Unification of India and Pakistan is the only solution to the Kashmir problem, according to Press Council of India head Markandey Katju.
Addressing a seminar on “Reporting conflict zones”, organized by the India Chapter of South Asia Media Commission, Katju said: ”Now the time has come for India and Pakistan to re-unite to solve the Kashmir issue…There is no solution except the unification of the two countries.”
Kashmir, he said, has turned into a conflict zone because of the division.
He said they must re-unite under a strong central government.
The former Supreme Court judge also said he does not accept the two nation theory.
"Pakistan is an artificial state created by the British under the policy of divide and rule..to divide Hindus and Muslims.. We are all one, part of one country," he said.
On the issue of the dangers faced by journalists while reporting in conflict zones, Katju said: “What can you do when there is a gun pointed at your head…Then all talk of choosing between death and principles flies out of the window…Life is precious.. When we have life then only can the question of prestige come..”
When the “goonda” - militant - can’t be persuaded to leave his violent ways, or is “eliminated”, the only other way left is to quietly bypass the dangerous situation, said the outspoken former justice.
“The journalist has a family to support and cant afford to face the threat of a gun,” said Katju.
However, he had no solution to offer when asked what the way out was for media persons reporting in conflit zones.
Katju also said that Hindu and Muslim bigotry should be crushed for India to progress.
On the militancy in the northeast, one of the conflict zones in India, Katju said the situation had arisen due to being neglected for years.
Katju also said that “90 percent of Indians were idiots” with “bhusa” or hay in their brains.
“When voting, they don’t see the merit of the candidate, but go by caste and related considerations…”
He said the issues of employment generation, proper healthcare, education and security should be looked after in order to end conflict zones in the country.
He alleged that the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government in Chhattisgarh was indulging in paid news.
According to Katju, the Press Council of India has powers to admonish for misreporting, but newspapers don’t really care for the council that is an statutory body that governs the conduct of print media..
“The press does not respond to our requests,” he said, adding: “Hum kya karein..”