My criticism of media taken in wrong spirit: Katju

Press Council of India chairman Markandey Katju said his criticism of the media was not taken in the right spirit.

Updated: Dec 06, 2011, 21:49 PM IST

Kolkata: Press Council of India (PCI)
chairman Markandey Katju on Tuesday said his criticism of the media
was not taken in the right spirit and a diatribe was launched
against him.

"When I criticised the media for what it was doing, my
intention was not to destroy it, but to reform it. I wanted to
remind the media of its solemn duty to the nation," Katju, who
recently made headlines for criticising the media, said.

Justice Katju was here for an interactive session of the
Public Relations Society of India.
Instead of taking his criticism in the right spirit, the
PCI Chairman said, "a diatribe was launched against me, which
often descended to personal attacks against me and questioning
my motives. When serious issues were raised, they were
expected to be addressed seriously."

Stating that some media associations have decided to
boycott him, he said, "well, it is their right. And for that
matter, I am not keen on interacting either with such pompous
persons who have no desire to learn."

Justice Katju said he was, however, keen to learn from
the large section of the media and the common people who
agreed with his views.
The PCI chairman said the media should come forward to
help the country pass through the transition that it is going
through.

"India is passing through a transition from a feudal
agricultural society to a modern industrial society, which is
a very painful and agonising period in history," he said.

Stating that society was still steeped in casteism,
communalism and superstition, he said, "In this situation, the
Indian media has a solemn duty to the country which is to help
India get over this transition faster and with less pain."

"Today the people of India is all confused and they do
not know which way the country is going. They read about
corruption, crime, agitations, film stars, but all this makes
them further confused and despondent. It is here that the role
of the media becomes very important," Katju said.

Recalling the contribution of senior journalists Nikhil
Chakraborty and P Sainath in the transformation process, he
said, "the Indian media today should be doing the same,
particularly at a time when our country is in great distress.

I regret to say that instead of doing so, most of our media is
only interested in making money, showing half-naked women,
astrology and cricket."

PTI