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Updated: November 15, 2011 19:17 IST

Justice Markandey Katju clarifies

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Justice Markandey Katju, Chairman, Press Council of India. File photo
The Hindu Justice Markandey Katju, Chairman, Press Council of India. File photo

Justice Markandey Katju, Chairman, Press Council of India, has issued the following clarification on his critical observations of the Indian media.

I have expressed my views relating to the media in several T.V. interviews I gave as well as in my articles in some newspapers.

However, many people, including many media people, wanted clarification and amplification of some of the issues I had raised. Many media people (including several T.V. channels) wanted interviews with me but I told them that I will not give interviews for some time, since it does not create a good impression if one keeps giving interviews frequently. However, since some controversy appears to have been raised about what I said a clarification is in order.

Today India is passing through a transitional period in our history, the transition being from feudal agricultural society to modern industrial society. This is a very painful and agonizing period in history. The old feudal society is being uprooted and torn apart, but the new modern industrial society has not been fully and firmly established. Old values are crumbling, but new modern values have not yet been put in place. Everything is in flux, in turmoil. What was regarded good yesterday, is regarded bad today, and what was regarded bad is regarded good. As Shakespeare said in Macbeth “Fair is foul and foul is fair”.

If one studies the history of Europe from the 16th to the 19th Centuries, when the transition from feudalism to modern society was taking place, one will know that this transitional period was full of turbulence, turmoil, wars, revolutions, chaos, social churning, and intellectual ferment. It was only after going through this fire that modern society emerged in Europe. India is presently going through that fire. We are going through a very painful period in our country’s history, which, I guess, will last another 15 to 20 years. I wish this transition would take place painlessly and immediately but unfortunately that is not how history functions.

In this transition period the role of ideas, and therefore of the media, becomes extremely important. At a particular historical juncture, ideas become a material force. For instance, the ideas of liberty, equality and fraternity, and of religious freedom (secularism) became powerful material forces during the Age of Enlightenment in Europe and particularly during the American and French Revolutions. In the age of transition in Europe, the media (which was only the print media at that time) played a great, historical role in the transformation of feudal Europe to modern Europe.

Historically, the print medium arose as an organ of the people against feudal oppression. At that time, the established organs of power were all in the hands of the feudal, despotic authorities (kings, aristocrats, etc.). Hence the people had to create new organs which could represent their interests. That is why the print medium became known as the Fourth Estate. In Europe and America it represented the voice of the future, as a contrast to the established feudal organs which wanted to preserve status quo.

Great writers like Voltaire, Rousseau, Thomas Paine, ‘Junius’ (whose real name we yet do not know) played an outstanding role in this connection (see Will Durant’s ‘The Age of Voltaire’ and ‘Rousseau and Revolution’). The Encyclopaedists like Voltaire, Diderot, Helvetius, Holbach etc. created the Age of Reason, which paved the way for a modern Europe. Diderot wrote that “Men will be free when the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest”. Voltaire, in his satirical novels ‘Candide’ and ‘Zadig’ lashed out at religious bigotry, superstitions, and irrationalism. Rousseau in his ‘Social Contract’ attacked feudal despotism by propounding the theory of the ‘general will’ (which broadly stands for popular sovereignty). Thomas Paine wrote about the Right of Man, and Junius attacked the corruption of the Ministers of the despotic George III. Dickens criticized the terrible social conditions in 19th Century England. These, and many others, were responsible for creating modern Europe.

In my opinion the Indian media too should play a progressive role similar to the one played by the European media. This it can do by attacking backward and feudal ideas and practices like casteism, communalism, superstitions, oppression of women, etc. and propagating modern rational and scientific ideas, secularism, and tolerance.

At one time a section of our media played a great role in our country. Raja Ram Mohan Roy courageously attacked backward customs like sati, child marriage, purda, etc in his newspapers ‘Miratul Akbhar’ and ‘Sambad Kaumudi’. Nikhil Chakravarty wrote about the horrors of the Bengal Famine of 1943. Munshi Premchand and Sharat Chandra Chattopadhyaya wrote against feudal practices and oppression of women. Saadat Hasan Manto wrote about the horrors of Partition.

When I criticized the Indian media, and particularly the electronic media for not playing such a progressive and socially responsible role, I was furiously attacked by a section of the media for my views. Some even launched a personal attack on me saying that I was an agent of the government.

I could have retaliated back in the same tone by saying that most media persons are agents of the corporates who have hired them, but I refrained from doing so as I did not want to stoop down to their level. When serious issues are raised about the functioning of the media it was expected that those issues would be addressed seriously instead of launching personal attacks on me, or simply dismissing me as ‘irresponsible’ (as one Exalted Person has done).

By criticizing the media I wanted to persuade the media to change its manner of functioning and not that I wanted to destroy it. The Indian media has a historical role to play in the age of transition, and I wanted to remind the media persons of their historical duty to the nation. Instead of taking my criticism in the correct spirit, a veritable diatribe was launched against me by a section of the media, which painted me as some kind of dictatorial monster.

The great Hindi poet Rahim has written:

“Nindak nearey raakhiye

Aangan kuti Chawaye”

The media should regard me as their well wisher. I criticized them because I wanted media persons to give up many of their defects (some of which I had mentioned in my T.V. interviews and articles) and follow the path of honour which the European media was following, and which will give them the respect of the Indian people.

I mentioned that 80% of our countrymen are living in horrible poverty, there is massive unemployment, skyrocketing prices, lack of medical care, education etc. and barbaric social practices like honour killing, dowry death, caste oppression, religious bigotry, etc. Instead of seriously addressing these issues 90% of the coverage of our media goes to entertainment, e.g., lives of film stars, fashion parades, pop music, disco dancing, cricket etc, or showing superstitions like astrology.

No doubt the media should provide some entertainment also to the people, but if 90% of its coverage is devoted to entertainment, and only 10% to all the socio-economic issues put together, then the sense of priorities of the media has gone haywire. The real issues before the people are the socio-economic issues, and the media is seeking to divert their attention to the non issues like film stars, fashion parades, disco, pop, cricket etc. Does a hungry or unemployed man require entertainment, or food and a job? It is because of this lack of a sense of priorities and for showing superstitions, that I criticized the media.

One should not be afraid of criticism, nor should one resent it. People can criticize me as much as they like, I will not resent it, and maybe I will benefit from it. But similarly the media too should not mind if I criticize them. My aim in doing so is to make them better media people.

While criticizing, however, fairness requires that one should report the words of one’s opponent accurately, without twisting or distorting them. That was the method used by our philosophers. They would first state the views of their opponent, in what was called as the ‘purvapaksha’. This was done with such accuracy and intellectual honesty that if the opponent were present he could not have stated his views better. Thereafter it was sought to be refuted. In this connection one may read Madhavacharya’s ‘Sarva Darshan Sangrah’ (Madhavacharya was the founder of the Dvait school of Vedanta). The views of the Charvaks (Materialist thinkers), the Buddhists, Jains, etc are stated in the ‘purvapaksha’ with such accuracy that if they were present they could not have put them better.

Unfortunately, this practice is often not followed by our media, and my words were distorted by many, and then I was furiously attacked. To give only two examples: (1) In my interview to Mr. Karan Thapar, I stated that in my opinion the majority of media people are of a poor intellectual level. This statement of mine was twisted and distorted by several persons on T.V. channels who quoted me as saying that all media persons are ‘uneducated’ and ‘illiterate’. I telephoned the lady journalist who anchored one of such T.V. panel discussions and asked her why she had distorted my words. She had begun the panel discussion by saying “Katju called journalists uneducated”. She said she only interpreted what I said. I told her that first she should have quoted my exact words, and then only should she have interpreted them. I would like to clarify this further.

Firstly, I did not make a statement about all media people but only of the majority. There are many media people for whom I have great respect. I had mentioned the name of Mr. P. Sainath, whose name should be written in letters of gold in the history of India journalism (for highlighting farmer’s suicides and other farmers issues). I can name several others. Mr. Paranjoy Guha Thakurta and Mr. Shreenivas Reddy did a commendable job in exposing in detail the scandal of paid news. I also have high respect for Mr. Vinod Mehta, Mr. Vinod Sharma, Mr. N. Ram and many others.

I may also mention that before my interview with Mr. Karan Thanpar I sat for about 10 minutes in his office having a cup of coffee with him. At that time I mentioned the name of Emile Zola to him, and he immediately said ‘J’ Accuse’. That one word made him go up high in my esteem. I earlier did not have a very high opinion of him, but that single word completely changed my opinion, and I realized I was in the presence of a highly educated man.

So I wish to clarify have that I did not paint the entire media with the same brush, but my words were totally distorted.

Secondly, I did not say that this majority was uneducated or illiterate. This again was a deliberate distortion of what I said. I never used the word ‘uneducated’. I said that the majority is of a poor intellectual level. A person may have passed B.A. or M.A. but yet may be of a poor intellectual level.

Thirdly, even if one did not agree with my view, he could have coolly and patiently disagreed in a civil tone and expressed his own views instead of shouting and raving on the TV screen and giving an ugly display of temper. And this by a person who belongs to a profession a large section of which is accused of the scandal of paid news, Radia tapes, etc. Really, the Lady doth protest too much! (Shakespeare: Hamlet).

(2) I have again and again said in my articles, speeches and TV interviews that I am not in favour of harsh measures against the media. In a democracy, issues are ordinarily resolved by discussion, persuasion, consultation, and dialogue, and that is the method I prefer, rather than using harsh measures. If a channel/newspaper has done something wrong I would prefer to call the persons responsible ad patiently explain to them that what they have done is not proper. I am sure that in 90% or more cases that would be sufficient. I strongly believe that 90% of people who are doing wrong things can be reformed and made good people.

It is only in extreme cases, which would only be about 5 to 10%, that harsh measures would be required, and that too after repeated use of the democratic method has failed and the person proves incorrigible.

This statement of mine was again distorted and a false impression created that I wanted to impose emergency in the country, cartoons were published in some newspapers showing me as some kind of dictator, etc., etc.

The truth is that I have always been a strong votary for liberty, and the proof of this is my judgments in the Supreme Court and the High Court in which I have consistently held that judges are guardians of the liberties of the citizens, and they will be failing in their duties if they do not uphold these liberties. However, liberty does not mean license to do anything one wishes. All freedoms are subject to reasonable restrictions in the public interest, and are coupled with responsibilities.

We may now discuss the question of self regulation.

Self regulation by electronic media

At present, there is no regulatory authority to cover the electronic media. The Press Council of India governs only the print media, and even in cases of violation of journalistic ethics by the latter the only punishment which can be given is admonition or censure.

I have written to the Prime Minister requesting him to initiate legislation to amend the Press Council Act by (1) bringing electronic media also under the ambit of the Press Council, and (2) giving more teeth to the Press Council.

The electronic media has strongly opposed bringing it under the Press Council. Their claim is of self regulation. But even Judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts do not have such an absolute right. They can be impeached by Parliament for misconduct. Lawyers are under the Bar Council, who can suspend or cancel their license for professional misconduct. Doctors come under the Medical Council who can suspend/cancel their license. Auditors are in the same position. Why then is the electronic media shy of coming under any regulatory authority? Why these double standards? If they do not wish to come under the Press Council (because the present Chairman is a wicked and/or undesirable person) then the N.B.A., and B.E.A. should indicate under which regulatory authority they wish to come. Are they willing to come under the proposed Lokpal? I have repeatedly raised this question in several newspapers, but my question has always been met either by stony silence on the part of the N.B.A., and B.E.A. or dismissing the very question as ‘irresponsible’.

T.V. news and shows have a large influence on a wide section of our public. Hence in my opinion T.V. channels must also be made accountable to the public.

If the electronic media insists on self regulation, then by the same logic politicians, bureaucrats, etc., must also be granted the right of self regulation, instead of being placed under the Lokpal. Or does the electronic media regard itself so holy, so ‘doodh ka dhula’ that nobody should regulate it except itself. In that case, what is paid news, Radia tapes, etc? Is that the work of saints?

In fact there is no such thing as self regulation, which is an oxymoron. Everybody is accountable to the people in a democracy, and so is the media.

