the Judges can make such amendments to the Constitution by judicial verdicts, then what can debar them from saying that whatever may be written in the Constitution, there will be henceforth two or more Presidents of India, two or more Prime Ministers of India, or two or more Chief Justices of India ?

2. A plain reading of Article 124(2) shows that consultation by the President of India with the Judges of the Supreme Court or High Courts is only if he deems it necessary. Hence the President need not consult them, at least in the case of appointment of the Chief Justice of India, and may prefer to consult a body of some eminent jurists, which may include reputed senior lawyers of the Supreme Court and/or the High Courts, eminent academic jurists, retired Judges,etc. There is nothing in Article 124(2) debarring such consultation

3. Even in the second Judges case, to which Mr. Sankaranarayanan refers, the Supreme Court has said : " Appointments to the office of the Chief Justice of India have, by convention, been of the seniormost Judge of the Supreme Court considered fit to hold the office. The provision in Article 124(2) enabling consultation with any other Judge is to provide for such consultation if there be any doubt about the fitness of the seniormost Judge to hold the office, which alone may permit and justify a departure from the long standing convention. There is no reason to depart from the existing convention".

   Now a convention is a convention, and not a statutory or Constitutional rule.When the Supreme Court delivered its verdict in the second Judges case in 1993 ( which practically amended the Constitution, as I have already pointed out), there may not have been any reason to depart from the convention. But since then experience has shown the harmful effects it has had on the judiciary. Mr. Shanti Bhushan, the former Union law Minister, and a very senior lawyer of the Supreme Court, filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court that half the 16 CJIs prior to the filing of the affidavit were corrupt. Surely Mr. Shanti Bhushan knew what he was talking about, and he has far greater experience of the legal world than Mr. Sankaranarayanan ( he was Advocate General of U.P. even before I started law practice in the Allahabad High Court in 1970, and he has also been a Union Law Minister). Even after the filing of that affidavit there have been CJIs about whose integrity there was a grave question mark, and I am sure Mr. Sankaranarayanan knows whom I am talking about since he has apparently been practising for many years in the Supreme Court.

 As I said, a convention is not a statutory rule, and when experience shows it has been having a deleterious effect it should be given up, and a better method adopted.

4. Mr. Sankaranarayanan has referred to the supersession of the 3 seniormost judges of the Supreme Court by Mrs. Gandhi's government and appointment of Justice A. N.Ray, who was junior to them. as the CJI. I agree with him that this was totally improper, and an attempt to end the independence of the judiciary. But when I said that the CJI should be appointed on merit, not seniority, I did not mean that the assessment of merit should be done by the government. It should be done by a committee of eminent jurists ( which may include eminent senior lawyers of the Supreme Court and the High Courts, eminent retired Judges, and legal academicians of repute),and the members of this committee could be chosen by a panel consisting of the Chief Justice of India, the Union Law Minister, and the Chairman of the Bar Council of India. Alternatively, some other method of assessing merit by an independent body of jurists could be devised

5. As regards the repeated personal attacks on me in his article by Mr. Sankaranarayanan, ( e.g." Being the grandson of Dr. K.N. Katju and the son of Justice S.N. Katju one can safely assume that Mr. Katju was in possession of a radio in the summer of 1973", or " Critics could well argue that Mr.Katju himself ought to have been disqualified from taking a seat on the apex court or even being appointed to the Press Council ), I would not like to make any comment, except to say that Mr. Sankaranarayanan could do with a little manners.
  Justice Katju

(Published in The Times of India on 28.08.2014)

Tuesday 26 August 2014

Emperor Ashoka and Religious Tolerance

The Girnar Rock Edict of Emperor Ashoka, on Religious Tolerance
(Girnar is near Junagarh in Gujrat, and the Edict is inscribed on a rock on the Sudarshan Lake of the Mauryan Emperors. The probable date of the Edict is around 260 B.C.)

"Thus saith His Sacred and Gracious Majesty the King : The King honours all religious sects. His Sacred Majesty does not value gifts and honours as he values the growth of the essential elements of all religious sects. But the root of it is restraint of speech, that is, there should not be honour only of one's own religion and condemnation of other religions. On the other hand, other religions should be honoured too. By doing this, one helps his own religion to grow, and benefits the religion of others too. By doing otherwise, one harms his own religion and injures the other religions too. For whoever honours only his own religion and condemns other religions injures more gravely his own religion. Hence concord alone is commendable, and all should listen, and be willing to listen, to the beliefs professed by others. This is the desire of his Sacred Majesty."

The Age of Transition

This is the age of transition in India's history, transition from feudal agricultural society to a modern industrial society. At present we are neither totally feudal nor totally industrial, but somewhere in between.

This transition period in history is a long, very painful and agonizing period, when the whole society is thrown into turbulence, turmoil, social churning and intellectual ferment. If we study the transition from feudal agricultural to modern industrial society in Europe, which was roughly from the 16th to the 19th centuries, we find that it was full of turbulence, wars, revolutions, social chaos and churning, intellectual ferment, etc, with theories of Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Adam Smith, Voltaire, etc.

It was only after going through this fire that modern society emerged in Europe. India is presently going through this fire. We are going through a very painful period in our history, which I think will last for another 15-20 years or so.

For what is a transition in history ? It is a period when society is being rocked and torn apart, uprooted from its very bottom, and a new modern society is being put in its place. Old values, ideas and customs are being destroyed, and are being replaced with new ones.

