‘Hindu nation’ remark: I am not a religious fanatic, says Meghalaya High Court judge Sudip Sen
Several parties and civil society groups had condemned Sen’s remarks and sought his resignation.
Meghalaya High Court Judge Sudip Ranjan Sen, who had said earlier this week that “India should have become a Hindu country after Partition”, clarified his comment on Friday, adding that the verdict had been “misinterpreted”. He had made the remark while disposing of a petition filed by a person who was denied a domicile certificate by the state government.
Sen had cited Pakistan’s declaration of itself as an Islamic country and said India should have declared itself a Hindu nation then as the countries were divided based on religion. “I make it clear that nobody should try to make India as another Islamic country, otherwise it will be a doomsday for India and the world,” the judge had said in his order.
Several political parties, civil and student groups had condemned his comment and even sought his impeachment.
On Friday, Sen said the judgement was not influenced by any political ideology. “I do not belong to any political party nor have I got any dream to get any political berth after my retirement and neither is my judgment politically motivated or influenced by any party,” he said. “Whatever is the truth, history and real ground reality, on that basis I have written my judgement to save the citizens of India irrespective of caste, creed, religion or language and people should understand the history of India and live in peace and harmony.”
Sen said he is not a “religious fanatic” – “rather I respect all religions because, to me, God is one”.
In his judgement, Sen had said that only the government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi would “understand the gravity and do the needful as requested above”. He had also said that West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee would support the national interest.
Sen on Friday clarified that his request to not turn the country into an Islamic country was to all “policymakers and lawmakers” and not specifically addressed to either Modi or Banerjee. “I also mentioned about the chief minister of West Bengal, which did not mean that chief ministers of other states were not included,” he said.
Sen said that nothing in his judgement went against secularism and that it only referred to history and “one cannot change the history”.
Sen said several citizens still live in villages and have had no formal education, because of which they are not yet aware of the importance of documents of identification such as birth certificates, hospital records and domicile certificates. “It is not uncommon to find people living in India for generations and yet having no proper records or documentation,” he said.