More In: National | News

Dear. Justice Markandey Katju, I think you are absolutely right Sir. Unfortunately in our country it is a taboo to speak with reason and candor. Thanks for speaking truth eloquently.

from:  John Peter
Posted on: Nov 26, 2011 at 05:41 IST

We need more thinkers with authority like Katju to stand by their just views and to act on it bravely.

from:  kuppuswamy
Posted on: Nov 24, 2011 at 13:20 IST

Fully agree with you sir !!! Media has nothing to do with Poors,Kisan,Dalits, Farmers and Adhivasis which are the important factors of the economy.

from:  Chetan Patil
Posted on: Nov 22, 2011 at 15:36 IST

It is awfully sickening to see or watch Bolywood stars, fashion shows in all possible vulgarity and obscenity, adoration of cricket heroes every day, renouncing India's cultural and ethics values.These media person may not be uneducated, but have very poor taste and low ,misplaced, misguided judgments.We salute Justice Katju for his wise words and concern. It is time to preserve India's heritage and civilization.

from:  nirode mohanty
Posted on: Nov 20, 2011 at 23:57 IST

Nobody can advice Media like Justice Katju does. OK media guys !! Just admit that Media is just evolving in India. I have been reading newspapers for the last 40 years. To be very frank, it is not doing its job properly today. Only very few papers like THE HINDU behaves responsibily. The only consolation is that you printing guys are very humorous. Keep away those young boys and girls inside TV interviewing bigwigs. It smells arrogance. TV does not mean glamour. Let that be confined to Bollywood. Introduce more grey hairs like in the West. The younger generation should not grow up tomorrow behaving like brats in Soap Operas. We need more Karan Thapars, Goswamis etc.

from:  Ananthanarayanan
Posted on: Nov 20, 2011 at 19:13 IST

It is one of the articles calling spade a spade..... At the very
outset, let me ask, why there should be a preferential treatment to
PRESS ,a business organisation with a mask of service ( a few
exception are there). Why anyone should be above law when the press
has been rhetorical about bringing everyone under lokpal. Freedom
without responsibility is worst than....... Many tried to bell the cat
and successfully failed but let Mr. Katju move forward.. fight and we
are with you. Like Anna movement...let this issue also goes to the
road and bring everyone to the book...

from:  P.R.Subas Chandran
Posted on: Nov 20, 2011 at 19:03 IST

In my opinion,discipline is the first and probably,very much
precise(long lasting) step towards success,may be these media people
might have adopted the term earlier in their career phase,but now-a-
days almost of them are on the verge of forgetting the very chapter of
DISCIPLINE. Justice Katju has made an entry on the exact time.These
intransigent media persons could never be regulated,if somebody would
have delivered the message in a modest way;they desperately needed
such a sharp CRITIC,who is strict in true sense and cannot afford in-
disciplined... may god bless

from:  Anshuma S
Posted on: Nov 20, 2011 at 17:55 IST

I hope after reading this thought provoking article , Media will Introspect . Again they should not start unnecessary debate about
person. (Sir , you are brave man , atleast you have started debate about regulation on media).......

from:  Rahul
Posted on: Nov 20, 2011 at 17:43 IST

The article is written in very much responsible manner. I totally agree with writer that to build healthy nation, medias especially the electronic media must behave in responsible way as future generations of our country is watching them so much.

from:  Nagarajan
Posted on: Nov 20, 2011 at 17:42 IST

it is convenient for the pressmen to point their fingers of criticism on anybody on every issue. but when it is about their own misdeeds, they try to put all possible blocks as if they are from the Heaven and beyond all the Laws on earth. i fully agree with you, sir.

from:  Mani.R
Posted on: Nov 20, 2011 at 15:18 IST

I really hope the Press Council gets more teeth to regulate the Electronic media. The way I see it, things are going out of hands. For example, lets take the case of media involvement in court cases. They don't influence the judge's final judgement, but by that time, they carry out a lot of defamation of individuals and/or organizations. And lets not forget that the media is mostly privately owned. What stops them from maligning others for selfish interests? We had the privilege of having Soli Sorabjee (former Attorney General of India) here at IIM Indore for a speech, and even he expressed concern on this. In his view, excess Government control shouldn't be there, but the Press Council should be given more power to regulate the electronic media. As Justice Katju indicated, electronic media "doodh ka dhula" nahi hai.

from:  Mayur N
Posted on: Nov 20, 2011 at 13:36 IST

We respect you so much that atlast some one of your stature have come out and stated exactly whats being happening in india especially the print media and Electronic Media. We have too many regional parties and not intelluct and its the duty of the media to teach the people whats right or wrong, whats scientific and whats good for country or not by being common to all political parties. thank you so much we are with you mr katju

from:  Manny
Posted on: Nov 20, 2011 at 13:08 IST

I am also with the same notion that media must be made accountable for the responsibility towards society. they are far behind their role & duties. our basic problems are not addressed & news are benefited to certain section of the society.

from:  vijayant
Posted on: Nov 20, 2011 at 12:49 IST

What Justice Katju said is true and there is urgent need for a regulatory body to check print/electronic media. It is not uncommon to come across many semi-literate to ignorant editorial and reporting staff in the media. To top it all these charlatans put on airs of knowing every subject under the sun and brag about. Drumming them are regular `specialist' panelists! No wonder readers/viwers are getting bored with the same old faces dishing out same old trash in TV focus programmes and newspaper columns. There is need for regulating as there is a proliferation of media brokers, subverting democratic system and institutions.

from:  krishnan
Posted on: Nov 20, 2011 at 12:39 IST

How can any man in his senses say that the transition from "feudal society" to "modern, industrial society" will be complete in 15-20 years? Forget the over-simplified dichotomy which this man pulled out of his bottom, how the hell did he come up with 15-20 year timeline? People have been trying to understand the differences between East and West for thousands of years and this "intelligent" man reduced it to "feudal" Vs "modern, industrial"? Why cant a society be both? Whats "modern" and "industrial"? A society that discriminates against Blacks is modern? A society that commits genocide (Jewish or Nuclear) is modern? Industrial perhaps? It is clear that Markandey Katju has succeeded in completely brain-washing himself by reading western literature. I wonder how many judgements made by western justices he copied while judging cases in India.

from:  Manav
Posted on: Nov 20, 2011 at 11:24 IST

criticism bring the desired purity rationale direction more social acceptable parameters . Hence views of justice katju may be considered as positive path towards better future . Regards

from:  Laxmi Narain Meena
Posted on: Nov 20, 2011 at 11:09 IST

I fully agree with what Mr. Justice Katju said. In this connection, I specially note the prevalence of yellow journalism in most of the news media(print + electronic). I have also noted that two foreign group of publications' are interested in spreading yankee culture in the country and therefore their converage consists of 90% of enterrtainment news, includng sex, cinema, fashion and gossip. They have also entered into the business of selling various luxury items. I wonder as to why they are posing as professionaal journalist! Are they professional at all?

from:  Sanyal
Posted on: Nov 20, 2011 at 11:05 IST

I support Justice Katju fully. Media is right now without any check and wants to remain that way. They want to do any thing they like and nobody should ask questions and keep a check on them. There is so much of biased reporting in Media. They twist facts according to their liking.

from:  Anurag Gupta
Posted on: Nov 20, 2011 at 03:10 IST

I agree 100% with the hon'ble judge. The downward slide of the electronic media was started, ironically, Mr Prannoy Roy by breeding upstarts like Barkha Dutt, Arnab Goswami and Rajdeep Sardesai, who do not have the strength of literary knowledge behind them but are given into personal biases and sensationalism. They also cannot face criticism and when faced with it give vent to hysterical reactions. Remember how Barkha dutt reacted when faced with the exposure of Radia tapes. Another upstart is Vir Sanghvi. It is this breed which needs to introspect and reform.

from:  Arun Kumar
Posted on: Nov 19, 2011 at 21:50 IST

The criticism of Justice Katju's views stems from the totally visible
"holier than thou" attitude of the media that's been growing arrogant by
leaps and bounds.
The media should let go of its vacuous grandstanding and smell the
coffee.

from:  Kunal
Posted on: Nov 19, 2011 at 20:39 IST

Well said. It is not media - It is Mafia(Media) in our country.
Most of the electronic media doesn't address the
requirements of the common man nor is it towards the development of
the nation. They are also in the business of making big money by
showing useless stuff.

They have to be surely regulated. They think they are above god and
can behave/talk/write what ever they want. With personal experience I
can vouch they are the worst behaved lot in our country.

They twist and totally make false interpretation and project it in
such a way that poisons the mind of people. Oh god! save this nation
from this media mafia.

from:  Vijay Venkataraman
Posted on: Nov 19, 2011 at 19:44 IST

I too fully agree with what Justice Katju has expressed. So glad to see that all the viewers (many that I have read) also have agreed. In addition to other criticisms another trick of theirs I find is, the Media people when repeating others' statements, leave the rest of the words of a sentence which changes the real meaning of the statement. Am not able to pin point any now, but is the impression created.

from:  M Panthaki
Posted on: Nov 19, 2011 at 16:44 IST

I agree with Hon'ble Katju that electronic media should come under the
supervision.

from:  vijay k. Singh
Posted on: Nov 19, 2011 at 15:54 IST

Why Mr Katju had critisized media .If some one thought that he is agent of govt ,can not be brushed aside .Here I would like to make a point .Mr Katju has no experince in working in media .But he is holding the post of controlling media .That is quite interesting .Assume for the momemt if Arnab Goswami is given an appomtment to controll juduciary(That is not going to happen for arguemnet because they will not allow any interenal inteference ) and if began to critisize the Judges as they lack study, what would have happend .Will there were no protest about that .That is what happend in the case of Mr Katju .I do agree withs some MR .Katjus .But we have to remind one thing the Media has worked for the progress of than any other institution of Govt .We have at least accept that and it is easy to critisize media from the glass hoses .It is to be seen that there were hundreds of media persons lost their life in their quest for unerathing truth .There are not so dangrerous profession tha

from:  Deepesh
Posted on: Nov 19, 2011 at 14:54 IST

A brilliant clarification by Justice Katju. I have been following his judgements right from the days he was CJ at Chennai. A man of unflinching integrity and holder of values in its highest apostle. I fail to understand why the Press could not accept any form of criticism. If this arrogance continues, they would become worse than the politicians who have ruined this country. The Indian press has recently stooped to unthinkable levels and I have stopped seeing the 'NEWS' being thrust on the public. The press should only convey the news not their opinions, which are mostly biased. The irresponsible way they have encouraged the detractors of the TEAM ANNA is also deplorable.
I then ask the press to mend their ways and be a responsible part of this great democracy else they would also die an awkward death at the hands of the reading public.

from:  Rajasekhar
Posted on: Nov 19, 2011 at 14:06 IST

well said Sir. Kudos to you. Drastic reforms are must in Indian electronic media. They are misleading the people. Not focusing on the common man's problems. Working day & night for getting benefits from Govt by supporting all their mistakes. Always waste the valuable time with political interviews, Cine star interviews and creating breaking news etc. We should have one monitoring authority which should able to take a strict action against those channels which shows interest in creating controversies.

from:  Nani
Posted on: Nov 19, 2011 at 12:06 IST

First I saw Hon'ble Justice Katju's interview by Karan Thapar and now read this piece. At both the times I was reminded of my roots of Allahbad from where Justice Katju comes. My late father, (who was a foster son as well as student of late Firaq Gorakhpuri Sahab), passed on to his children the importance of social responsibilities, intellectual honesty, respect for freedom & liberty but with a sense of rightousness & duty. I could immediately recall all that. In every word Justice Katju spoke or wrote it had the fragrance of the basic values the teachers of Allahbad University embedded in its students. I am proud to have seen and heard Hon'ble Justice Katju.

from:  Dr. Ahmad Cameron, Canada
Posted on: Nov 19, 2011 at 10:47 IST

Many have agreed with former judge Mr.Markendeya Katju.It is unfortunate that the media had taken law in to its own hands backed by corrupt politicians and unscrupulous businessmen.For instance a leading national newspaper everyday publishes about sex orgasms and what men should expect from women and vice versa.Its just sickening to say the least, similarly the electronic media prides itself in showing half clad men and women to sell a product.This corrupts the the young mind.Even in the west,we have channels dealing with movies and sex separately and its aired around midnight.There are separate channels for news for cultural programmes for music for art there by allowing people to view the channels of their choice.It is very unfortunate that media seem to provide in our country ideas for terrorism,extortion,rape and anti social activities in order to increase their trp rating.regulation is must and done rapidly.More journalist like Thapar mr ram and cho must take lead to reform!!

from:  V. Shivkumar
Posted on: Nov 19, 2011 at 07:30 IST

With so much rot being shown in the media through tv serials / program far away from realities in India and the news channels drumming up dirty stories (like sex scandals) or highlighting issues which are socially unrelevant, What Justice Katju has stated is true to the last word. I have been a witness to the large scale commercialisation of the media and degradation of its standards over the last 15-20 years. In fact, today media is not only most corrupt but also the most corrupting agent for Indian society. Instead of promoting values and virtues the media is actually promoting alien cultures, highlighting misplaced individual bizarre acts as examples of liberal / progressive trends. Tell me, what is BIG BOSS or KBC telling us? A porn star in Big Boss promoting open porn in swimming pools or teh KBC telling us that one need not work hard but keep trying lotteries to earn big money? C'mon, let us face the truth and shun all such media. Fellow countrymen, learn to separate the chaff.

from:  P A Deshpande
Posted on: Nov 19, 2011 at 05:27 IST

News papers have become like products that are run by product managers worried about revenue,margin,volume,mass etc.
All the above parameters are encapsulated in to what they proudly announce - Circulation!
I have no idea why it should matter to me as a reader!
Newspaper pick up comparison between each other instead of fighting for solutions !
I salute 'The Hindu' for thier integrity, tenacity to convey news as it is, and not think news paper as a 'money-making light-weight bill board'(filled with Ads)!
The latest TV ad campaign by Times of India(announcing the launch of chennai edition) claiming that other news papers put the readers to sleep and they are going to keep em awake is seen as an arrogant campaign.
Mr. Markendeya - Good thoughts and hope the media take your observation in the right spirit!

from:  sundararajan
Posted on: Nov 19, 2011 at 01:06 IST

Let's look at the human tendency. Media journalists finds it easy to cover topics involving the celebrities and corporates because these groups seek attention and media is always welcome! But, the real issues dont get media attention, simply because the issues dont seek attention, but solutions!
Solutions can be found even without Media - Media is not an elixir to the problems India is facing.
But, having said that Mr. Markandeya's thoughts should be taken as positive feedback by our media friends!

from:  sundararajan
Posted on: Nov 19, 2011 at 00:39 IST

Media is not the only solution to the problems this country is facing. However, urging media to do thier fair bit is nothing but a fair ask.Really appreciate it.
Frankly, if Mr.Markandeya (as chairma, press council of india) has to take a bold step apart from the bold talk, it must be to- stop politicians or groups biased towards a certain political party from running news press!
I am not commenting on TV channels owned and run by politicians as I think that's probably 'out of duty' for Mr. Markandeya.

from:  Sundararajan
Posted on: Nov 19, 2011 at 00:34 IST

1.The media, both print and elecronic, is mostly owned by corporates or some individuals quite rich.They control the media, decide what is to be published or publicised.Journalists in such media have little control on their policy.Therefore, the cricism re: the quality and content of the news/ articles etc should be directed against NOT JOURNALIS ALONE.

