Indian Muslim leaders have criticized the Government’s decision to class Ahmadis as Muslims during the 2011 census. Former Indian Supreme Court Judge Markandey Katju defended the Government’s decision.
The Ahmadis which have their roots in Indian Punjab are considered heretics by some Muslims due to religious differences. The Majlis Tahaffuze Khatme Nabuwat (MTKN), demanded that the Government exclude the Ahmadis from the Muslim category. Indian Member of Parliament Asaduddin Owaisi also supported the call made by MTKN to exclude Ahmadis.
Reacting to MP Asaduddin Owaisi’s statement, Former Indian Supreme Court Judge Markandey Katju said:
“If the Indian government does not accept the demand that Ahmadiyyas be declared as Non- Muslims; people who make such demands should consider migrating to Pakistan, where they will feel more comfortable. One is entitled to say that Ahmadiyyas are Non-Muslims, but why should the Government say this? This is not Pakistan. India is a secular country”.
“Our Constitution guarantees freedom of religion, and any religion or sect is allowed freedom for its beliefs. This is not Pakistan where the Constitution was amended and Ahmediyas declared as non Muslims, and treated horribly.”
Judge Katju is known for speaking out in support of minorities and against both Hindu and Muslim fundamentalists in the country.