Indian society is presently still quite backward, full of casteism, communalism, and superstitions. I gave several examples to prove this. One was of the lady OBC Professor in a College whom I met, and who said that her family was quite liberal, and many family members had married outside her caste. But when I asked her whether she would permit her daughter to marry a scheduled caste boy she firmly said no. This shows that most non-SCs still regard SCs as inferior.

The other example I gave was of the SC Madras High Court Judge who was a colleague of mine when I was the Chief Justice of Madras High Court. His wife told my wife that when they had a love marriage, her relatives performed her funeral rites, and thereafter had nothing to do with her.

Another example is of the 'honour killings' of a SC who marries a non SC in parts of India e.g. in western U.P. and Haryana.

I can give any number of other examples of the backwardness of the vast majority of people in india.

To convert this backward society to a modern scientific one will not be an easy task. It will require tremendous struggles of the masses led by the enlightened, modern minded minority in India. It entails changing the mindsets of 125 crore ( 1250 million) people and making it modern and scientific. Will that be easy ? Not at all. It will require the patriotic, modern minded section in our society to be ready for a long struggle to patiently explain and educate the Indian masses to give up their old, feudal ideas and customs ( casteism and communalism are feudal) and adopt modern scientific ones.

I have said all this not to frighten you all but to tell you realistically of the long, arduous road ahead for Indians.

Sunday 24 August 2014


A Bihari student was allegedly so badly ragged in Scindia school that he attempted suicide.
 In my opinion ragging is a shameful practice, and must be stopped. It must be understood that a new student in an institution is normally scared and apprehensive as he has come into a new environment. At that time he needs emotional support and help from his seniors, who should tell him not to worry about anything, and give him all help and advice so that he can adjust in the new environment. They should act like elder brothers, and be especially kind and helpful during his early days when he has come into a new environment. Instead, ragging is a cruel practice, which can totally demoralize a sensitive new student, and even drive him to attempt suicide.
  We need not ape all practices of the British, particularly when it is bad, like ragging

Pick Chief Justice of India on merit, and not seniority

The present Chief Justice of India, Justice Lodha, is retiring on 27th September , 2014, and the question now is who should be appointed his successor ?

For quite some time the convention has been to appoint the seniormost Judge after the Chief Justice as his successor. In my opinion now the time has come to do away with this convention as it is often leading to undesirable results which has caused great harm to the judiciary. The Chief Justice of India is head of the judicial family, and an undeserving appointment can cause great harm which may last for several years.

It may be noted that there is no Constitutional provision or even a statutory rule that the seniormost Judge of the Supreme Court should be appointed as the Chief Justice of India.

In England and in the US there is no such rule or convention. In England the convention was that when the Lord Chancellor, who was the head of the British judiciary ( until the Supreme Court was created recently), resigned or died (there was no retirement age) the attorney general was appointed as the next Lord Chancellor. In fact in India in the early years after the promulgation of the Constitution, when a certain Chief Justice of India retired at the age of 65, the then Union law and home minister, Dr. KN Katju asked the then attorney general, Motilal Setalvad, whether he was willing to take over as the Chief Justice. Setalvad replied that he was ineligible as he had crossed the retirement age of 65 ( see Mr. Setalvad's autobiography 'My Life').

In the US there is no such convention of appointing the seniormost Judge of the US Supreme Court as the Chief Justice. In fact some of the outstanding Chief Justices of the US Supreme Court were not even judges of the US Supreme Court when appointed as its Chief Justice. For instance, Earl Warren was the governor of California when he was appointed Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court, and he proved to be one of the most outstanding chief justices, heading the Court which gave historical judgments e.g. Brown vs. Board of Education (1954). The present Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court was not even a Judge of the Supreme Court when he was elevated directly from the DC Circuit Court in 2005 at the age of 50 years as the Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court, and he is proving to be a great Judge ( see his judgment in the Healthcare case).

Perhaps the convention of appointing the seniormost Supreme Court Judge as the Chief Justice of India was adopted so as to keep away any controversies. However, experience has now shown that this convention has proved to be defective, and often results in grave mistakes.

Shanti Bhushan, former Union law minister, and presently a very senior lawyer of the Supreme Court, in an affidavit filed in the Supreme Court has stated that half of the 16 Chief Justices of India, prior to the filing of this affidavit, had been corrupt. Even subsequent to the filing of this affidavit there have been Chief Justices of India, about whose integrity grave question marks were raised. Their names are well known, and need not be mentioned. A Chief Justice of India who retired recently got his sister elevated to his parent high court although she was almost 60 years old ( the retirement age of high court judges being 62) and was widely regarded as undeserving. The Chief Justice of the high court who recommended her name was rewarded by being elevated shortly thereafter to the Supreme Court, while the Judge next in seniority ( who has the highest standard of integrity) who strongly objected in writing to her appointment as she was undeserving,was punished by being denied elevation to the Supreme Court, while his junior was elevated. This is the price which has often to be paid for honesty !

In my opinion the convention of appointing the seniormost Judge of the Supreme Court as the Chief Justice of India should now be given up for the following reasons :

(1) The seniormost judge may be a person of questionable integrity, or may have done wrong things. I have with me a dossier ( given to me by a senior member of the Committee of Judicial Accountability) of one senior judge of the Supreme Court containing documentary proof of his corruption, and yet he was appointed as Chief Justice of India being the seniormost in the Supreme Court. A copy of this dossier had been sent to the President of India and other high authorities before his appointment as Chief Justice, but no heed was paid to it.