2.tALKING ABOUT fREEDOM OF THE pRESS, ONE RECALLS a notice published in the newspapers a few weeks ago stating that acceptance by the govt the recommendations of the WAGE BOARD( concerning the wages &c of the journalists and other staff of the Print media) would geopardise the freedom of the press.It was issued by the owners of the newspapers association.In other words, it means that freedom of the press can be safeguarded by paying less wages and getting more work from the journalists and other employees of the media!
Justice Katju and the votaries of the freedom of pres may kindly consider this point while speaking of the same.

from:  janardanrao
Posted on: Nov 18, 2011 at 23:17 IST

I can't agree with you more sir. But, the trouble is if some pliable
person/s come/s as the Press council head/s, with all the powers to
regulate the media that you suggest,the govt may try to muzzle the
press through that regulatory body.

from:  S Subramaniam
Posted on: Nov 18, 2011 at 23:06 IST

Those who oppose the idea of regulation--they thereby show the urgency with which the regulation need to be brought.

from:  madhu masand
Posted on: Nov 18, 2011 at 22:52 IST

I 100% agree with Justice Katju. Electronic media should come under the supervision. I salute Mr. Katju for his brave comments.

from:  Naser
Posted on: Nov 18, 2011 at 12:49 IST

Mr. Justice Markendeya Katju's we salute you, unfortunately how many will buy your opinion. Just like politics all the media including print media is grabbed by the corporates.

from:  Pradeep Kumar P. K.
Posted on: Nov 18, 2011 at 12:43 IST

I am in complete support of Justice Katju. He has put across his view points brilliantly. Just watching some of the programmes on television makes one cringe. The popular soaps downright denigrate our women. The news channels have meaningless 'debates' - which is more often than not a shouting match. Some of the anchors talk like they are the epitome of righteousness. The web edition of a leading newspaper has stuff which border on pornography. Is this what we want our children to see and read? Do we want families and our young generation to be fed such garbage. Unless there is a strong regulator who can punish the media when they do wrong, they will continue doing what they do. Justice Katju, I hope you succeed in your mission. I'm sure almost all of India supports you. May I also add that 'The Hindu' deserves tremendous praise for being one of the very few newspapers that offers balanced reporting and doing its part in nation buidling, honestly.

from:  KP Balakumar
Posted on: Nov 18, 2011 at 12:13 IST

Sir, I agree with your points on the role Media has got to play in this transition period of the Nation. the quality of the content in most channels is appalling. the focus is always on the wrong topics. when I see news, or read a paper, I expect FACTS to be stated.. not cooked, opined, twisted or distorted. I beleive, only the EDITORIAL is the section where the news paper has to give the OPINION, elsewhere they are supposed to state the facts. who is today following this convention. An item that impacts the maximum number of people should get the maximum coverage.. MEDIA should play the role of a MENTOR, TEACHER, GUARDIAN OF THE SOCIETAL VALUES, POLICE THE SOCIETY FOR WRONGS, EDUCATE GENERAL PUBLIC ON HOW DECISIONS TAKEN BY RULES ARE GOING TO IMPACT THEIR LIVES Media should nurture the society as a garndener nurtures and grows a beautiful gardern. Media has got all the power and reach today to correct many wrongs. Please wake up and save the nation.

from:  Sudarshan
Posted on: Nov 18, 2011 at 12:08 IST

Hats off to Mr. Katju. He raises the very genuine issue...

from:  Arun Singh
Posted on: Nov 18, 2011 at 11:53 IST

Great discussion happening in this regard.. I too saw the TV interview. I would welcome a journalists{atleast a freelance} take on this {as I can't see any journalists comment on the same}. As healthy debates would put-forth a valid solution at the end. Looking forward !

from:  venkat
Posted on: Nov 18, 2011 at 10:44 IST

Excellent article by Justice Katju. I thank 'The Hindu' for carrying this article in its news edition. I wish more and more such intellectuals speak for the welfare of the masses than classes, especially for those people who are voiceless,poor and exploited and who have not benefited by the wealth of our Indian nation.

from:  Deivi
Posted on: Nov 18, 2011 at 10:29 IST

Justice Katju should not even sound like a patsy. It is very clear that some vested interest groups (primarily foreign interests) who want to control India' s politics, business, resources and freedom. It looks like these forces have penetrated into Indian media (particularly airwaves) and let loose cheap sexual innuendo, hate, divisions among citizens of India etc. We have observed media trying to create sectarian feuds, sexual exploitation, cheerleading conflicts with all the neighboring countries, interfering in politics, protecting corrupt politicians, promoting some candidates in election and demonizing some others. Some activities look like they are trying to destroy democracy and supporting anti-people policies. In United States most powerful political force is media -- we do not want that in India. POLITICAL POWER MUST STAY IN THE PEOPLE. MEDIA SHOULD BE FREE OF ANY FOREIGN INVESTMENT. NO EAST INDIA COMPANY IS WELCOME.

from:  Maya Ghose
Posted on: Nov 18, 2011 at 09:58 IST

A very bold and truthful analyis by the honorable Justice.What fuss about on what he said.It is corruption,if one challenges the Justice's truthful opinion on media.Like a Guru he has found mistakes in his students for prompt correction to promote reliable media for the benefit & good health of this great country,India.Let the media people take his opinion in the right sense & rectify the mistakes pointed out in all seriousness to promote only reliability.

from:  M.Ramamoorthi
Posted on: Nov 18, 2011 at 08:35 IST

We taught the world the virtue of tolerance but have become intolerant to our own critics. We react angrily if someone points out our caste discrimination while peoples of discriminated castes are massacred, we do not like to accept accusation of our gender discrimination practices ignoring the uncontrollable female feticides and dowry deaths, we do not count nearly 1/2 a billion of our population below poverty line claiming that we have one of the biggest number of billionaires in the world. We were a proud nation once but we cannot be anymore by denying the cancer of corruption, casteism, poverty and hedonism that is eating into the spirit and life of the nation. We should stop shooting people who have the nerve to stand up and criticse us. We are overspeeding on a slippery road but blame the speedometer is defective.

from:  TN Srinivasan
Posted on: Nov 18, 2011 at 08:29 IST

most of the new electronic media is no different from fashion channel like attitude. They are trying to get that ratings up. very bad trend.

from:  noufal majeed
Posted on: Nov 18, 2011 at 07:40 IST

Peter Parker has said, "With Great Power comes Great Responsibility". If the powerful media are irresponsible, just to gain higher ratings, then there is a great need to control them to act more responsibly.

from:  Poligar
Posted on: Nov 18, 2011 at 04:29 IST

Justice Katju makes some very pertinent points in this article. By and large, the Indian media does have a long way to go. A correction is due, however, in one of his historical references. Madhavacharya who wrote the Sarva Darsana Sangraha was quite different from Madhvacharya, the founder of the Dvaita school of Vedanta. Indeed, the author of Sarva Darsana Sangraha is identical with Swami Vidyaranya, arguably the best known champion of Advaita Vedanta in the 14th century.

from:  Vidyasankar Sundaresan
Posted on: Nov 18, 2011 at 02:31 IST

I wonder if this article found space in any other newspaper. Well done, The Hindu. Katju has a strong argument.

from:  Munna
Posted on: Nov 18, 2011 at 02:12 IST

Totally agree with your views Justice Katju. We need a strong agency to control electronic media.

from:  Shubham
Posted on: Nov 18, 2011 at 01:53 IST

It would be much better if Mr Katju highlighted specific examples of what he perceives as abuse by the media and came up with some concrete solutions. Otherwise talking in generalities makes no sense and is meaningless and unhelpful. He says all media should be regulated but he has not given a single reason why it should be so and for what purpose. He is correct in saying that a lot of what the media inflicts on us is shallow superficial trash, but there are also many instances of courageous and thoughtful investigative journalism that has helped the country. I would be interested in knowing what proposal he has to ensure that honest and truthful reporting and investigative journalism s not trampled under the excuse of "media regulation'

from:  Ranjan
Posted on: Nov 18, 2011 at 01:03 IST

Great article ... Totally second your views on regulation of the electronic media ... Though we should be extra careful of ensuring zero govt involvement (which would see an opportunity here when talk is on for regulating the channels) .... for the media a little under-regulation is better than over-regulation

from:  Abhishek
Posted on: Nov 18, 2011 at 00:47 IST

I support Mr.Katju.Electronic media should come under a regulatory act.Media should be reformed.TV channels telecast rubbish programs and they are not paying any attention to social problems.TV channels should be enforced under regulatory acts.Its high time and am glad Mr.Katju spoke everyone's mind.Kudos to him.

from:  nithilaamalan
Posted on: Nov 18, 2011 at 00:43 IST

My respects to Justice Katju have increased multi fold. What a learned Judge and what an eloquent prose! He is THE right person at the right place. Wish the media reforms!

from:  R. Jagannathan
Posted on: Nov 17, 2011 at 23:02 IST

My admiration for Justice Katju has only increased with this article. Excellent piece from a person who can clearly distinguish right from wrong. I also agree with comments of most of the readers,that most of the news channels have "SILLY" news items which are called Breaking News. Some supposedly highly qualified journalists and anchors just yell at you during the news cast. All I want to say to these anchors is "I am not deaf. I can hear you just be a bit professional and polite." Another important issue with us Indians in general is inability to accept different points of views and criticism. We just cant take criticism.

from:  NikhilK
Posted on: Nov 17, 2011 at 22:51 IST

I fully agree with Justice Katju. The electronic media is in a hurry and in the process, they are not creditable.Unfortunately, the recent scams in all sections of society, has put the common man in a fix, of not knowing whom to believe.Electronic media has cleverly turned this position of common man to its advantage and in the name of giving News, is feeding trash.Harsh measure are required to regulate the electronic media.I am not a believer of self-regulation.After all we are humans, we tend to believe what we do is correct and will convince others, that we are correct. A third person's perspective is required to identify the weakness. Electronic Media should subject itself to regulation from outside, else it will not be long before that their credibility is lost.As rightly put by justice katju, Media has to play major part in this transition period of INDIA,else we our future generations will not forgive us.

from:  Padmanabhan SV
Posted on: Nov 17, 2011 at 22:44 IST

Excellent response from Mr.Katju to the reaction given by Electronic Media. Hope there is some message taken from him and make improvements to show some maturity and decency in Electronic journalism.

from:  Madan
Posted on: Nov 17, 2011 at 22:40 IST

In the present times, man living in cities has no time for print media.TV is his only source of entertainment and information.he tends to believe whatever is put forth in his favourite channel.All over the world, this is exploited by big money groups and their ever obliging TV journalists. In USA no one can compete in an election unless he and his party have patrons who can pay for TV advertisements costing $ 50,000 and more for a half minute insertion.If democracy is not to be a sham, it is absolutely essential that tv media is regulated by an independent outside agency.Thank God, the learned judge is leading this effort. I back him to the hilt.

from:  L.K.Balasubramanian
Posted on: Nov 17, 2011 at 22:25 IST

Isn't regulation archaic and a sign of 'feudal society'? The writer, while acknowledging India's transition to an industrial society, still seems to be clinging to the prospect of government control, over what the masses can and cannot watch. The beauty of a free-market oriented industrial society, the society that India is striving to be, is that the marketplace is full of options. While there might be a glut of tabloid style media outlets, there are also reputable entities that consistently analyze important socio-economic issues. It is up to us, the citizens, to pick and choose what we believe is relevant. A nation that undervalues the intellectual capabilities of its citizens, by imposing regulations, can never really shed its feudal shackles.

from:  Gowri Santhanam
Posted on: Nov 17, 2011 at 22:22 IST

For these reasons, I had stopped watching the programs of "high-pitched"-shouting-news-anchors.

