Former Supreme Court judge Justice Markandey Katju lambasted the arrest of comedian Kiku Sharda for imitating self-styled godman Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh.
In his latest blog titled “Be careful with Babas,” Katju, who is known for his bold comments and controversial statements, released a list of godmen and cautioned people against mimicking or criticising them.
Sri Sri Ravishankar and Osho have been featured in the list.
Katju, a former chairman of the Press Council of India, said: “The arrest and chargesheeting of Kiku Sharda for mimicking Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh sends a clear signal to all in the country : do not mimick or criticize any Baba ( Godmen ), dead or alive, lest you find yourselves behind bars for 'hurting the religious sentiments' of their followers..”
Kiku Sharda landed in trouble after he imitated Singh in a recent episode of the TV programme "Comedy Nights With Kapil."
The other godmen in Katju's list are:
1.1.Satya Sai Baba
4. Sri Sri Ravishankar
9. Handia Baba
10. Deoraha Baba
12. Computer Baba
13. Pilot Baba
15. Anandmayi Ma
16. Dhirendra Brahmachari
18. Balti Baba
In the post laced with sarcasm, Katju also attacked the judiciary saying “apart from these are also the Babas who sit in the Indian judiciary, about whom also you have to be careful.”
"It seems that a sense of humour has departed from our country, and freedom of speech and expression can be violated, and sacrificed to intolerance," he said.