(2) The seniormost judge may be a man of integrity, but may be a mediocre person. He, too, should be superseded, and a judge next in seniority, or one even lower down in seniority, if outstanding ( as borne out from his judgments),should be made Chief Justice of India.

I may mention in this connection that when I was appointed as Chief Justice of Madras high court I contacted Justice Venkatachaliah, former Chief Justice of India, and the father figure in the Indian judiciary, to seek his blessings. He told me that some chief justices think that their main job is administrative, and so they get bogged down in administrative work, and neglect their judicial functions. This, he said, was a total mistake and misunderstanding. The main function of a Chief Justice is to give leadership to the Court on the judicial side, by giving outstanding and landmark judgments.

So if a Judge is mediocre he will be unable to give outstanding and landmark judgments, even if he is a man of integrity. In my opinion such a mediocre Judge should be superseded.

(3) If there is an outstanding Chief Justice of a high court, he can be directly appointed as the Chief Justice of India. In this connection it may be mentioned that when the then Chief Justice of Bombay high court, Justice Chagla, who was known to be outstanding, was sought to be directly appointed as Chief Justice of India when the then Chief Justice of India retired, this move was strongly opposed by the then Supreme Court Judges who threatened to resign en bloc, and hence the move could not fructify ( see Justice Chagla's autobiography 'Roses in December'). In my opinion it was highly improper for Judges to give such threats, and Justice Chagla should have been appointed Chief Justice of India, and the Government of India should not have succumbed to such threats. If the Judges resigned, so be it. They could be replaced by others. No one is indispensable.

I have already given the example of the present Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court, Justice John Roberts, who was a Judge of a Court lower than the US Supreme Court ( the DC Circuit Court) when directly appointed as Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court, and he is proving to be an outstanding Chief Justice, though much younger than his colleagues.

At present I know of some outstanding Chief Justices of High Courts whom I regard as deserving to be appointed directly as Chief Justice of India.

In conclusion I repeat : when the present Chief Justice of India, Justice Lodha retires, the Government of India should not go by seniority but choose the fittest person and appoint him as the Chief Justice of India.

(Published in The Times of India on 24/08/2014 : Link )

Saturday 23 August 2014

Liquor ban in Kerala

The Kerala government has decided to ban sale of liquor in the state in 10 years. In my opinion this prohibition policy is flawed, and will result in increase in crime and deaths by consumption of illicit toxic liquor by poor people.

One is reminded of the experience of U.S.A. where the 18th Constitutional Amendment in 1920 introduced prohibition in U.S.A. This resulted in the growth of the Mafia and other organized criminal gangs which did widespread bootlegging. Ultimately it was realized that prohibition was counter productive and had failed. Consequently by the 21st Constitutional Amendment prohibition was done away with in U.S.A. We must take a lesson from this historical experience.

Poor people often drink to get some temporary relief from their miserable life. So to reduce drinking we have to raise their standard of living and give them a decent life. This does not, of course, mean that rich or middle class people do not drink

To reduce drinking liquor, education is required, not prohibition. Prohibition is only counter productive.

Friday 22 August 2014

India's basic problem

The basic problem of the country is not how to increase production but how to raise the purchasing power of the Indian masses.

With our huge pool of competent engineers and scientists, and our huge natural resources, we can easily increase production several times. The problem, however, is that of sale of these goods produced. 80% of our people are so poor that they do not have the purchasing power to buy these goods. This is particularly so in view of the high prices of basic requirements like food, which eat up most of the income of most people. Where is the money to buy other goods ? And unless the people have money to buy these goods there will be a glut in the market as the goods will remain unsold.
In classical economics there was a law called Say's Law, named after the French thinker Jean Baptiste Say ( 1767-1832) which said " Supply creates its own demand". This was disproved by the British economist John Maynard Keynes ( 1883-1946) in his famous book ' The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money' ( in brief known as 'The General Theory'), published during the Great Depression of 1929-1939.

So our thinkers must seriously consider and find out a viable solution to the problem of how to raise the purchasing power of the Indian masses.

Sunday 17 August 2014

How to be true Indians

This is the modern age of equality To be true Indians we must change our mindsets and genuinely believe in equality But do most indians genuinely believe in equality ? I am afraid the answer is no. Most Hindus and most Muslims do not genuinely believe in equality. Let me try to prove this.

Let us take Hindus first.

Most Hindus believe that the Scheduled Castes are inferior. The test of this is whether non- SC Hindus would object to their sons or daughters marrying SCs. Most would certainly object, obviously because they regard SCs as inferiors.

I had in earlier posts given two examples. One was about a lady OBC Professor with whom I spoke. She claimed to be liberal and modern minded, but when I asked her whether she would permit her daughter to marry an SC boy she immediately said no. So even the so called backward castes regard SCs as inferior. The other example was of the Madras High Court SC Judge who had married a non-SC lady, and the lady's family performed her funeral rites on her marriage and thereafter had nothing to do with her. Any number of similar examples can be given. In many parts of the country if a non-SC boy or girl marries an SC both are killed as an 'honour ' killing.