from:  Balaji
Posted on: Nov 17, 2011 at 19:00 IST

Total Support to Mr.katju.

from:  Anuj
Posted on: Nov 17, 2011 at 18:14 IST

Wonderful..Thanks and Hats off to Mr Katju.I agree with each and every point he says.Atlast someone has to courage to take one the electronic media in India who are nothing but corporate spokesperson

from:  Arijit
Posted on: Nov 17, 2011 at 16:51 IST

completly agree with the justice comments. without a regulatory body no istitution will work for the people. media is no expection for that

from:  Muralidhar
Posted on: Nov 17, 2011 at 16:41 IST

Its really one of the best article published in recent times. Thanks to "THE HINDU" for maintaining the legacy. I strongly believe that there should be strong regulation for all electronic media. Our next generation is totally misguided by media.Media is diverting the real issue in our daily life and concentrate only on some worthless breaking news.
Hope Justice Katju effort to bring electronic media under press council of India will be fruitful.

from:  Manojit Pal
Posted on: Nov 17, 2011 at 16:20 IST

Yes its important to have a regulatory mechanism for our electronic media. The massivity of influences the electronic media can make is really a candid and a sensitive subject of discussion. Many of the opinions of the common man (even professionally educated ones) get easily biased by the electronic media, just for the reason that nobody is ready to reflect much on what he/she receives before making a strong impression by the news going around. An external regulation will push many electronic media houses to get objective on what they present in an equitable fashion for the viewers. Second, majority of our common men and women need a great amount of guidance on issues ranging from building onself to building a great society which was nourished in our ancient times by important men in our society and which is quite lacking today. Media fits this role of an important institution which should be looked upon for character and values for a society by most of us looking for an easy one.

from:  Nandhavel
Posted on: Nov 17, 2011 at 15:55 IST

This is an excellent article and it is need of hour to regulate the media in India to help to develop a better human soecity in world.

from:  Prakasam
Posted on: Nov 17, 2011 at 15:44 IST


The lack of a serious debate on this, apparently, unsensational topic by the English media channels is very revealing. What --can-- they say in their defence? Commercial interests preclude them from seeking higher intellectual and ethical standards. Last Sunday's topic for discussion on NDTV's "We the people" (8.30pm, 13th, Nov.) is just another example. How can I forward the URL of this discussion to the relevant TV channels without registering on their site? Any suggestions. hats-off to "The Hindu" for providing a medium for this discussion!
In contrast with the English new channels, I think this newspaper's journalistic standards, particularly wrt the unprejudiced publication of divergent analyses of real-world issues, has really improved in the last couple of years.

from:  JB Mohanty
Posted on: Nov 17, 2011 at 15:08 IST

The views of Justice Markanteya Katju has evoked mixed response.The monitoring of the fourth pillar of democracy should go along with its freedom of expression enshrined in the constitution.Let us not forget that but for the role of the media the scams of various hues incurring loss to the national exchequer would not have come to light. At the same time,it is not to deny that excessive commercialism has crept into the media with flawed focus in the events.Unlike in the past, a new trend in the print media has been set in motion that the first page is devoted to a business house and we could locate the news items only from among the advertisements found aplenty. Similar is the episode with visual media. Better the concern has rightly been acknowledged by the media earler.

from:  C.Chandrasekaran
Posted on: Nov 17, 2011 at 13:57 IST

Finally, someone looks to take some stance against what has been made a mockery in the name of News. I seriously don't think any News Channel (some in print media too) exercise their role as Media persons. Justice Katju has meticulously explained about the pathetic role that media channels are playing now, really, there needs to be some regulation regarding them.

from:  Chaitanya
Posted on: Nov 17, 2011 at 13:37 IST

What Mr. Katju has stated is 100% Correct. There is too much Masals on the TVs and they can comment on anything and every thing which suits them. It is high time TV channels are controlled and directed by a strong authority like the Supreme Court or the Election Commission.

from:  k potti
Posted on: Nov 17, 2011 at 11:59 IST

Your clarifications have come at a very right time. If not, these TV Channels would have taken full advantage of your comments to go reckless and create anarchy in the country. For sometime some of the electronic media has been projecting themselves as crusaders against corruption. Some of the channels actively worked to mobilize people for the agitation led by a group of 5. It was very disgusting to see channels broadcasting repeatedly those stupid statements of Arvind Khejriwal " Hamare Pradhan mantri jhoot bholrahe hain". We have elected this govt and this PM..and look at the audacity of someone whom I don't know to make a statement like this...and still given more than required prominence. Is this the way a citizen will speak of PM of his country. Some decorum and decency is required in public life. I hope you will be able to bring in some respectability to the TV broadcast.

from:  Das A
Posted on: Nov 17, 2011 at 10:59 IST

I salute Justice M Katju for his forthright views on media, which, particularly electronic media (Times Now), has of late been running amok with sensationalising every bit of news. Arnab Goswami thinks he is the supreme judge of everything he purveys. It is horrible to listen to the background music played behind the news stories, especially by the Times Now. Our TV channels should take a lesson or two from channels like the BBC where the anchors present news and views with such unbaised and sober manner, unlike the yelling we witness every day on our channels. The Times Now debates are reminiscent of fish market. One should also remember these channels are only viewed by a minority of the country's vast population and politicians particularly should ignore them. The print media still is the prefered choice of majority of people. It is high-time the electronic media is put in its place. The people will be with the government and the Press Council in this.


from:  S Ragav
Posted on: Nov 17, 2011 at 10:52 IST

Justice Katju has put all the points well.

from:  Shweta Bisht
Posted on: Nov 17, 2011 at 10:26 IST

I beg to differ on 'superstitions like astrology'. Calling astrology as a superstition is somewhat ignorance from such a learned man. Astrology is an age old tradition, purposeful and useful. May be it is not exactly a science that one can validate with clear evidence, but it is rational in its own way. May be some of us don't understand it well and that is fine. Not everything in life and universe can be explained as a science. However merely believing in any unknown thing and relying fully and only on that without some rational thinking should ofcourse be discouraged.

from:  Ramdev Gottipaty
Posted on: Nov 17, 2011 at 09:16 IST

Excellent article... There should be a regulatory authority to media and self regulation is not correct. All are accountable to people in the democracy. Hats off to Markandey Katju.

from:  Venu
Posted on: Nov 17, 2011 at 08:30 IST

Most of the media are under some corporate sector or under any politicians. The so called freedom of the Press in our country is really the freedom of the owners of the press, not that of the editors. There are a few exception; like N Ram who is part of the owners with high regards for liberty. But just think of the other Press ownes and the plight of the editors. They cannot be free. In Odisha, all the past and Chief Ministers have a newspapers. These papers are rather the napkins. Neither the editors nor the reporters can be free. One largest circulated newspapers gives the job of reporting to their Newsagents. Reporters have to remember the party affiliation of the owners. So the pious words of Mr Justice Katju will fall into deaf ears.

from:  Purnachandra Rath
Posted on: Nov 17, 2011 at 07:59 IST

The article says Madhavacharya was the founder of the Dvait school of Vedanta To nitpick pedantically a bit, the author of the article has mistaken Madhvacharya (also known as Anandathirtha or Poornaprajna) to be the author of the Sarvadarshanasangraha. The actual author of the said text, known as Madhavacharya (or Madhava Vidyaranya) was a pontiff of the Shringeri Math and actually represented the Advaita school. In fact, the 'purva paksha' section of the Sarvadarshanasangraha also includes a critique of the Dvaita school (in a chapter entitled the 'Poornaprajna System'. The interested reader can confirm by reading a translation of the Sarvadarshanasangraha by Cowell and Gough.

from:  Arvind Iyer
Posted on: Nov 17, 2011 at 07:26 IST

I fully agree with Mr.katju's statement, that majority media personnel are lacking intallactual level.media should be brought under regulatory control.

from:  B.Devender Rao
Posted on: Nov 17, 2011 at 04:24 IST

Justice Katju should realize that Indian media is heading the same way as American media. Very soon every thing one hears reads and write will be controlled by For Profit Private Industry. TV will play great role. At least he can write about it now but time is coming when he will not be able to criticize the media. Sad but True. .

from:  C. M. Bal
Posted on: Nov 17, 2011 at 03:12 IST

sir, i agree with you completely. Media play an important aspect in everyone life. In this world no one is perfect and no system is 100% efficient, to make it better there must be accountability for their work. In a country like india everyone is accountable. IF ONE IS RIGHT THEN ONE SHOULD NOT have problem with ACCOUNTABILITY. Electonic media and print media are equally important and both have same effect. you have said an important issue that media should be focused on issues like poverty, racism, umemployment, but majority is inclined towards entartainment. sir we salute for the intiatives you have taken.

from:  Yash
Posted on: Nov 17, 2011 at 01:47 IST

Great article. Very clear on your thoughts and your vision for the media. Kudos to The Hindu for publishing it..

from:  omkar
Posted on: Nov 16, 2011 at 23:22 IST

Enlightening response by Justice Katju.Media should be regulated as well by an autonomous body.

from:  RAKESH
Posted on: Nov 16, 2011 at 23:09 IST

Atlast we found a person who want to tie a bell around the neck of a mischievous cat

from:  Purushothaman
Posted on: Nov 16, 2011 at 23:06 IST

After Justice Katju's piece, today the Electornic Media boycotted the Press Day programme called by Justice Katju. What a shame!!!!!

from:  Rahul
Posted on: Nov 16, 2011 at 21:52 IST

@Ashok P Misra, you are right we can use the remote. I think people of India who watches TV should write to advertisers not to give commercials to programs like we the people - Barkha Dutt with their own hidden person agenda. As N.Ram pointed in one of his TV interview on Radia tapes that people like Barkha's career would have come to an end if this has happened in New york Times or BBC or any democratic developed and civilized country. It is shame that we still get to see journalists on TV who shamelessly sold themselves to corporates. Only way to punish is stop buying the products which give commercials to such programs.

from:  prasbad
Posted on: Nov 16, 2011 at 21:50 IST

I believe most of the readers of the Hindu would agree with Justice Katju to a very large extent. The problem is that by publishing this in the Hindu, you are preaching to the converted. The irony, or travesty, is that those that are most in need of intellectual and moral reform are the least likely to read newspapers such as the Hindu. Instead, they are far more likely to subscribe to the more sensationalist flavours of the media's offerings.

from:  Samir Mody
Posted on: Nov 16, 2011 at 18:53 IST

Self-regulation by media Sir, I have read the articles of Justice Markandey Katju as well as Nirupama Subramanian in THE HINDU of the 16th Nov., 2011. Justice Katju rightly described the self-regulation by media as 'oxymoron'. The clarification given by Justice Katju is more than satisfying. Everybody is accountable to the people in a democracy and media is no exception. I have experience that media chooses to publish only what 'suits' them. As an aggrieved person I know that media jumps at publishing juicy, spicy and slanderous reports without verifying the truth and without bothering how defamatory and injurious they could be! On the top of it, they would not care to publish any reply or clarification of the injured or defamed person! The media chooses to publish by censoring others' views and the letters are cut short by the editors. Then why the media shuns regulatory mechanism? It is high time media were brought to accountability and placed under a regulatory body for a sedate functioning!

from:  S A CHARI
Posted on: Nov 16, 2011 at 17:31 IST

All the comments for this article supporting the voice of Mr Katju itself indicates that truth is on his side. In fact it is surprising that the elctronic media has been made unaccountable and let loose for so many years. They have misguided (knowingly or unknowingly) the indian public on many issues. Better late than never - they should never be given free hand, to interpret and twist things, as they like. Self regulation - is only an imaginary phrase. I wish the supporting voice to Mr Katju should be increasing day by day.

from:  Faroque
Posted on: Nov 16, 2011 at 17:18 IST

I Congratulate to Mr.Katju for his timely and courageous advices to the Medias .I think it is the duty of such personalities like him. I wonder if it is his experience from Medias what would be it for a conmen citizen .the media people would have to be some broad minded to understand Mr.Krtju's observation, it is also a matter of freedom of open ion. Now a days some medias are already deciding that one is a criminal or not, and they even sentence and punish .the conmen people have no matter with any subject of national issue. They may appreciate cricket etc by the cost of ‘cooperates’. And the ‘cooperates ‘will take care of our national matters. Greater thanks also to the editors of the Hindu daily.

from:  Mohammed Rafi.K.C
Posted on: Nov 16, 2011 at 15:30 IST


All Indians are proud of you sir, We need people like you in every field to make India into greatest Nation on earth. The elelctronic and print media can make or break any one's life. They tarnish each and everyone's image and conducting media trials and pass judgement on them on daily basis. When they should be made accountable for thier deeds, they are shying away and making hue and cry, what a hypocricy? There must be accountability for thier actions and

from:  Mohamed Rafi
Posted on: Nov 16, 2011 at 15:20 IST

We would support fully to the view of Justice Katju. He cleared the doubts some selected section of media people created confusion in the mind of people. His personal integrity and deep interest in societal issues compel him to take such a stand. TV news channels for the sake of TRP rating, getting Ad, promoting celebrities, entertainment, they forget to telecast day to day happenings in and around us. The menace of paid news is growing day by day from corporate planting stories, fake scientific claims in favour of corporate interest, planting >stories ditching political opponents, the list are endless. Some balance should be maintained. Advertorial becoming news and people are confused between news and advertorials. The so called responsible media failed to take up many corporate and political corruption. We must ask ourselves despite growing number of news media corruption is flourishing and becoming a low risk high return business. Now it is the turn of the journalist to answer.

