New Delhi: Former Judge of the Supreme Court of India, Justice Markandey Katju in an article published on has slammed the fringe right-wing groups and people who compel minorities to say ‘Jai Shri Ram’ in India.

In the article titled “Lord Ram treated all citizens as his children” which was published on the website on Wednesday, Justice Katju has termed people “bigoted” who try to compel persons of the minorities to say Jai Shri Ram, a Hindu war cry.

“Some bigoted people try to forcibly compel persons of the minority community in India to say ‘Jai Shri Ram.' But do such people really know about Ram?” Justice Katju has questioned in the article.

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“If Ram had been the king of India today, he would have taken care of not only Hindus, but also Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, and others, and he would have severely punished those who oppressed or committed atrocities on minorities.” Justice Katju’s article read.

“Recently, some bigoted people have forced some members of the minority community to say ‘Jai Shri Ram’, and often beaten those who do not. These people have defamed Ram, who would never have approved of their actions, and would instead have punished them.” He further added.

“The misfortune is that most of these votaries of Lord Ram have not even read the original Ramayan of Valmiki, and they know little of his great qualities.”

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He has also recounted a part of Valmiki’s Ramayan when the King of Ayodhya Dashrath intended to hand over his throne to his eldest son Ram when he himself became old. “Before doing so, he invited Ayodhya’s citizens to weigh in on Ram being fit to be their next king.” It added.

“The citizens replied: “Oh king! We shall tell you the various virtues of your wise son, listen to them. His qualities are excellent. He is liked by all. He gives happiness to all.”

“Thus, far from being an oppressor, Ram was like a father to the people. A good father takes care of all his children. He is not selective. He does not take care of only some while oppressing others.” The article further added along with several other qualities of Ram the citizens counted before King Dashrath.

The original article can be read by clicking here.

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Cannes: In a major triumph for India at the 77th Cannes Film Festival, Chidananda S Naik's Sunflowers Were the First Ones to Know... has won the first prize of La Cinef here.

The Mysuru doctor-turned filmmaker made the film at the end of his one-year course in the television wing of Pune's Film and Television Institute of India.

Sunflowers... is based on Kannada folk tale about an old woman who steals a rooster. As a result of her action, the sun stops rising in the village.

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Maheshwari, born in from Meerut and an ex-student of NIFT Delhi, made the film as a student of UK's National Film and Television School.

The second prize was shared by Out of the Widow Through the Wall, directed by Columbia University's Asya Segalovich, and 'The Chaos She Left Behind'. made by Nikos Kolioukos of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece.

Cannes Film Festival awards a 15000 Euro grant for the first prize winner, 11,250 euros for second prize and 7,500 euros for the third prize.

The awarded films will be screened at the Cinema du Pantheon on June 3 and at the MK2 Quai de Seine on June 4.

The first prize for Naik is India's second in five years. In 2020, Ashmita Guha Neogi, also from FTII, won the award for her film CatDog.