Does this not prove that most Hindus do not believe in genuine equality, and regard SCs as inferior ?
Now let us consider Muslims. Most Muslims have castes, and Sayyids, Sheikhs and Pathans regard themselves as superior to Ansaris, Qureshis,etc. and would normally not marry with them, although Islam teaches equality of men. 

Moreover, Muslim Personal Law treats Muslim women as inferior, because while Muslim husbands can orally divorce their wives giving no reason, Muslim wives cannot do so, and have to file a petition in Court which may take several years to decide ( after appeals and second appeals), and then, too, the outcome is uncertain because they have to establish by evidence one of the grounds mentioned in section 2 of the Dissolution of Muslim Marriages Act, 1939.

Also, Muslim daughters get only half of what their brothers get to their father's property.

When I said this a fierce attack was made on me by many conservative Muslims alleging that I am against Islam. I have many Muslim friends, and I am not against Islam, but I am certainly against inequality. The Muslim Personal Law is an unjust law as it treats women as inferior, and so it must be abolished ( just as the old Hindu Law was abolished by the Hindu Marriages Act, 1955 and the Hindu Succession Act, 1956).

So if Hindus and Muslims want to become real Indians they must change their mindsets and practice and genuinely believe in real equality. Hindus will become real Indians when they stop regarding SCs as inferior, and marriages between non-SCs and SCs take place on a large scale. Muslims will become real Indians when marriages between the so called 'upper caste' Muslims and 'lower castes' take place on a large scale, and when a large number of Muslims demand abolition of the unjust Muslim Personal Law which treats women as inferior and get it abolished by legislation which abolishes oral divorce and makes Muslim men get a divorce in exactly the same manner, and on the same grounds, as Muslim women. Also, daughters should get the same share as their brothers to their father's property.

Until that day arrives, I will not regard most Hindus and most Muslims as real Indians.

I know I will be fiercely criticized for saying this, but that does not matter. I have been called a maverick, a publicity seeker, a crazy person, a person with a hidden agenda, and even a dog ( by one Chief Minister) in the past, so by now I am quite used to such vilifications and abuses. I will continue saying what I regard as in the national interest.

Saturday 16 August 2014

God help this country

I met a friend who is head of an educational institution in Meerut today. He told me that he recently held an interview of persons who applied for the posts of lecturers, Assistant and Associate Professors in his college. The applicants all had a master's degree, some even pursuing Ph.D.

One candidate was asked who is Maneka Gandhi ? The answer : daughter of Mahatma Gandhi. When my friend asked are you sure, he said daughter of Indira Gandhi. 

Another candidate was asked who is the President of U.S. A. ? Answer : Osama. When my friend asked, please think again, he said Barack Osama.

Another candidate was asked, who is the Vice President of India ? Answer : Raj Nath Singh. 

Another candidate was asked who was the Prime Minister of India ? Answer Pranab Mukherji. Another candidate was asked what is the colour of the Indian flag ? Answer, red. 

Similar howlers were given by many applicants. And these are persons wanting to become lecturers, Assistant and Associate Professors ! God help this country.

Spirit of Sanskrit

In Chennai in a speech I had said that it is the spirit of Sanskrit which unites India. Several people have asked how can Sanskrit unite us as a nation when it is spoken or known by less than 1% people in India ?

It is true that very few people speak or know Sanskrit in India today. But I had spoken of the spirit of Sanskrit, not Sanskrit itself. What is this spirit ? It is the spirit of free thinkers, the spirit of the questioning mind, which questions everything.

The range of subjects dealt with in Sanskrit literature is remarkable, it covers subjects like philosophy, science, law, grammar, literature, etc.

For instance, in philosophy Sanskrit literature covers a very wide range, wider than even the ancient Greeks, from total atheism of the Charvaks to the most religious views of Vedanta etc.
I have written about all this in my article ' Sanskrit as a language of Science '

Unfortunately those who criticized my view think that Sanskrit is only a language of chanting mantras in temples or religious ceremonies. But, as I have pointed out in my article, that is only about 5% of Sanskrit literature. The remaining 95% or so has nothing to do with religion. How many people have heard of Aryabhatta, Sushrut, Vijnaneshwar or Panini ?

If India is to progress our people must develop the scientific questioning and rational attitude which is found in 95% of Sanskrit literature.

Friday 15 August 2014

Dargah of Hazrat Amir Khusro

Went to the Dargah of Hazrat Amir Khusro in Delhi yesterday evening for the Urs Mubarak. Visited Sheikh Nizamuddin Aulia and Hazrat Amir Khusro's dargahs (they are next to each other in the same compound), and placed chaadar on them. Just in time for the dua prayers. Then went to the qawwali, after which I gave a short speech praising the sufi saints who made such a great contribution to our composite culture and spread the message of universal love and toleration. I was taken around by Farid Nizami, son of the head of the Dargah. Salman Chishty of Ajmer Sharif Dargah was with us.

I asked about the significance of Urs. I was told it is the death anniversary of the sufi saint, but it is celebrated as a wedding because after the whole life's service to mankind the saint goes to see God on his death. Thus his life's wish is fulfilled.

I was shown the photograph of Pt. Nehru with my grandfather Dr. Katju at the dargah. It must have been taken in the early 1950s when my grandfather was Union Home and Law Minister in Pt. Nehru's cabinet

(Pandit Nehru speaking at the Urs of Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia. Dr. Kailash Nath Katju sitting in the middle)
I love going to dargahs ( which are shrines built on graves of sufi saints) because they unite Indians. In temples only Hindus go, in mosques only Muslims go. but in dargahs all go. So Dargahs unite us, and I love whatever unites us.