from:  anirudh
Posted on: Nov 16, 2011 at 15:17 IST

Media should exactly put forth the facts of the case, instead of presumptions and assumptions. They should not project their thoughts and views as the real picture of the case. A stringent law should be designed in such a way that the media channels should think hundred times before they present anything to the public. It is quite unfortunate presenting their own views as the real facts leading the public to a wrong direction. Justice Katju has rightly said that everybody is accountable to the people in Democracy. Therefore, we fully agree with Jus. Katju that the Media should be regulated.

from:  Srinivas Bangaru
Posted on: Nov 16, 2011 at 14:50 IST

The best regulator for the electronic media, Mr Katju, is the remote. Just change the channel.

from:  Ashok P Misra
Posted on: Nov 16, 2011 at 14:37 IST

Media response to Justice Katju did not surprise me a bit. What else we can expect from a corrupt, manipulative system.

from:  Mahi
Posted on: Nov 16, 2011 at 14:34 IST

Very well said sir... Media is so much interested in Lokpal and including even Prime Minister & Higher judiciary under it but they dont wanna come under it or any regulatory authority as if they as holy cows.. They nicely hide all the news that affect them.. even the paid news controversy was kept silenced except very few such as Hindu & all. Media & NGOs also should be brought under lokpal... As you said, everyone is accountable...

from:  Jerin Ambalathinkal
Posted on: Nov 16, 2011 at 14:25 IST


Honourable Justice Markendeya Katju's observation should be lauded for laying bare the truth about media,still to mature, in India.It is an established fact that media in our country does not react to social and political incidents objectively.Most of the time it is biased and in most cases it does not have its priorities right.It also is an established fact that works of philosphers and media role had time and again influenced social and political thinking so much so that these had changed political,social and economic courses of many countries.During industrial revolution in 18th and 19th century Europe 4th Estate and philosophical observations by many renowned writers of the time played vital roles in changing the course of social and conomic order of Europe.Since we have not yet been able to create conditions that prevailed in 18th and 19th century Europe mainly due to media role, a hotch-potch economic and political system exists in India.It is time for the media to rise to the occasion and play the role expected of it, more so, when our country's political and economic conditions are in great turmoil

from:  Anil Kumar Choudhury
Posted on: Nov 16, 2011 at 14:09 IST

Justice Katju - a person of high intellect & integrity , is the best thing that could have happened to the Indian media when most media players have gone berserk sacrificing all ethics of journalism over past decade for commercial profiteering . Excellent article . Hats off to Justice Katju for clarifying to the media stalwarts in this manner .It is a well known fact that large sections of the media in India - while hypocritically pretending to occupy a high moral ground , have become participants and players in such practices that contribute to the growing use of money power in politics which not only undermines democratic processes , institutions and norms but also the health of the Indian society and the country’s reputation."Paid news" scandal and "Radia tapes" are testimony . The well being of the nation & Indian society seems to figure only in the thinking of very few today & least of all in the Indian media.It needs a strong watch-dog and change in direction NOW.

from:  VJ NAMBIAR
Posted on: Nov 16, 2011 at 14:03 IST

Well said Justice sir. I heard you speaking at the IOS Meet last month, was right there. Your vision to Media reforms was noticeable. All the best.

from:  Salman
Posted on: Nov 16, 2011 at 14:03 IST

Does indian judiciary takes constructive comments lightly? Isnt everyone in india afraid to criticize a judge? Why these dual standards? Judiciary doesnt need a "nindak" Justice Katju sir?

from:  Adv.Mmanish kumar Khanna
Posted on: Nov 16, 2011 at 14:02 IST

WOW!!!. What an article. I am an ardent admirer of this great person. I happened to watch Karan Thaper's interview too and could not control my emotions when the hon.justice stuck to his opinion and how true he is. Media has become totally commercial. It is high time broadcast media was brought under some regulation. Look at the number of charlatans like astrologers, miracle medicalmen showing their faces. What I liked most is when he says "there is no such thing called self regulation. It is an oxymoron indeed." Thank you for your efforts to get this article published on an inportant day today. I recall Justice Katju specially mentioning teh names of P.Sainath and The Hindu in his intervew. Congrats. Please keep up the values. I am a reader of The HIndu since my high school days and I am 70 years old. I have noticed one change since past 2 days. Why did you start teh habit of "continued on page number so and so like others?". The Hindu was perhaps the only paper without this habit.

from:  Ramgopal
Posted on: Nov 16, 2011 at 13:20 IST

I know I am a day late in respondiing to this article. Apologies for the delay! I believe the preceding comments are validation to the words of Justice Katju. His initiative in creating a responsible Fourth Estate is much appreciated. Media persons will benefit if they adopt a leaf or two from his article.

from:  Dolashree Mysoor
Posted on: Nov 16, 2011 at 13:06 IST

Excellent Article. I fully subscribe to the views of Justice Katju.

from:  Shweta Sharma Advocate
Posted on: Nov 16, 2011 at 12:00 IST

You have told what is running in our mind throught our life. It is very correct. Everyday we find in newspaper/TV, the same gossips around and not the real news. They do not know there are some(many) poor people in our country. We salute to you for your courage to guide media business in the right ath.

from:  Amir
Posted on: Nov 16, 2011 at 11:34 IST

We all electronic media journalists are with you sir. Apparently the channel editors under the influence of their corporate bosses have a different view.

from:  Rahul
Posted on: Nov 16, 2011 at 10:56 IST

The Judge is 100% correct in his observation about the media and press. Money has gone into everyone's mind. There must be a renaissance in the media for a good change to happen

from:  Suradha
Posted on: Nov 16, 2011 at 10:53 IST

Justice Katju is perfectly right. How is the nation interested in the news about Aishwary giving birth to a child; does it provide entertainment. Such trash should not find place in flashes of electronic media.

from:  sharma
Posted on: Nov 16, 2011 at 10:35 IST

I personally stopped viewing TV and reading News paper since 5 years since the content churns my positive values inculcated by our our elders. Until the fourth estate stands up for the issues you have highlighted and demonstrates social responsibility, India will degenerate.

from:  Ananth
Posted on: Nov 16, 2011 at 10:03 IST

I made a reading of eminent Justice Mr. Katju's analysis. My 1st reactions...my mind don't accept all he said. I put some questions:(1) Why should we follow European Media+its repercussions.[It had some historical background & necessities at that point of time. No need for us to blindly follow.] (2) Press/Media are the fourth estate and it should be duly respected and then only 'Democracy' will survive. Is it not? (3) What is happening in China now? It has a regulated media. Will anyone expect truth comes out? Same applies to Pakistan.(4) If Press/Media distorts anything which is against fundamental principles of our INDIAN Constitution, the Courts are there to give judgments on petitions filed by individual or Govt. If at all needed a Special Court for the sole purpose to redress...I mean to correct the excesses or mistakes of Press or Media shall focus on that job.(5)Feudal agricultural society to modern industrial society---Both are complementary.Not opposed to each other.

from:  Valluvan
Posted on: Nov 16, 2011 at 08:41 IST

Justice Markandy Katju need not give his explanation to the media as it never explains its behaviour. its main goal is to make money...it is like any industry.

from:  GPratap
Posted on: Nov 16, 2011 at 08:04 IST

I like to know how many doctors have been booked by the council. The council only shields the doctors. I like to come out with documentary evidence regarding this shamefull acts by the council. I am also a practicing doctor with a post graduate degree in internal medicine from Grant Medical College Mumbai.If intrested contact bhaskaran.ravikumar@gmail.com

from:  B.Ravi Kumar
Posted on: Nov 16, 2011 at 07:21 IST

This is an eye opening article . No law can enforece culture, value and humanities. Press /TV should do their soul search. Many ways to make money but never choose "making money" at others costs. There is no difference between expoloitative press and adulteries.

from:  Raju
Posted on: Nov 16, 2011 at 07:04 IST

To start with, I am thankful to Justice Katju for having presented the problems associated with the media in the most appropriate words. I completely agree with the issues he has raised against the media, and the need for a regulatory mechanism. Self Regulation is fine, but by its very nature it is a matter of peronal beliefs and ideas. There has to be common platform on which every action needs to be judged. History has shown us that whenever the regulations have failed, anarchy and chaos has taken over. Media is too importatnt an Institution to be left to chance.
Lastly, when mediapersons claim themselves to be righteous, what prevents them from being subject to scrutiny?

from:  Pinaki Banerjee
Posted on: Nov 16, 2011 at 07:02 IST

Justice P B Sawant files a suit of Rs.100crores against TIMESNOW even after their apology for wrongly publishing his photo --and that too immediately and repeatedly on their group publications. But yet the Judiciary has ganged up aginst this media group ; yes there are plenty and more things that are wrong with the media. But the "good" media can easily spread out all over the country ( For e.g The Hindu can set up mutilple editions )and propogate the great ideas of the "progressives" But please please the judiciary in India today --with names like Balakrishnan ( Chief Justice to boot!), Dinakaran, Sen, Haryana &Punjab judges, Sabarwal ( Supreme Court ) ---are not worthy of any respect. In fact they are in the same pit as the media, polity, civil service, science & technology ( people who should know better than to say that there is a 1 in infinity chance of nuclear plant failing).

from:  Srini Balan
Posted on: Nov 16, 2011 at 05:56 IST

Amazing piece. Most of this would be definitely above the 'intellect' of some so-called editors of broadcast media. Anyone can start a channel and give their wives a prime-hour slot and start some stupid debate. And the Radia gate editor is still asking about where the buck stops.

from:  Phani
Posted on: Nov 16, 2011 at 01:11 IST

Agree with Katju's views, including his comment on the intellectual level of media persons who don't know the difference between a lecturer and a professor, and between a techer of economics and an economist!

from:  Romi Jain
Posted on: Nov 16, 2011 at 01:05 IST

Fundamentals of Justice M. Katju seem to be unsound.He expects India like European countries practicing Equality, Liberty and Fraternity.He failed to recognize that the age old Caste system in India is a worst form of inequality practiced by majority Hindu people.The most beneficiaries of the Hindu religion i.e.Upper Castes are at the helms of the affairs from centuries together.The upper caste people will fight to their last breath to maintain status quo of their social status.The minority upper caste people are controlling the media.They misinform and misguide the majority Bahujan i.e.SC/ST/OBC/Minority people from real issues. So that Bahujan should not overthrow the upper caste people’s hegemony. Therefore, it is foolishness to expect change of mind set of media houses i.e.Upper caste people within 15-20 years.It will be better Government of India make Reservation in Private Sector including media and Mr.Katju, Chairman, PCI implement it in media houses if he really cares for India

from:  Anand Bhosale
Posted on: Nov 16, 2011 at 00:16 IST

A strong and accepted reply by Mr.Katju to the indian media.Sir, you have truly become the voice for the billions of indians who are neglected and kept in dark by these corporate agents(Indian Media). We the people of india thank, you for raising this urgent issue of irresponsible indian media. Go on sir ,billon's of indians supporting you for reforming the indian media.

from:  SWATI SURVE
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 23:36 IST

A dazzling article from a shining soul. In deed we are going through a transition period. But think, whether this major change is happening to the entire society on a positive note. I think the answer is simply no.Only a small portion of our society is getting uplifted through the so called developments and through liberalization, privatization and opening our economy. So to me right now the media is looking at the middle-middle class and the upper middle class and their lifestyles and expectations. And if this continues like this, the so called demographic dividend that we are enjoying will definitely back fire. Our society will tore apart between the wealthy and poor.At this juncture religions will act as a fox, trying to feed on the blood shed in the fight between the prosperous and needy.

from:  Praveen C J
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 23:30 IST

Right person for the right job! Way to go, journalist and anchors should learn from him.

from:  Bindu
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 23:26 IST

your views on the issue are highly regarded but i have one point to make, let me clear at the very onset that i support regulation. My question is more about the details ( as they say the devil lies in the detail), for centuries rulers have tried to control the information that has reached people, in our own country the Prasar Bharti is known for often being a government broadcaster rather than the public broadcaster, in light of this who will regulate, i dont think we can stand another thrust by the 'civil society'. kindly suggest a mechanism for the same to make this argument more persuasive.

from:  Tarang Singhal
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 23:18 IST

India needs to have a body similar to OFCOM in the UK where anyone can complain against a specific program or a channel which is in bad good taste or inappropriate. This will be investigated swiftly by OFCOM and appropriate action taken if the media concerned found to be in breach. The lack of such machinery in India grants a license to demolish the basic values of the society and manipulate the youth in the name of "FREEDOM OF SPEECH/PRESS".
Most of the "AWARD WINNING" talk show hosts are so arrogant that they hardly allow the participants to complete their point of view. Instead of facilitating a productive discussion, the hosts end up thrusting their personal opinion on the viewers as well as the participants. The hosts comes to the show with a per-meditated script and will crucify anyone who has a view contrary to that. WE NEED A REGULATOR FOR ELECTRONIC MEDIA.

