In an interview with India Today on Saturday, the father-son duo of Shanti Bhushan and Prashant Bhushan expressed their ‘unadulterated opinions’ on the Kashmir issue, India against Corruption campaign, the state of Indian judiciary personalities such as Indira Gandhi, Arvind Kejriwal, and Narendra Modi.
Prashant Bhushan lambasts Arvind Kejriwal
“One regret that I have is that I did not understand the character of Arvind early enough. By the time, I understood it, we had created another Frankenstein monster so to say… I was exceedingly fond of Arvind. I was not critically looking at him whether he was unscrupulous in his actions. However, after the Lok Sabha elections, it became clear… He was not only unscrupulous and dictatorial but had absolute contempt for party policies,” said the ‘PIL’ activist.
Prashant Bhushan informed that despite the fact that 36 expert committees helped formulate party policies, Arvind Kejriwal was willing to trash them all. The incumbent Delhi CM believed in taking a political stand on issues, not as per party policies but convenience. The senior advocate also alleged that Kejriwal was in cahoots with the BJP and the RSS in running the ‘India Against Corruption’ movement.
Shanti Bhushan openly advocates referendum in Kashmir
On being asked by journalist Rajdeep Sardesai about his views on Kashmir, veteran lawyer Shanti Bhushan stated, “My views are the same as Prashant. I take the view that it is the right of the people of a significant territory to determine for themselves as to what kind of government or administration that they want. It is therefore the right of the Kashmiri people also.”
Drawing credence from the UK referendum for Brexit, he made a startling claim. Shanti Bhushan stated, “They have permitted referendum in the UK even if they secede.” Through this argument, the veteran advocate suggested that the right to self-determination, as emphasised by the Pakistani government, must be given to the Kashmiris even if they want to secede from the Indian territory.
Prashant Bhushan and father cast aspersions on Indian Judiciary
The father-son duo did not leave any stone unturned to cast aspersions about the credibility of the Indian Judiciary. On being asked by Rajdeep Sardesai about the ease of practicing in courtrooms, Shanti Bhushan claimed that the High Court judges were honest during his time and it was hard to imagine that anyone of them would ‘remotely be corrupt’. “When I started practicing, this was the case. Today, we have to first determine whether the judge is honest or corrupt,” the veteran lawyer was heard as saying.
Prashant Bhushan then joined the conversation and added that while a ‘substantial’ number of judges are honest, they are ‘too weak’ to stand up to the government. “What we are seeing in the Supreme Court today is that it cannot stand up to the government in politically sensitive cases,” the junior Bhushan claimed.
Later in the interview, Shanti Bhushan further insinuated that if the government is powerful, then it can render the judiciary weak and fragile by resorting to intimidatory tactics such as blackmailing close relatives of judges, giving them incentives, and terrifying them of dire consequences.
Irrational comparison between Indira Gandhi and Narendra Modi
Although the father-son duo claimed to be not against BJP or anti-establishment in a bid to suggest a ‘lack of political vendetta’, the truth becomes bare when Shanti Bhushan made sweeping statements about PM Narendra Modi and PM Jawaharlal Nehru. Shanti Bhushan claimed that Nehru believed in democracy while PM Modi believed in dictatorship and authoritarianism. Since his argument is premised on this concoted belief, he even gives cleanshit to Indira Gandhi. He claimed that dealing with her was easier than that of Narendra Modi. Prashant Bhushan then added that Indira Gandhi was not as ‘fascist’ as Narendra Modi.
This is despite the fact that the Opposition leaders were jailed by Indira Gandhi while no opposition leader is undemocratically put behind bars during the incumbent ruling dispensation. Despite their prejudiced beliefs, the duo made several such bizarre analogies during the interview to reinstate the narrative of ‘fascism’ and ‘intolerance’ in the minds of the people.