Amir Khusro ( 1253-1325) was the Michelangelo of India. He was a Sufi mystic, and disciple of Hazrat Sheikh Nizamuddin Aulia. He is an iconic figure in Indian cultural history, having made contributions in several fields, a few of which are enumerated below :

1.He is perhaps the first poet in Hindi ( also called Hindvi), though he also wrote poems in Persian
2.He introduced ghazals in India, having borrowed this poetic form from Persian
3. He is the father of qawwali, a form of spiritual music often sung in dargahs
4. He invented the musical instruments sitar and tabla

It is said that once the great Sufi saint Sheikh Nizamuddin Aulia was standing on the bank of the Jamuna in Delhi with his disciple Amir Khusro. On seeing some Hindu worshippers bathing in the Jamuna Sheikh Nizamuddin Aulia said ( in Persian ) :

: Har qaum raast raahe
Din-e-wa qibla gaahe"

" Every people have a pole (qibla) to which they turn "
( Qibla means the direction a Muslim should face while saying his prayers i.e. towards the Holy Kaaba in Mecca)

Amir Khusro immediately supplied the second line of the couplet :
" Man qibla raast kardam
Bar samt kaj kulahe "
" I however turn my face
Towards the tilted cap "
( Nizamuddin Aulia used to wear a tilted cap)

The verse means that I am a sufi like my master.

It is a pity that many Indians do not know about Amir Khusro, who is a giant in our cultural history.

Real Independence Day

Today is India's Independence Day, and I send my greetings to all on this occasion.

But on 15.8.1947 India achieved only political independence, not economic independence. About 80% of our people are still poor, lacking basic necessities of a decent life. This is no independence for them.

Real independence will come when the Indian masses are prosperous, enjoying a high standard of living, when poverty, unemployment, lack of healthcare, good education, etc and social evils like the caste system, discrimination against women, etc are abolished, when true secularism is established, and when India gets its rightful place in the comity of nations.

That will be the day of our real Independence. I will almost certainly not be alive to see that day ( as I am already an old man of 68), but many of you young people will. But let me warn you. To achieve it will require about 20 or more years of tremendous struggle by the masses led by the patriotic, modern minded section of India, a struggle in which colossal sacrifices will have to be made.

But when that day comes I will be watching it with great happiness from the other world, weeping for those who will have fallen in this struggle ( and their numbers will be staggering), and marvelling at the stupendous achievement of the Indian masses led by their patriotic, modern minded leaders.

Thursday 14 August 2014

A Unique Situation in World History

" It is plainly contrary to the law of nature, however defined, that children should command old men, fools wise men, and that the privileged few should gorge themselves with superfluities while the starving multitude are deprived of the basic necessities of life ".
Rousseau : Discourse on the Origins of Inequality

In feudal times there was no modern industry, and the methods of agricultural production were so primitive ( the bullock used for tilling the land in India, the buffalo in China, and the horse in Europe) that so little wealth was generated that only a handful of people ( kings, and aristocrats) could be rich, while 99.9% people had to be poor. When the cake is so small, very few people can eat it.

This situation has drastically changed in modern times. Now a unique situation has been created in world history, which never existed before. Modern industry is so powerful and so big that enough wealth can be generated by it that now no one need be poor, and everyone can be given a decent life, with proper employment, sufficient incomes, healthcare, good education, housing, etc

Despite this situation, the fact remains that 75% of the world's population or so is poor. The 21st century will therefore witness the struggles all over the world of this 75% for a better and decent life.

Monday 11 August 2014

Khap Panchayat

It is shocking to know that a khap panchayat in Muzaffarnagar issued a dictat that unmarried girls should not wear jeans or use mobile phones. Strong action in accordance with law should be taken against such persons who issue such dictats which violate individual freedom

Duty of majority

It is reported that two dozen Muslim families in Basi village in Gurgaon were thrashed and forced to flee. These people were operating small units like barbers, tailoring and scrap dealers.
 I condemn this incident. A hallmark of a civilized society is that the minorities in it can live with dignity and honour. it is the duty of the majority community  to ensure that minorities are safe and can live with dignity. I deeply regret that the majority community in Basai village failed in their duty

Response to Justice Kapadia

I had stated in an earlier post that I gave to Justice Kapadia, the then CJI, 3 mobile numbers of agents of a very senior Allahabad High Court judge against whom there were serious allegations of corruption, and requested him to get those numbers tapped through intelligence. He did as I requested, and some time later he told me that the conversations taped on those numbers established the corruption of the Judge. 

Despite this, Justice Kapadia, took no action against this Judge ( although he did not make him Chief Justice of any High Court or Judge of the Supreme Court).

In response to my statement Justice Kapadia has said that he did not remember this . It is strange that he has no recollection of this, but the record would be existing with the intelligence agency concerned, and perhaps also in the official file of the Chief Justice.

Justice Kapadia also said that he did not bring any Judge to the Supreme Court who was unfit.
I may remind him that the Supreme Court Collegium, headed by CJI K.G. Balakrishnan, and of which Justice Kapadia was a member, almost succeeded in bringing a totally unfit person into the Supreme 
Court. That Judge was a Judge of the Madras High Court when I was Chief Justice there, so I knew all about his bad reputation. Later, he was made Chief Justice of another High Court , and was being considered for elevation to the Supreme court.

