Bruyat Satyam Apriyam

Bruyat Satyam Apriyam

By Justice Markandey Katju, former Judge, Indian Supreme Court

The views expressed here are the contributor’s own and do not necessarily reflect Naya Daur Media’s editorial policy.



I received a Facebook message from a Pakistani inviting me to Lahore.

I said I would love to come, since I have heard so many great things about the city, including the saying “Jisne Lahore nahi dekha woh janma hi nahi” (One who has not seen Lahore has not even been born).

But I said that I will never get a visa, since I have repeatedly said that Pakistan is a fake, artificial country, created by that historical British swindle called Partition, on the basis of the bogus Two Nation Theory (see my article “The Truth about Pakistan” online ). We are really one nation, sharing the same culture, and were one since Mughal times. We are bound to reunite one day under a secular government, though that will take time (see

He replied “Would you restrict that opinion out of respect to your hosts?”

I responded “No, I will never do that. My hosts must first learn how to respect truth, even if it hurts their feelings. If 2+2=4 hurts their feelings, so be it. That is their problem, not mine. It will not be changed to 3 or 5 just to avoid hurting anyone's feelings.”

What is Pakistan? It is Punjab, Sindh, Balochistan and NWFP. These were all part of India from Mughal times. When I meet a Pakistani I don't feel any different from meeting an Indian. Others may accept Pakistan, I never will. We are really one.

So goodbye to my visa, but I am afraid I cannot tell a lie.

There is a Sanskrit maxim “Na Bruyat Satyam Apriyam”, i.e., “Don't speak an unpleasant truth.”

Well, I think the time has come in our country to reverse it, and say “Bruyat Satyam Apriyam”, i.e., “Speak the truth, even if it is unpleasant.” For too long we have been fooled by the prohibition on speaking the truth, merely because it is unpleasant and may hurt someone's feelings.

The British fooled us into thinking that Hindus and Muslims are each others' enemies and cannot live together (see History in the Service of Imperialism by B.N. Pande, and my article “The Truth about Partition” online). But how much longer must we remain befooled? How much longer must blood flow between us ?

Victor Hugo said that there is one thing more powerful than all the armies in the world, and that is an idea whose time has come. The idea of Indian Reunification i.e. reunification of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, under a secular government, to undo that historical fraud and monstrous mischief called Partition, is an idea whose time has come – though no doubt it will take a long time to implement it. All patriots must work to attain that objective.

Markandey Katju is a former judge of the Supreme Court of India. He was also the Chairman of the Press Council of India.