A day after his controversial remarks terming Muslim personal law "unjust", Press Council of India (PCI) chairman Markandey Katju on Wednesday said he was not against any religion but was speaking up against injustice.
"Some people have sought to infer from my recent criticism of Muslim Personal Law that I am against Muslims or Islam. This is totally incorrect. Many of my best friends are Muslims, and I respect all religions, including Islam. As I have repeatedly said, I am totally secular," former Supreme Court judge Katju said on his blog.
He said that as the flood calamity unfolded in Kashmir, he was the first to stand up in support of Kashmiris, who are "mostly Muslims", and had tried to help them in every possible way. He has also criticised the atrocities on Muslims in Gaza and elsewhere, Katju said.
"However, I certainly regard stoning a woman to death for adultery as barbaric, and I regard oral talaq as gross injustice and discrimination against Muslim women," he added.
"I am against all kinds of injustice, whether in Hindu society or Muslim society or any other society." he said. He added that he had criticised the caste system among Hindus and the old Hindu law (prior to 1955), which discriminated against Hindu women. Speaking at an interaction organised by Indian Women's Press Corps here, Katju had said yesterday that he was in favour of a uniform civil law for the country.
"Muslim personal law is an unjust law, it is a barbaric, outdated law because it treats women as inferior. Oral talaq is permitted only to men," Katju had said.