One day during lunch interval, I went to Justice Kapadia's chamber and told him about the bad reputation of that Judge, giving details. I told him that I was not in the Supreme Court Collegium, but he was, and now it was for him to do whatever he thinks proper, and I have done my duty. There was no use informing Justice Balakrishnan since it was he who was pushing for the Judge's elevation to the Supreme Court.

After listening to me, Justice Kapadia thanked me, and said that in future also if I have such information i should pass it on to him.

Despite this, the Collegium, of which Justice Kapadia was a member, recommended the name of that Judge having questionable integrity, and he would have definitely been elevated to the Supreme Court but for the Tamilnadu lawyers who produced voluminous documentary evidence of his corruption. As a result he was transferred to a small High Court, and later impeachment proceedings were brought against him in Parliament, which lapsed when he resigned.

So Justice Kapadia's claim that he did not bring any corrupt Judge to the Supreme Court, has to be qualified by at least one instance where he ( or rather the Collegium of which he was a member) almost succeeded.

It may be further mentioned that even though I had informed Justice Kapadia about that Judge's reputation, neither the Collegium, nor Justice K.G.Balakrishnan ever consulted me about that Judge. I should have been consulted, as the decision in the Judges case says, since I was on the bench of the Madras High Court ( as Chief Justice ) at the time that Judge was also in the Madras High Court. Instead, Justice Ravindran was consulted, although Justice Ravindran and that Judge were never in any High Court at the same time. This was obviously done by Justice K.G. Balakrishnan knowing that if consulted I would give an adverse report . But why did Justice Kapadia not tell Justice Balakrishnan to consult me ?

Much later I met Justice Kapadia and reminded him that I had informed him about the bad reputation of that Judge, but no heed was paid to my words. I said that the Supreme Court could have been saved so much embarrassment if my advice had been sought. Justice Kapadia admitted that I had informed him, but said that Justice Balakrishnan, the CJI, was adamant, and so the recommendation was made.

Sunday 10 August 2014

Corruption in Judiciary

There was a Judge in a High Court who had a very bad reputation about his integrity, and on this account was transferred to Allahabad High Court. Later with passage of time he became very senior and Acting Chief Justice of Allahabad High Court.

Some people started demanding that he be made Chief Justice of some High Court, and later brought to the Supreme Court.

The then Chief Justice of India, Justice Kapadia, had received several complaints about this Judge that even at Allahabad he was indulging in corruption,and Justice Kapadia requested me to find out the true facts about that Judge ( I was then a Judge of the Supreme Court).

At that time I had to go to Allahabad, my home town for attending a function, and while there I contacted some lawyers I knew, and got 3 mobile numbers of the agents of this Judge through whom he was taking money. On returning to Delhi I gave these 3 mobile numbers to Justice Kapadia, and suggested that he get these numbers tapped through intelligence agencies. 

About 2 months thereafter Justice Kapadia told me that he had done as I had suggested, and the conversations tapped revealed the corruption of this Judge.

After this, Justice Kapadia should have called this Judge to Delhi and asked for his resignation, failing which he would refer the matter to Parliament for impeachment, but he did no such thing,(though he did not allow the Judge to become Chief Justice of any High Court or a Supreme Court Judge)

Most Chief Justices of India are reluctant to expose corruption in the judiciary thinking that this will defame the judiciary, and so they prefer to bury corruption under the carpet, not realizing that the bulge under the carpet will show. 

Some think that exposing corruption defames the judiciary. My reply to such people is : Does corruption by Judges defame the judiciary, or does exposing such corruption defame it ?

I may give another example. When I was Acting Chief Justice of Allahabad High Court I went to Delhi and met Justice Lahoti, the then Chief Justice of india, and gave him a chit containing names of 5 judges of Allahabad High Court who were doing shocking things. Justice Lahoti asked me what should be done ? I replied that if he permitted, I would solve the problem in 24 hours. He asked, how ?

I replied that I was going back to Allahabad by the night train, and on reaching there would call the Registrar General and tell him to telephone these 5 Judges, and tell them that the Chief Justice had instructed that they would not be allowed entry into the High Court premises. Police was being posted at the gate of the High Court with instruction from me that these judges were not to be allowed entry. Their chambers had been locked, and they will receive their salary checks at home, and they need not come to the High Court. I did not want to see them inside the High Court premises as they had disgraced the High Court.

When I said this Justice Lahoti said "Please do not do this, because then the politicians will get a handle, and then they will set up a National Judicial Commission". I replied that since he was not permitting me to do this, i would not, but he may take whatever action he thought fit.

Later some of the 5 judges whose names I gave were transferred to another High Court.

But is transfer a solution ? Such corrupt judges should be sacked, but this is not done to ' avoid defaming the judiciary'. I again ask : does corruption by Judges defame the judiciary, or does exposing such corruption defame it ?

I have given only two instances of corruption in this post, but I can give several more.

Saturday 9 August 2014

My 12 questions to Karunanidhi:

It is reported in the press that Mr. Karunanidhi has stated that my allegations against him ( regarding supporting a corrupt Judge of Madras High Court) are ' blatant lies'. it is also reported that he has written to the Vice President of India seeking my removal as Chairman Press Council of India.

Since Mr. Karunanidhi has chosen to attack me I demand that he first disclose:-

1) His entire movable and immovable assets including bank balances, any foreign account holdings and assets in foreign countries. 

