Bhubaneswar: Former Supreme Court Judge Markandeya Katju has apologised for his remarks on Odisha in social media that were condemned widely. He had made remarks against Odias and Odisha in his Facebook post on October 13.
Katju’s post had hurt sentiments of Odias in and outside the state and received much criticism following which he apologised in another post on Friday. The former chairperson of the Press Council of India posted, “I had written my post in lighter vein. However, if Odia people are feeling hurt, I apologise. I had no intention to hurt their feelings, and was only joking, just as I had joked about Biharis, Tamilians, etc.,”
“I have great respect for Odia people and of their great achievements. When I went to Odisha, where I have been many times, I marvelled at the sight of the Konark and Lingaraj temples. I have strong ties with the state. On my last visit, I met chief minister Naveen Patnaik, who gave me a lot of respect,” Katju said since his grandfather was Odisha governor in 1947.
He concluded his apology with “Jai Lord Jagannath” and wished people in Odisha would be “large hearted enough to let me enter the state and indeed will invite me”.
Earlier Katju had written in his post on the Facebook: “I was asked to write about the Oriyas (Odias). What is there to write about these poor chaps? Ever since they got a thrashing at the hands of Ashoka in the battle of Kalinga, they have been a dejected lot. Now all they have with them are a lot of pots (Patras), big pots (Mahapatras) and supposedly intelligent kings (Patnaiks). And of course, they have Lord Jagannath to whom they pray every day for revenge on the abominable Biharis.”