`Media promoting superstitions, backward ideas`

Last Updated: Thursday, May 3, 2012 - 20:51

New Delhi: Accusing Indian media of promoting superstitions and backward ideas to divert people`s attention from real issues, Press Council Chairman Justice Markandey Katju on Thursday alleged that the media houses are often looked upon by their owners as the means of making money.

"In India, the recent tendencies show the media playing a reactionary role. Instead of promoting scientific thinking, it promotes superstitions and backward ideas and diverts attention from real issues which are socio-economic, to non-issues like lives of film stars, cricket, astrology, etc," Katju said in a statement on the occasion of World Press Freedom Day.

New Delhi: Accusing Indian media of promoting superstitions and backward ideas to divert people`s attention from real issues, Press Council Chairman Justice Markandey Katju on Thursday alleged that the media houses are often looked upon by their owners as the means of making money.

"In India, the recent tendencies show the media playing a reactionary role. Instead of promoting scientific thinking, it promotes superstitions and backward ideas and diverts attention from real issues which are socio-economic, to non-issues like lives of film stars, cricket, astrology, etc," Katju said in a statement on the occasion of World Press Freedom Day.

Justice Katju said he regretted that media persons, though lay great emphasis on fundamental rights they usually forget their fundamental duties.

"80 per cent of Indians are suffering from poverty,
unemployment, price rise, health issues, education, housing and evils such as honour killing, dowry deaths, farmer’s suicides, child malnutrition and female foeticide. These problems can be resolved by scientific thinking which must be spread to every nook and corner of the country," Justice Katju said.

Recommending that Indian media should emulate the path shown by European writers such as Voltaire, Rousseau and Thomas Paine, who had attacked feudal and backward ideas, Katju said, "Media has a great role to play in this transitional period through which India is passing."

Media is not an ordinary business which deals with commodities, it deals with ideas, which should be used to benefit people and not harm them, he said.

Deliberating upon freedom of press, Justice Katju said, "It can both help society and also damage it. It is like a knife which can be used for cutting things and also stabbing people. Freedom of the media cannot be regarded as always good. It depends for what purpose it is being used."

He said that it is the, "patriotic duty of all citizens, including media people, to promote scientific temper and combat backward ideas like casteism, communalism and superstitions."

PTI



First Published: Thursday, May 3, 2012 - 20:51

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