2) What are his assets before joining politics and what is it today?

3) What are the movable and immovable assets of each of his two wives?

4) what are the assets movable and immovable of each of his children i.e. M.K. Muthu, M.K. Alagiri, M.K. Stalin and Kanimozhi?

5) What are the assets of the spouses of each of his children?

6) What are the assets movable and immovable of each of his grandchildren?

7) What are the assets movable and immovable of each of the maran brothers?

8) What are the movable and immovable assets of the spouses of the maran brothers?

9) What are the assets movable and immovable of the children of the maran brothers ?

10) In which companies do your family members, including your wives, children, children's spouses, your grand children, grandchildren spouses, own shares?

11) In which companies do the maran brothers, their spouses and their children own shares?

12) What is the market value of the aforementioned shares of yourself, your family members, maran brothers and their family members?

Let Mr. Karunanidhi first answer these questions which I have posed to him before making any unsolicited comments against me.

Friday 8 August 2014

Venkat Subbu Reddy

With Venkat Subbu Reddy, my hostelmate of Kambar Hostel in Annamalai University in 1967-68. He came to meet me in the High Court Guest House, at Greenways Road where I am staying. He travelled all the way from Pondicherry to meet me. We had met for a short while when I was Chief Justice of Madras High Court in 2005. Now we are meeting again.He retired as a College teacher in Pondicherry 4 years ago, and now does farming on his farm which is 18 km from Pondicherry city.

We exchanged old memories for almost an hour.He told me that I had come to his farm in 1967, but I have forgotten about my visit then. It was almost half a century ago.

Allahabad is the city in U.P. where I grew up, got educated, and became a lawyer and then High Court Judge.

Tamilnadu is the land where I came first in 1967 to learn the language here, and then again in 2004 as the Chief Justice, and where I was simply overwhelmed by the love and affection which the people here gave me.

Whenever I am in Tamilnadu, I feel i am at home

Wednesday 6 August 2014

The Death of Dr. Kotnis

The Death of Dr. Kotnis
By his wife Guo Qinglan

At 6.15 a.m. on 9th December 1942 Dr. Kotnis breathed his last. He was just 32 years old. He had spent over 4 years in China during the War of Resistance against the Japanese, treating the wounded and sick Chinese.

On 27th November 1937, at the suggestion of of the eminent American correspondent, Agnes Smedley, Zhu De, Commander-in-Chief of the ...Chinese Eighth Route Army wrote a letter to the Indian National Congress leader Pt.Jawaharlal Nehru expressing gratitude for supporting the anti- Japanese struggle of the Chinese people and requesting for support in the form of a medical team and medical supplies from India. Consequently Pt. Nehru proposed that a Medical Mission be sent to China. China Day was observed all over India on 29th June 1938. Dr. Kotnis, who had qualified as a doctor from Bombay Medical College, saw the demonstrations in support of the Chinese, and determined to join the Medical Mission. He went to Sholapur, his home town, and told his family about it. At first they tried to dissuade him, His brother Mangesh said " For the sake of our education father had to borrow a lot of money. Now our parents are old and need a helping hand." However, when his father saw that he was adamant he said " So, Dwarka ( Dr. Kotnis' first name), you have decided to go. I would like to remind you not to let the Indian people down. Since you have decided to go, you must do a good job and good things to the Chinese people, and win laurels for your family and country". 

At midnight, September the 5 doctors of the Aid China Medical Mission, led by Dr. Atal, boarded the P.&O. liner , S.S. Rajputana. They were seen off by Mrs. Sarojini Naidu and others. On 14th September they landed at Hong Kong, and after a 17 days voyage reached Guangzhou. From there they travelled by road to Changsha, and then to Wuhan, where they were met by Zhou Enlai, who asked Dr. Kotnis " How old are you ?". " I am 28", replied Kotnis.

" Wonderful" said Zhou Enlai, " You can do much work for friendly relations between India and China".
They travelled then to Chongqing, which was the capital of the Chinese. government under Chiang kai Shek. At Chongqing, Dr. Kotnis received a letter from his brother in India, which was handed over to him by Dr. Cholkar, the deputy leader of the Indian Medical Mission. It said " Father has passed away suddenly ". This was a bolt from the blue, and he could not stop crying. His colleagues tried to persuade him to go back to India, but he said that he will never let his father down, and the best way to commemorate him was to help the Chinese people eject the Japanese invaders. So he continued with the Mission to Yenan, where they lived in caves. They spent the next 4 years treating the wounded and the sick Chinese.

During these 4 years Dr. Kotnis had overloaded himself with work for a long period until his health completely broke down working for the cause of the War of Resistance against Japan and liberation of the Chinese people. He went without food and sleep for long periods, and endured extreme pain during this period,and sacrificed all he had till his last breath.

On 7th December 1942 he performed operations on 5 wounded patients. On 8th December he taught his students and performed a practical operation for over 20 students in the operation theater. He was operating on a hernia patient.The operation was difficult as the tissues of the patient were very adhesive. Sweat started oozing out of his forehead as he was very tired. . After the operation Dr. Kotnis was completely exhausted and hungry. He grabbed a bite of a stuffed pancake when he suffered an attack of epilepsy. Earlier also he had suffered epileptic attacks. After regaining consciousness he convened a meeting to have a briefing of the day's work.