from:  Hemnath
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 22:51 IST

i am one of the ordinary Indians who was frustrated with Electronic and part of print media. even though the Electronic Media in our country has so much advanced technology and skills they waste it by focussing on irrelevant topics. i don't know how much coverage was given about road traffic accidents , child mortality due to Encephalitis etc, I absolutely agree with Justice Katju that they are Intellectually Bankrupt!!

from:  Saravanan
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 22:50 IST

Excellent...Media as a fourth estate of democracy have to be more responsible and sensitive towards the problems of common man. Journalists like P. Sainath are real but less sung heroes of media.Justice Katju just gave the words to our feelings. The game of TRP ratings have turned the news channels into entertainment channels. But it hardly seems possible that any regulatory authority can change the scenario too much. The Corporate is controlling not only Electronic media but print media too. The columns or editorials are being written to fulfill the interests of certain groups. Hindi print media is very pathetic too with less content & analysis of important national and international news. They cover only political news and local news of less importance. In Hindi there is no newspaper Like The Hindu on the scale of contents. Time to raise the bar for Electronic and Print media & for retrospection. "Kaun Banega Crorepati" is not going to provide solution for socio-economic problems.

from:  Himanshu
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 22:45 IST

While I agree with most of the points made by Justice Katju. I have objection to his terming astrology as a supersitition. I am sure he is doing this without having read it. He should not trash a five thousand years old knowledge like this.Having read it for the sake of knoweledge I can say that is not less than science. Mr Katju was very stern and offensive in his interview with Karan Thapar. He was fuming with hatred for media and denigrading mediamen. This article of his is very much toned down and reasonable. But I dont think he has any constructive ideas about reforming the media though he has lot of complaints against it.

from:  P N Razdan
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 22:34 IST

Really a succinct and impressive article... Kudos to 'The Hindu' to print it as it was written by Justice Katju. But of course, Media has become so unregulated that it can nail even the Guardians of Liberty (Justice) and Guardian of common men (CAG) for its personal benefits.

from:  vivek tyagi
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 22:28 IST

Justice Katju's clarification should definitely lead to introspection in Indian print and electronic media.If that happens, it would be a great leap towards India's transition.

from:  Santharam K
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 22:27 IST

Of course the media is 'owned' either by corporations who advertise in it, or by governments who own it. Corporate ads pay the media persons' salaries - not the paltry sums you and I shell out for the paper/TV/net news. If we want news without ads, or to hear the media criticise the corporations that supply their bread and butter, then we should be ready to cough up the real economic price of that news and make the media free of that dependance. Media all over the world has an 'angle' or bias. The intelligent consumer stays open to various biases and draws his own conclusions.
Yes, doctors, lawyers, judges have controlling bodies and are 'answerable' to someone. But it is dangerous to conflate the media with those professionals who merely provide various services. The media on the other hand deals in thoughts and opinions - and the day we start monitoring, guiding, censoring and controlling those - we can forget about a Fourth Estate - 'free', 'committed', 'responsible' or anything.

from:  Pilgrim
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 22:26 IST

Media ,whether it is visual or print, now wants to feed “what men want”.Websites of some of our “Leading national dailies” resembles porn sites so they too no better than their TV counterparts. Because of our present educational and social systems intellectual capacity and social commitment of indians are pathetic ,we can experience this in every sphere of indian life(Only money and power matters).When Justice Katju made this remarkable obesrvation,I expected it will evoke a national wide positive debate.But sad to see that ,majority of our people even doesn’t know /want to know who is Katju?. or not intereseted to explore and strive for vibrant and intelligent society.

from:  Rejimon Varghese
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 22:12 IST

The points forwarded by you Sir represent the correct state of the media to a large extent. News channel showing shows related to astrology, fashion, superstition even horror shows some even selling products, its alright you need this things for meeting your financial requirement but the only focus should not be these activities only hence bringing the media under the Press Council will help us and our future generation to build a strong country

from:  vishal
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 22:08 IST

Our electronic media are in the habit of distorting everything to suit their owners' political and business interests. They dish out clips about cricket, a cine actor's joining a hospital for delivery, a politician's visit to his constituency, waiting time for "bhakthas" in the queue at Tirupati, ash falling from Gods' photos, 'gaity and fervour' with which religious functions are celebrated, and the like. In between paid news, they thrust upon the viewers paid commercials selling skin lotions, dark-spot removers, bath soaps, hair dyes, dandruff destroyers, dish cleaners, perfumes, and the like. And all this when 80% of Indians are living in horrible poverty struggling for even one meal a day. I thank the media for insulting the right man Justice Katju. Had they not done this, the TV tamasha would be going on forever for lack of opposition. Justice Katju has retaliated. We millions of Indians are behind him to bring under control this propaganda machine which takes liberty as licence.

from:  Dr K Srinivasa Rao
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 21:44 IST

I really had tears in my eyes after i finished this article.Such articles can probably find space only in The Hindu as a large section of Indian media is in denial mode.They would not like it but media is as corrupt as any government department.It has power which borders on absolute power, and so media borders on absolute corruption.But I am sure there are shining stars in Indian media who will not let it hijacked by merchants of letters and help people like Justice Katju in exposing such merchants of words,,,which unfortunately have occupied the centerstage of Indian media.As our country will emerge victorious so shall be our media and media of future will hail Justice Katju as it biggest friend and not as a foe.Hope electronic media will open its eyes.

from:  Vivek singh Malik
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 21:39 IST

All power to Mr Katju in his endeavor. Freedom of media is essential in a democracy but that does not mean that media (particularly electronic) has license to be irresponsible. A regulatory mechanism independent of government is needed. I suggest that there should be a limit on number of hours one particular person can anchor or present news. Some anchors literally have the power to "decide" what the news of the day would be based on there whims and fancies. To that effect there should be a democratic "editorial board" as opposed to a dictatorial single editor deciding everything, which should be liable to explain its editorial policies in writing. Lastly, whenever news channels are expressing their views as opposed to reporting facts (which is more than 85% of the time), they should be forced to label it as "opinions" or "views". Many gullible viewers thing that what they are hearing is actually news when it is not! Minimum hrs of health/education/economic news should be mandated!

from:  Rahul Gupta
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 21:27 IST

I salute Justice Katju's maturity. It flows in every word he says.Hope the youngsters (acting and real) who parade as "journlists" are able to learn a thing or two from such intellectuals especially from his writing skills - which flows from his true self and a clear conscience.

from:  Rajeshwaran
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 21:24 IST

I agree with Mr.Katju. Most of the major newpapers like H_Tee, T0I, N_Dee_T_V reports only paid news favouring the ruling party. One can clearly read how false reports are printed about the Hazare, Arvind, Ramdev, Bedi trying to break the anti-corruption movement. This is shameful. Any false news printed against the nation's long term interested is condemnable.

from:  rahul
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 21:19 IST

Excellent views been expressed by our Former Chief Justice of India.Please go ahead with your great work.Never mind of comments from this TV channels.We follow you.

from:  Uthrakumar S
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 21:00 IST

Just because he's not a judge now it doesn't mean that the media shouldn't respect his views. The Media should act responsibly and I really appreciate Hindu in this aspect as it's the only newspaper which has been constantly reporting on this issue. Keep up the good work !!!

from:  Mahesh
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 20:57 IST

When electronic media went to private players they promised us qualities like BBC and CNN channels. In reality we obtained substandard qualities of items in the electronic media. News channels and websites are filled with trash materials. It is really an intellectual deficient system. Thanks to Justice Katju for talking the matter straight.

from:  Subhasist
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 20:53 IST

Nice article, I totally agree with the views expressed by Justice Katju. Media needs regulation, especially in the digital age when they have great reach and impact on people.

from:  Sudheer
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 20:29 IST

The final Paragraph sums up the whole argument. The electronic media which has been so vocal in its support of the Lokpal bill itself does not want any regulatory body to govern their content. They support the Civil Society members because they believe that a strong Lokpal will bring accountability in the democracy and governance. But, they always insist on self regulation. That just shows the hypocrisy on their part. A more responsible media will only help in establishing a strong democracy, but sadly, the Editor's Guild's attack on Justice Katju's statement does not reflect on the responsible media role nor do those mindless debates and personal attacks on Justice Katju.

from:  Rahul D
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 20:26 IST

Congratulation to Justice Katju for this important piece of article, I am fully agreed to his views. Today, for the credibility of Media,there should be essentially a regulatory body to monitor and scan the functions and reporting of media especially Electronics.

from:  Asad Faisal Farooqui
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 20:26 IST

I am a TV journo (English) and I fully back Justice Katju's position put forth with such clarity before, and now. The deafening silence from 'sold out' editors, owners and other sleazebags is perhaps the fiercest indictment of the TV media.

from:  sandy
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 20:11 IST

Many Thanks to thehindu group : The best thing about this article is Mr.Katju Sir has explained about his views about writing this article as in understanding the psychology of Reader's . Then projected the main underlying issues our country is facing with references to Europe. Definetly one can draw assumptions or judgements from history very true !!!!

from:  Anup Varanasi
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 20:10 IST

I am overjoyed to read your clarifications on the absurd / idiotic comments made by any media persons. I have developed very high regards for you after reading this article.May GOD bless you with Long life to fight this culprits.

from:  S. Azizuddin
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 20:10 IST

Kudos on throwing light , the electronic media guys need to learn the basics on reading and interpreting between lines. Let them ( Electronic Media )do a thorough Cleansing on what they focus on now and spend valuable time and effort in bringing values to society.

from:  Balajielumalai
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 20:03 IST

With all due respects, I do have some reservations in any kind of regulatory bodies especially with regard to media. First of all regulation itself will not increase the intellectual level of any of the media personnel. I truly believe in market forces. It is the intellectual level of the audience at large that will bring the best out of media. Until and unless audience demand unbiased and relevant news, no regulatory body will be able to force media to deliver content that you would like to come out of media. I rather fear that such regulatory bodies will end up becoming the tools of the present day government to suppress the fundamental rights. There is no guarantee that people like Justice Katju will continue to head Press Council. Who will keep a check that regulatory body itself will play by rules (secondly who will guarantee that rules prescribed by any regulatory body are not ambiguous and will not be exploited for any malafide purpose?).

from:  Mukesh K
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 19:55 IST

Clear mind with clear expression to the purpose only.I salute Mr.Katju from seven seas away. When I see Indian channels v/s American channels,I get stunned to see so poor level of Indian channels The worst element is the degradation of womanhood to expose their bodies much more than western media for sake of money.Certain values which are absolute and have survived changes over centuries,how we can overthrow overnight? The electronic media must have check on them.I agree with Mr.Katju 100%.

from:  Ashok
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 19:49 IST

Great Sir, we are with you. Go ahead and do regulate these irresponsible TV (news) channels.

from:  s sunder m
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 19:47 IST

I totally agree with your comment that 90% of the media personal are of very low intellect.Particularly the Telugu electronic media has been high lighting only Telangana issue excluding every other issue doing great injustice to the common man.

from:  Dasari Taranath
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 19:40 IST

Absolutely agree with Mr. Katju on the state of Indian Media. These days quality of even the print media has gone down drastically, let alone the worst quality of electronic media. There is no ethics in today's media. They all are driven by urge to maintain their share prices high, they hardly care about any of the pressing socioeconomic issues. Why on earth celebrity's baby bump and color of their underwear has to be a headline in their news coverage when the common man have so many issues to be highlighted. Intellectually bankrupt Indian electronic media is making the society even more worse by making them think that celebrity pregnancy and gossips are more important in life than other social issues. Driven by corporate greed, urge to scoop a story out of nothing and function as mouthpiece of their favorite political party, electronic media can never self regulate itself. Like Lokpal for public servants, there needs to be a body to pullup these irresponsible media houses.

from:  Hemnath
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 19:39 IST

The reaction of the Big bosses of Media, Editors Guild , BSA and others are on expected lines. I was surprised to read the Salvo fired by the Former Chief Justice Mr. J.S.Verma the head of the initiative for Self -Regulation of TV News, who had asked to ignore Katju's comments as irresponsible talk and called upon to wind up Press Council to save public money. Former Supreme Court Judge P.B. Sawant had taught a lesson to Times Now TV channel . The “provident fund scam” report was shown allegedly involving the then sitting judge of the Calcutta High Court, Justice P.K. Samanta, but it ran the photo of Justice Sawant on September 10, 2008 in its 6.30 p.m. news bulletin. Sawant filed suit for defamation which was decreed by a civil court in Pune for damages of Rs. 100 crores. Supreme Court refused to interfere with Bombay High Court's Order to deposit Rs. 20 crores in Cash and give bank guarantee forRs. 80 crores for granting Stay of operation of Decree. Media is not above Law.

from:  N.Thirunavukkarasu
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 19:09 IST

