Why did India lose World Cup final? Katju posts bizarre ‘Astralaya’ theory
According to Katju’s X post, Australia was the storage centre of the ‘astras’ (weapons) of the Pandavas during Mahabharata and it was called ‘Astralaya’
Why did India lose the 2023 ICC World Cup final to Australia on Sunday (November 19)? As Indians, experts and commoners alike, still smarting from the loss, offered their own explanations the day after, former Supreme Court judge Markandey Katju came up with one of his own. According to him, the name Australia was derived from “Astralaya”, which is what the land was called during the time of the Mahabharata, as it was the Pandavas’ armoury. Apparently, that is why it won the match.
“Australia was the storage centre of the ‘Astras’ [weapons] of Pandavas. It was called ‘Astralaya’. This is the real reason why they won the World Cup,” Justice (retd) Katju posted on X (Twitter) without elaborating further or mentioning the source of this bizarre theory.
Incidentally, a video of Hindu spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar went viral a couple of years ago in which he can be heard saying Australia derives its name from “Astralaya”. It was not immediately clear whether Katju’s post was made in humour, referring to that video, or whether he was being serious.
He also wrote in a previous tweet: “A single Yadav, Lord Krishna, enabled the Pandavas win the Mahabharat war. How could India lose in the World Cup final when it had two Yadavas in its team, not just one? Some people say it is because these are not Yadavas at all, but Ahirs. But I wonder.”
Netizens, however, were in splits. “Thank u sir... It’s been a while since u honoured us with your humour,” commented one user.
Another user countered his opinion with this explanation: “The name Australia (pronounced /əˈstreɪliə/ in Australian English) is derived from the Latin australis, meaning ‘southern’, and specifically from the hypothetical Terra Australis postulated in pre-modern geography.”
Yet another took a dig at Justice (retd) Katju: “Dubai was made by Mr Dubey, Egypt (Misr in Hindi) by Mr Mishra, Israel was created by Yadavs, Bahrain by Lord Brahma and Saudi Arabia by Goddess Saraswati.”
Justice (retd) Katju, who started practising law at Allahabad High Court in 1970, was a Supreme Court judge from April 2006 to September 2011. He is also a former chairman of the Press Council of India.
He is known for being outspoken and often making controversial statements. In the past, he has stirred a hornet’s nest with derogatory comments against Mother Teresa, Mahatma Gandhi, Rabindranath Tagore, and Subhas Chandra Bose in a Facebook post. In a newspaper column, he once wrote “90 per cent of Indians are fools” and in a blog urged people to “keep away from women”.India lost the ICC World Cup 2023 to Australia by six wickets.