Love is in the air!
Former Supreme Court judge Justice Markandeya Katju's blog 'Who are the real Indians' has become a roaring hit in Malayalam dailies and gone viral on social media.
In his lengthy blog, Katju, also former chairman of the Press Council of India, professed his love for Malayalis and said, â€ś"Kerala is the real India because it represents a microcosm of India."
Noting that ancestors of perhaps 95 per cent people in India today came from abroad and the original inhabitants are pre-Dravidian tribals known as Scheduled Tribes, he said, "So to live united and in harmony we must respect every group of people."
"In my opinion the Keralites do this the best and therefore they are symbolic and represent the whole of India.
So they are the real Indians and all of us must try to emulate them and imbibe their spirit. I regard Kerala as the real India because it represents a microcosm of India."
"As I said, India is broadly a country of immigrants. The essential quality of Kerala is its openness to external influence - Dravidians, Aryans, Romans, Arabs, British, Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Marxists, etc," he said.
After Katjuâ€™s blog went viral, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has written thanking him, â€śThank you for your kind words about Kerala in your Facebook post. As a Keralite and as the Chief Minister of Kerala, I feel proud.â€ť
Pinarayi Vijayan, however, had one point on which he differed with Katju.
â€śI wish to express that a statement in your post which said that Scheduled Castes never suffered discrimination in Kerala is historically inaccurate. There was a time when untouchability was practised in Kerala. The powerful struggles waged against caste discrimination and feudalism which strengthened it resulted in Kerala becoming what it is today. Therefore, the history of Kerala is also a history of struggles,â€ť he said.
Katju had also said Keralites are great travellers and everywhere in the globe one will find Keralites.
"There is a joke that when American astronaut Neil Armstrong landed on the moon in 1969 he found a Keralite there offering to sell him tea," he said.
"Keralites are hard working, modest, and intelligent. They are broad minded, liberal, cosmopolitan and secular in their views (though no doubt there are a few exceptions). All Indians must learn from them," Katju said.
He concludes his blog with "Long live the Keralites!".
Katju recalled his roots as a Kashmiri, whose ancestors migrated to Madhya Pradesh and later shifted to Uttar Pradesh where he grew up.
Major Malayalam dailies carried Katju's comments on the front page and the social media saw thousands of Malayalees clicking 'likes' for his piece.