Justice Katju is obviously a learned person. But should he sound so prickly in his judgments? Hubris has many sources. What we witness here is one emanating from erudition. The following paragraph in particular is not mediated by a sense of proportion: "I may also mention that before my interview with Mr. Karan Thanpar I sat for about 10 minutes in his office having a cup of coffee with him. At that time I mentioned the name of Emile Zola to him, and he immediately said ‘J’ Accuse’. That one word made him go up high in my esteem. I earlier did not have a very high opinion of him, but that single word completely changed my opinion, and I realized I was in the presence of a highly educated man." Had Karan Thapar not mentioned 'J'Accuse', he would have been rated as unintellectual? A bit crazy, to say the least.

from:  K.R.Srivarahan
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 19:05 IST

I felt that Electronic media will play powerful role in influencing the general public but at times it acts in a most irresponsible way. When there is a calamity the media focuses on the individuals who spare no time to blame the government for their predicament. Is it always true? Like wise giving birth to a white calf by black cow is a debatable point in Electronic media and all the participants in the debate test their vocal cards in arguing their point. By conducting such debates on trivial issues it is not known what message the media want to give to the public leave alone the benefit. As rightly pointed by Justice Katju, it is high time to bring the Electronic media under some regulatory authority.

from:  J.Ri Rama Murty
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 19:03 IST

Though i am against regulation (for self regulation), looking at past record of broadcast media i think it's high time they are regulated. They need to be pulled up for their misdoings and patted on the back for a job well done, plain and simple. They can't claim complete impunity at a time when the malaise of paid news and advertorials are creeping in every media organisation. The media needs to be transparent particularly since a lot of unscrupulous elements with their hidden agendas are entering India's news media market. We need to know who is behind all these media companies, this will help us understand them better.

from:  Javed
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 18:50 IST

I really appreciate Justice Katju's views. Some of the T.V shows are particularly in the panel discussions people who are taking part are made to look like fools because of the questions asked by the TV moderator. I want to thank the justice Katju for having come forward with bold views and I hope at least now the media will realize their part and play good role to bring constructive opinion in major issues faced in our country by common man.

from:  Abdul Ghani
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 18:48 IST

Excellent article Sir,we are fortunate to have people like you to provide such meaningful explanations on this subject,it is a real thing that electronic media most of the time distort the issues affecting the common man and the soceity in general and claimsto bring the breaking news on many trivial issues and this has become a common practice, we are with you sir and a regulation in this regard is a must and long over due and best of luck Sir.

from:  C R Chand
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 18:40 IST

I am simply taken by Mr Katju's quote of Europe evolution with our need of people'e rights. In India, channels are created to sustain promoter's interest and anchors are their pawns. Promoters, politician and bureaucrats use the channel for their glory and power and common man's problems are still treated in a feudal way. To rephrase, behind every talk and chat shows, the shadow of the hidden hands of power looms large. Salute Mr Katju's for his excellent article and we need a modern day Raja Ram Mohan Roy to stand up and abolish all superstitious tradition & usher in modern democratic culture.

from:  Raghu
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 18:40 IST

Whenever i sit and watch news channels i always came to this conclusion that "Either i am very intellect or i am not at all visionary or i dont understand the real situation at all". I always wondered how can the media persons be so dumb to telecast these kind of news ? Honestly, i always discussed these issue with my friends and family members too. But today i am a bit relaxed by knowing Mr. Markandey Katju has thought the same. You have just explained the millions of thoughts which ran through my mind daily when i watched news channels. I strongly support the comments made by you and the imperative need of reforms in Indian media. Please go ahead !! From the time i read this article i am thinking how to make your thoughts visible to as many people as possible.
One last sentence, I totally understand what you want to say when you say "in my opinion the majority of media people are of a poor intellectual level".I am with you and i am sure at least 50% of persons like me must be too.

from:  Shwet Kumar
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 18:38 IST

Justice katju is man of integrity and of high intellectual knowledge.He has given historic judgements while serving in both HC and SC.We must respect his ideals.well as far as indian electronic media is concerned they can make a laymen to become a king,and vice versa.i am an athiest that do'nt mean that i dont believe in god,there is some unique power present.but every morning when i switched on TV to get some news i usually get fed up with all this astrological rubbish on every news channel.you should be telecasting things which you are meant for,not to increase your TRPs by influencing a vast majority of india's superstitious population.In late afternoon after coming from my institute i switch on TV,only to find saas bahu masala gossip being entertained by some premiere news channel,again dissapointed.In evening prime time,news channels is flooded with experts,mainly former cricketers discussing unnecesary things at length.at the end no gain.Justice Katju is right.we must support him.

from:  Gaurav Kumar
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 18:34 IST

I firmly agrees Justice Katju's belief in having some sort of regulation over the media.Media should not cry wolf unnecessarily each time over such suggestions.

from:  pradeep Choudhary
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 18:20 IST

Excellent article. Self regulation in the electronic media is also a misnomer, it is more 'peer' regulation which is not the same thing. In a race to the bottom, peer regulation and reputational constraints mean nothing! We can see that in the electronic media today. Thankfully, the print media is a little better. Also, the lionisation of anchors and attempts to build a personality cult around them is despicable.

from:  Atindra Sen
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 18:19 IST

I don't understand this issue. Are the news channels being talked about not private enterprises? In that case how can one talk about regulation like on politicians or judges (which are part of the public system). Second, I think its entirely ridiculous to urge the media (which needs money to be run, which comes from advertisements AND viewership) to do something of national importance as against what is profitable to them (show programs of entertainment for majority of time).
I think the key lies in educating our children and younger generation about the pitfalls in blindly following the media.

from:  Saurabh Mahajan
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 18:11 IST

Excellent article. Particularly the statement "there is no such thing as self regulation, which is an oxymoron". I hope the electronic media really listen to people like Justice Katju and cleanse themselves.

from:  Nithya V S
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 18:02 IST

Thank you for spending your valuable time to explain and put the matter in right perspective. Your views on the so called journalists is not vastly different from those of mine.The lady journalist you mentioned is known half baked arrogant woman.She and her channel need a spanking on their posterior for presenting distorted facts. It is not news channel any more. It is views channel.You must be aware of the recorded programme passed on as LIVE programme that too involving an eminent person as SRI SRI Ravishankar.
The panel discussion involving your views was total distortion.Then they went tangentially and attacked astrology as if it is a burning issue.Our Union ministers especially home minister and finance ministers perpetually give forecasts on lowering of inflation rates or terrorists to be brought to book. These journalists do not question the logic behind the so called forecasts and to top it play a second fiddle.News involving ministers adversely are deliberately BLACKED out.

from:  E.S.Shridhar
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 17:54 IST

Time has proved once again that in history, no mention of South India, when the Judge mention of social reforms, he did not mention Periyar EVR, Narayana Guru in the same way of yesteryears' indian history and religion, language whatever it be. Again, when corrupt politician Lalu Yadav (by the media) demanded corporate houses and media, trusts should also be brought under the proposed Jan Lokpal, it was vehamantly opposed by the Anna Hazare team. Now again time will have to tell which is correct, by that time we will not be there, we are not sure we leaving good or bad things to our next generation.

from:  raj pu
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 17:51 IST

A great article from a very bold person... it should bring sense to the visual media and perhaps they can take a leaf out of "The Hindu" to learn ethical reporting. The need of the hour for the visual media today is to train media professionals with certain ethics. Wish that there is a regulatory body for the visual media. The coverage of Anna Hazare for 13 days and nights leaving all the issues of the people has only exposed the hallow claims of all the media channels in India.

from:  Lourduraj
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 17:48 IST

These days majority of media, is really trying to distort the truth. If a person points a finger at something, instead of having a honest debate are trying to sensationalize it and looking at the remaining three fingers of the person.

from:  srikanth
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 17:36 IST

Fully agree with Mr Katju. Looking at the number of posts for this article I think a majority of people support the idea of regulating the media. Some programs especially in some local news channels are sickening and make people superstitious to the core.

from:  santosh
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 17:36 IST

No unfettered freedom to media. Media is not the sole pillar of democracy. Reasonable restriction should be defined clearly so that freedom of expression is not abused. Ambiguity in the interpretation of reasonable restriction is being conveniently misinterpreted as total liberty, free from accountability and liability. Sri Justice Kutju's efforts to demarcate boundaries of press freedom should be supported.

from:  Chamaraj Bangi
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 17:33 IST

The article of Mr. Katju has really touched the feelings of every common like me. Media Mafia must have some fear of being controlled. Katju Saheb, go ahead, we all will support you to bring a new law to control the media to save the public at large.

from:  Srinivas Bangaru
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 17:30 IST

Hats of to Justice Katju you have opened our eyes how media bullies the public with paid news which is not relavant. Most of the media people twist the word to their advantage to get the pat from their masters.

from:  Narayana
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 17:26 IST

Every thing is for publicity....even media is not far from this. They
are busy in raising TRP.....

from:  Gladiator
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 17:17 IST

Brilliant writing. Let's vote in Justice Katju as our next Prime
Minister as he seems to know only too well what direction governing
should take. I'm afraid the electronic media will be lost in this
article because of what he rightly says "it's low intellectual level!"
What can you expect of a group of people who have to repeat the same
story at least 24 times the same day? Often all News channels will
carry the same piece at the same time. So why choose the one over the
other? For the sleazy ads? There'll be a story about racism against
Indians in Australia and this will immediately be followed by a
"fairness cream" ad. How can modern day indians be so
blatantly,racist, woggish and decry the beauty of skin that is envied
in the West as tanned?! Coffee, tea, milk, or chocolate, every skin
tone is beautiful if the person is intelligent and beautiful so why
turn this whole country into psychos pasting gallons of 'Whitey"
creams trying to be European? Why use European models in our ads?

from:  angela alvares
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 17:16 IST

What the Learned Judge and Chairman has writeen are totally true. Truth is bitter, they say. Self-introspection by the E-Media is required about what the Learned Judge has said. People should not read in between lines and mis-interpret.

from:  R Srinivasan
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 17:10 IST

WHy give a clarification?? Why is everyone targetting Katju. He is absolutely right.

from:  Amit K
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 17:10 IST

Regulating media will also instill the sense of responsibility towards social commitment. There was this incident in TN where a Police SI was killed by a mob in tamilnadu, the horrifying scene was witnessed by 2 senior ministers who never came forward to help him. NDTV reported this incident both on tv and on web around afternoon. But in the evening news, there was not even a word or discussion leave alone the probe on this...So as Katju said corporates, politicians who own significant stakes are manipulating the objectives, committments to suit their needs. Mr. Katju, pls go ahead you have the responsible people's support in this great cause ....

from:  Pradeep Gangavaram
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 17:06 IST

I highly appreciate this article, every sensible and really educated person in this country is facing ire of this so called freedom of electronic media, there should be a regulatory body to govern it. Misinterpretations of the statements by famous personalities just to raise their TRPs is a very common tool used by this section of media.

from:  siddharth malik
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 17:00 IST

Sir, I like to know how many doctors have been punished by the I ndian Medical Council. It is only there to protect the heinious crimes done by doctors. Please type P.B.T. India for more details.

from:  B.Ravi Kumar
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 16:58 IST

Hats off to Justice Katju for putting the obvious so upfrontly in
front of the media, most of which obviously did not want to
introspect.

We however need to make one clear distinction, i.e., between tv
programming in general and the invasion of "infotainment" programmes
on news channels. While it is nobody's claim as to what should be
shown on TV, whether something like Big Boss or any other show is good
or not etc, there is no excuse for running hours of cricket
commentaries, film promotions, comedy serials or astrology based shows
on News channels which actually pay lower license fees. Thus, they
effectively cheat the government and thereby the people by claiming to
be news channels.

from:  Swagat
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 16:53 IST

Absolutely true.. Media is today all about entertainment. Proceedings of Big Boss on all major news channel, sensationalizing smaller insignificant issues, total ignorance of real issues like farmers' suicides are all hallmarks of what the media has become today. I hope the age of purposeful and facts-based journalism come sooner in India soon..

from:  Parag S
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 16:33 IST

I think wheather we regulate it or not if they continue like this in next 20-30 years only a few would be watching them. cause the people who are watching now those born in 60s and 70s will be no more interested and we born after 80s never were :)

from:  Alok
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 16:32 IST

yes. Today most of the news channels repeat, repeat, repeat the same news at least for 48 hrs. and the distorted news or misintrepreted views are believed as truth. Sometimes, these kind of distorted news by less responsible channels have created communal tensions. Rumours like child kidnapping spread so fast within the community, creating sudden law and order problems, which the police could least anticipate. Instead of helping the community, these reports have damaged the community well being. So the opinion of Honourable Justice deserves much much credit.

from:  karunakaran
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 16:28 IST

Mr. Katju explained very clearly.its very often we see a baised repoting
by some TV channels .Where to raise our concern? Are any regulatory
authority ?

from:  Aqueel Ahmad
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 16:25 IST

Hats off to Justice Markandy Katju for expressing freely and first time real assessment of the Indian Media. We are sick of viewing the same and same repeatedly poor quality only of rape, killing such a third grade news. Sometime we feel that DD is much better than Pvt Media!

from:  Mahendra Parmar
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 16:08 IST

Except for judging Karan Thapar on his response to "Emile Zola", I
strongly concur with the issues raised by Justice Katju.