That evening he returned to his dormitory-cum-office, and started the compilation work of his proposed book 'Surgery in Detail'. At 8 p.m. he went to his room to be with me and our 108 days old child. As he was talking he remembered that the younger brother of his landlady was seriously ill. He went there to treat the patient, and returned after 2 hours totally exhausted..

At midnight he asked me for some boiled water as he was thirsty. Having taken it he felt better, but an hour thereafter I was suddenly awakened by the groans of his pain, only to discover that all his four limbs were severely twitching. His complexion had turned pale. He had suffered another attack, and it was serious. I staggered all the way to the Medical School for assistance. After a while, Principal Jiang Yizhen reached our house in a great hurry. On regaining consciousness Kotnis said " Principal Jiang, thank you for your visit. I am sorry to interfere with your rest. Please do not worry about me and go back to rest. "

Principal Jiang was aware of the convulsions Dr. Kotnis had suffered in the past, which never exceeded 3 to 5 minutes. This time the convulsions would not stop, foam oozed out from his mouth, and he went into coma. Dr. Jiang gave him morphine and camphor liquid, but to no avail. The doctor then tried spine puncturing, but it was of no use. Dr. Kotnis breathed his last at 6.15 a.m. on 9th December 1942. He was just 32 years old.
I cried bitterly with my infant Yinhua in my arms and fainted a couple of times. He parted from me and our infant boy , his wounded patients who were waiting for him, his international friends, and the army and civilians of the Shansi-Qahar-Hebei Border Region who were engaged in a bloody battle with the Japanese on the battlefront. I glanced at the table only to see the manuscript of 'Surgery in Detail' that he had written upto page 175.

After his sudden demise, Dr. Kotnis' dead body was kept inside a courtyard on a flagstone.

Dr. Kotnis had spent the last period of his life in the Tang County, treating patients day and night. There was not a single person in this area who did not know him.

The sudden demise of Dr. Kotnis left everyone in the Tang County in grief, and even the Tang River wept. The people in the County felt they were rendered orphans. An atmosphere of grief shrouded the entire valley. The villagers of the Ge Gong valley came to our place from all directions. Everyone who came was crying in the streets and in the courtyard, where his body lay.

Shortly after his death, the Bethune Medical School, the Third Divisional Command of the Middle Hebei Military Region, and the County Committee of Tang County, organized a funeral committee.

On 17th December 1942, around 1 p.m. the Shansi-Qahar-Hebei Military Region convened a mourning ceremony at the southern square of Ge Gong village. There was an ocean of people inside and outside the square. People from Shennan, Shenbei, Niangzishen Doufu, and other neighbouring villages walked to the mourning ground wailing and weeping. Some of the country folk were even stamping the earth and crying bitterly. People had never witnessed wailing and weeping of such intensity, and that too over the demise of a foreign doctor. Many fainted with grief.

As for me, my grief was even worse. All my tears dried up and I fell unconscious. I lost my hunger, thirst and sleep, and became very weak.

The memorial ceremony was conducted in accordance with the Chinese traditional funeral. A canopy was put for the departed soul, in the middle of which hung a portrait of the deceased, and to both sides of the coffin lay the floral wreaths and mourning couplets offered by people from all walks of life. An oblong sheet of silk was hung with the words " Doctor who rivalled the glory of Dr. Bethune". The place was filled with posters stating " Learn from Kotnis ". The memorial committee consisted of representatives of Commander Nie, Zuo Huaiying, Cheng Zihua, Wang Ping,etc 

The memorial ceremony started with funeral music played by a military band, followed by floral tributes and bowing in silence, and then speeches commending Dr. Kotnis' outstanding achievements and spirit. This was followed by a grand funeral.

Among the crowd were many elderly men and women burning incenses and paper money. Some people sang a song which they had composed for the occasion :
" You came from the shores of the warm Indian ocean
To brave the cold of North China
For the world of tomorrow
You fought four autumns in China
Alas! At the end of a long night
The fountain of your life ran dry
Oh, Comrade Kotnis, our beloved
Your image will always be with us
And your memory will live forever in our hearts"

The news of Dr. Kotnis' death was soon carried to Yenan. On 18th December 1942, Zhu De, the Commander -in-Chief of the Eighth Route Army, and Peng De Huai, the Deputy Commander-in-Chief communicated the sad news to Dr. Kotnis' family. The news was flashed in the Liberation Daily newspaper published in Yenan, carrying an article by Zhu De.

On 30th December, a memorial service was held addressed by Zhu De. He said " Dr. Kotnis, our Indian friend, came to China from afar to assist us in our War of Resistance. He worked for four years in Yenan and North West China, giving medical treatment to our wounded and sick, and died owing to constant overwork. The army has lost a helping hand, and the nation has lost a friend. Let us always bear in mind his internationalist spirit ".

Zhou Enlai sent a message of sympathy to Dr. Kotnis' family :

"Dr. Kotnis is a symbol of the friendship between the great Indian and Chinese nations, and a shining example of the Indian people, who are taking an active part in our common struggles against Japanese militarism and world fascism. His name will live forever in the hearts of the two great nations to whom he dedicated his life."

Soong Qingling, widow of Sun Yatsen and Chairperson of the China Defence League, also wrote to Dr. Kotnis' family :

" His memory belongs not only to your people and to ours, but also to the whole roll-call of fighters for the freedom and progress of all mankind."

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