A day after the apex court observed that the absolute exclusion of women from all positions, except staff assignments, in the Army is indefensible and their blanket non-consideration for command appointments without any justification cannot be sustained in law, former Supreme Court justice Markandey Katju came out with a tweet that appears to have enraged the netizens.
Commenting on the issue, Katju tweeted: “Women r already in command in their homes. Y do de also wish to be in command in the army ? Hari Om”.
When a Twitter used asked him, "Why shouldn’t they be in both places," he replied, "Then who will have the children."
The tweet hasn't gone down well with the netizens who slammed him for misogyny.
"We want to be everywhere! We are leaders and are not biased about important issues. We dare to call a spade a spade. We are hard-working and incorruptible. So, there you go! I have a million more reasons why women should be in the forefront and become world leaders," wrote one user.
We want to be everywhere! We are leaders and are not biased about important issues. We dare to call a spade a spade. We are hard-working and incorruptible. So, there you go! I have a million more reasons why women should be in the forefront and become world leaders!— Tinat (@SIANG16) February 18, 2020
“It's 2020 uncle, stop suggesting women their place,” wrote another.
Some women are good in running a house which IS a tough job, and some women are good in leadership elsewhere. What to take is THEIR CHOICE, not a man's. It's 2020 uncle, stop suggesting women their place. 🤡— Dr.Beardo (@Lets_Negotiate) February 18, 2020
"People like this, give us wonderful judgements..No wonder we are where we are," tweeted another user.
Of course, there were also a few who seems to agree with Katju. "I'm not following you on any platforms but I've seen few posts shared by my friends on facebook. I'm agreeing with you for the first time," wrote one user.
"A bold tweet sir, hope this is not a sarcasm," tweeted another.
A bold tweet sir, hope this is not a sarcasm. Nature does not care for equality and truth is both men and women have their own strengths and weakness and physically women are weak as compared to men and hence are suitable for battle like environment.— AMANDEEP SINGH (@aman_d8) February 18, 2020
The apex court, which allowed permanent commission (PC) to women officers in the Army, said an absolute prohibition of women Short Service Commission (SSC) officers to obtain anything but staff appointments evidently does not fulfil the purpose of granting PC as a means of career advancement in the Army.
A bench of Justices D.Y. Chandrachud and Ajay Rastogi said an absolute bar on women officers seeking criteria or command appointments would not comport with the guarantee of equality under Article 14 of the Constitution.
"Implicit in the guarantee of equality is that where the action of the State does differentiate between two classes of persons, it does not differentiate them in an unreasonable or irrational manner," the bench said.
"In this sense, even at its bare minimum, the right to equality is a right to rationality. Where the State, and in this case the Army as an instrumentality of the State, differentiates between women and men, the burden falls squarely on the Army to justify such differentiation with reason," the bench said.
(With PTI inputs)