NEW DELHI: Hailing India’s democracy and secularism, Chief Justice of India J S Khehar on Tuesday said every Indian should be proud of who they are, regardless of religions and the Constitution gives the same right to all citizens and all are equal.“Whether it is Christians, Buddhists, Hindus, Zoroastrians, Muslims or Jains, everybody should be proud of his own religion to be an Indian. Everybody should be proud of their own ethnicity,” CJI said while addressing Independence Day celebrations organised by the Supreme Court Bar Association.
Khehar said even though he was not born as a citizen of India but of Kenya, he got equal status and opportunity like anyone else. “After being a citizen, you are neither inferior nor superior to anyone. You are no less or more than anyone else,” he said.Drawing comparison of people from all walks of life holding important constitutional posts in the country, Khehar said the country has a president, who is a Dalit and spent his childhood in a mud hut. “We have an agriculturalist as our vice president who started his political career by pasting party posters. We have a prime minister who used to be a tea vendor at one point,” he said.
Responding to the statement by president of Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) R S Suri that special celebrations should be held for the unsung heroes of the freedom movement, Justice Khehar talked about Abdulla, who killed Calcutta judge J P Norman in 1871 and Sher Ali Afridi, who assassinated Lord Mayo, viceroy of India on February 8, 1872. “These people did not run away from the scene. They did not tender any defence. They were put to gallows in Andaman,” he said.During the celebrations, the SCBA president said most of the judges are children of judges. On this, Justice Khehar said, “What appears to be a blatant misuse of authority may not truly be a blatant misuse of authority.”The CJI further said that a few months ago he saw a news report saying his son was appointed to a panel of Punjab government but it turned out to be some other Khehar and was a case of mistaken identity.