The english channels certainly need external regulator to monitor
the content.

I am so fed up with the trash they peddle in the name of news that I
have stopped watching any of the 9pm English news shows.


from:  V. Prabhakar
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 16:03 IST

Dear Mr Katju,
Congratulations for your very fair, bold and courageous stand on the electronic media which is behaving as a private fiefdom. For despairing adults like us unable to find out how to control the influence on the young mind the sheer irresponsibility and spin that this media does ( which has only TRP in its mind ) your approach is bringing a refreshingly whiff of fresh air. Yes Sir, you are absolutely right to state such an influencing medium cannot be allowed to run amok as it does today very often pandering to very low tastes in the political, personal, religious, caste, language , gender domains.

It is an irony that the films it beams are under CBFS but itself is free of any supervision ! I wish you full success and may the mandarins in powers fully enable you to reign in this monstor. The GoI should rename & rearm Press Council of India to Media Council of India.
venketaraman

from:  venketaraman
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 16:02 IST

Keep it up Justice Katju. We need a movement against the media as well.

from:  RAKESH PANDEY
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 16:00 IST

People nowadays are exposed to foreign media too - print and visual.
Therefore, they know the art of sifting the grain from the chaff.

from:  Venkatachalam
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 15:51 IST

I would say that Mr. Katju is saying the same thing that a common people is seeking around him.. Media engaged in Film stars, comedy circus, All Baba news of superstitious practices, All High profile things... very li'l amount of news of poor people of India.. this practice need to be changed..if they really want to create a revolution in Inida..otherwise our generations will be idolising Filmstars rather than our Army men or real life heroes...

from:  Ashutosh
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 15:50 IST

it is irony that when a corruption issue involving ministers or government servants ,media comes to frenzy to blow out the issue but surprisingly keep mum when someone raise some serious doubts about unethical working of news channel/print media like in case of Paid news. i haven,t seen any newspaper or news channel highlighting the issue in same manner as they did in 2G .I feel concept of paid news has much more gravity and it even has potenial to threaten our democracy.what happen if they show/print news on someone's dezires?
But who cares? Who will watch? Furthermore ,Self regulation is nothing but like opaque surface .who is going to check if nothing is regulated ?
I completly agree with Justice Katju on certain issues like socio-economic barriers,castism,social security ,Health & other concern of socities need to be highlighted by media in a way to achieve transformation of societies .I appericaite justice katju for his bold step .Issues raised by him are certainly debatable

from:  Aditya Chauhan
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 15:44 IST

This shows the courage of an honest person who can bring forward the wrong things to the limelight. It is now the Indian media's turn to take the criticism of Justice Katju in a positive way and change themselves in a Nation Building element.
It is hightime for them to realise ,that, what presently they are giving to the nation will never help the nation to become strong ;be it morally or otherwise.
It is a responsibility of each and every individual, be He/She directly or indirectly connected with the media specially with electronic media to think what stuff they are presently presenting to the society and should give a second thought before finalising any programmes/serials/news articles etc etc.

from:  Ibrahim Khan
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 15:35 IST

Good to see so many comments, more so good comments. Kaum abhi zinda hai. India's future is bright. It is only a matter time now, we will witness a much more vibrant and transparent India.

from:  ram
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 15:33 IST

What I do while watching TV is to keep ready the 'remote' and when unwanted and biased news are being aired I simply switch off! That includes Times Now anchor Arnab's shouting debates. Recently there was this debate/news programme on 'Sex, Sleaze and lies...' and I simply switched off. That is what these TV channel are and one should use the remote liberally! But then how many people are capable of doing it? As Mr.Katju rightly said 80% of our people are poor, gullible, under educated or uneducated and it is these people who fall a prey to the shenanigans of the Media. So there should be regulation of Media.

from:  R.M.Murthy
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 15:32 IST

Media, be it print or electronic, needs regulation. Though it is playing a vital role in creating awareness on various issues in our country, sometimes it also has made one think whether they are delivering with conscience. Many a times it makes us wonder because as of late they have been reporting events like the recent movie directors dishing out "item numbers" without shame, and the heroes, once idols, now making fool of people by competing against each other who is the best. The same can be said of media. Who is the best rather than who reports with conscience.

from:  sivakumar
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 15:21 IST

Dear Katju Sir,
The article duly enlightens media responsibility and their obligations
towards society which is in transition stage from feudal agricultural
to modern industrialized society. Now a days many electronic channels
have become highly aggressive, provocative and emotive for non-serious
societal issues and promotes their business interests rather than
public interest. I appreciate Shri Katju and for his untiring efforts
to bring media under a regulatory council, which is very much essential, for rapid overall inclusive growth Indian society.

Adityan
Addl GM(Civil)

from:  adityan
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 15:12 IST

A true eye-opener for the self-complacent so-called media-stars.

from:  A.K.M. Raisul Huq Bahar
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 14:59 IST

Justice Katju is a true patriot unlike the corporates who are out to
ruin this country

from:  Anuj Kumar Sharma
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 14:57 IST

A good and detailed clarification. Media has to introspect on the substance of what is stated by Mr Katju and not ignore things egoistically. Today we are in a society which slowly moving towards chaos, one without any value system. Crime rates are very high. Longing for money and wealth has surpassed all explainable limits. Corruption at its worst. Self centric actions are galore. If we look at the causes we should know it is media which plays a vital role in moulding or marring this society. Media needs to moderate and report acts of crime for example to enable people to understand that they need to be cautious. But today crimes are reported in headlines to sell the media and that is a shame. The kind of reporting done actually instigates more persons to indulge in crimes with novel methods reported by media. Films of today are horrible. They are vulgar, cheap plots, ridiculing a downtrodden set of the society and so on. There is no certification based on level of violence.

from:  N Kumar
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 14:53 IST

Sir,
We, the people, are literally being taken for a ride by the self acclaimed fourth estate. We are forced to read/watch their "products", which are apparently being marketed. Bankruptcy in moral values, by journalistic employees, performing their job, and making tall clims out of them is unfortunately a routine matter of our times. Justice Katju, one odd honest person like you, need to be congrtaulated for taking on these low quality materials, and calling a spade a spade. Thank you, Sir.

from:  tphariprasad
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 14:47 IST

Dear Justice Katju, my thoughts about the media totally resonate with that of yours. The present state of electronic media and some vernacular print media needs some strong criticism from people like you, so that they can keep a check on themselves. Especially the electronic media which is actually now driving the sentiments of the people. Any issue in the country (not hunger, unemployment etc) is blown up and painted with the wrong hues which is seen by a huge mass of people and then the journalists jump to conclusions even if the matter is pending with the judicial authority. Sir, when you first made your remark, an MNC news channel had a lady journalist having panel discussions with the infuriated section of the media and the question raised was "Should Mr.Katju apologize?". I strongly condemn this. This is not a mature behaviour. And hats off to you Mr.N.Ram. I have always been a fan of you and am proud of it now as I see that You strongly support Mr.Katju's views.

from:  Srivatsan
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 14:46 IST

Being a regular reader of The Hindu I am exposed to such kind of
thinking which helps you when there is kind of abnormal things going
on in the Society. Shri. Markandey Katju Sir has made things very
simple and clear , write or show what is actually happening don`t add
imagination or corrupt the basic subject.If you want to add your ideas
first tell what was the actual fact and then you can give your
dimension on the subject. Now a days journalists are in a hurry to add
and make the subject "Masaledar" they even forget the subject (person)
on whom they are commenting is going through a totally different
phase. I salute Shri. Katju (RJSC). I learnt a lesson for myself and
thanks to Shri.N.Ram and team for publishing.

from:  Ravi Kulkarni
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 14:43 IST

I completely agree with your views Justice Katju! We need strong media regulator. I wish all the readers supporting Mr. Katju come on the road in their respective cities and start a peaceful protest in the support of Mr. Katju!

from:  Ravi K
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 14:41 IST

This is the exposition of a nitpicker and pedant who feels the need to write "Macbeth" as a citation for a phrase that is now common place ("fair is foul, foul is fair") in order to demonstrate his "intellectual" credentials. I can easily say that like journalists, many judges may be well educated but they have a poor intellectual level. Will Katju like that?

from:  Vartika
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 14:36 IST

Hats off to you Sir Justice Katju. The article is very intellectual. I totally agree to your views on having the media necessarily regulated thru an appropriate authority. Currently they seem to act as if they are immune to law and have total disregard of accountability towards public. It is but natural, that they will not let the change happen against them so easily.

from:  Ranjit
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 14:34 IST

Justice Katju said nothing wrong about media today. meida is working on profit first... aur iske liye kuch bhi karega..... cases of media black mailing are never reported. Meida have great power to influence socity and can reform it. Media is required but resposible and sensible. so efforts to bring it under some regulator are welcomed.

from:  Rajes M
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 14:30 IST

This is an excellent initiative by Mr. Markandey Katju. The regulation of the media especially the electronic media is the need of the hour. The media should be responsible and answerable to some authority. They are also a part of the democratic process and must adhere to the same. Amidst all the fight against corrupt politicians, bureaucrats,corporates, judges etc the media has been left completely untouched. The case of paid news, and nadia tapes clearly shows the fallacy in assuming media to be always righteous. It's time to pay heed to this issue brought forward by Mr. Markandey Katju.

from:  Atishay Jain
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 14:30 IST

Excellent. Truth is always bitter. But media ( electronic)- not in mood to agree real facts. Theprogramme anchors (?) cannot think other side of coin mainly because of their EGO. They themselves are giving picture of 'sold channels'.
Actualy such ctritisisms must be considered as "OFI" i.e. oppertunity for improvement. Many channels - not all ,sometimes exibit arogant beheavier. Someone should not think that all viewers are full and whatever is sold / offered will be accepted by them. They can throw u also.

from:  Ramesh N
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 14:27 IST

Compelled to post this comment. A well articulated stance with which I am sure no sane person could argue otherwise. Totally agree with Justice Katju. Isn't the media doing the same what they are blaming the govt for - witch-hunting the critics - Holier than thou attitude. Accepting one's mistakes takes a lot of maturity and when that is not seen in the response of the media does it not lead one to agree all the more with Justice Katju's original comments.
Hope we had more such measured discussions - points of view presented in the the media and more in the Parliament for a better India. High decibels, glamorous sets and populist discussions do not lead to betterment and I think it has been well brought out in the views presented by Justice Katju.

from:  Manish P
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 14:26 IST

Great article sir,
on this i remember one couplet of Faiz Ahmad Faiz:
BOL KE LAB AZAD HAIN TERE,
BOL KE JAAN AB TAK TERI HAI.

Go ahead sir. Keep Speaking against not just.

from:  Md Reyaz Ahmad
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 14:26 IST

Media world over is running after readership and viewership as it is competitive. If there is going to be a regulation, it should be something towards standardising advertising rates. This will be a big move to help reduce the motivation among media for attracting readership or viewership by any means.

from:  K.S. Susindar
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 14:20 IST

Congrats! Today, the media is cheap porn diverting the attention of the people. Only a regulatory mechanism can bring it to senses. Stringent punishment must be given so that it is a lesson for the rest of the lot.
A person of your nature should not bother about them. Carry on Sir, we are with you

from:  Gopal
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 14:17 IST

I am not sure why Justice Katju has to write such a lengthy explanation for himself. After reading to the words of his writings it is clear that he will repent on what he said about the media. To him what he did was required. Fair enough, but generalizing the whole media as irresponsible was not correct.

A honorable person like Justice Katju should refrain from using generalizing a complicated issue like this. It is like calling a 'government corrupt' when we know that several honest people are also working in the same group.

www.getmoneyrich.com

from:  Manish
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 14:17 IST

Great thought put forward by Justice Katju , not only regulation they have to be monitored by some independent body. Recently UN has submitted a report stating that India has 50% of poor people. why the so called media not exploring the common people problems rather than exposing the cinima and sports Coverage especially cricket.

from:  Hameed
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 14:17 IST

Media has achieved uncontrolled height needs to be under regulatory
authority immediately. The politicians are also using media for their
survival & popularity. Dont you remember how lakhs of Ganeshji idols
were able to drink so much of milk. We also remember 5 year-old
Prince, who had fallen into a deep well in Shahabad town near
Kurukshetra in Haryana the CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda, some of his
cabinet ministers, Kurukshetra MP Naveen Jindal camped at the spot to
supervise rescue operation. Why VIPs were there? Because media was
there, showing live coverage. There may be many children have fallen
into wells, rivers, tanks etc.. But how many VIPs have actually went
to rescue them in absence of Media? Its media which is controlling
political, social, economical activities of India. It is also
responsible for promoting superstition, unscientific issues, instead
of issues of education, science, health awareness.

from:  Sushil MG
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 14:15 IST

Though I agree with most of his view point and totally agree to
principle argument.. But I think a person doesn't need to be well read
to be intellectual... Perhaps he should rethink on it..

from:  Ankush
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 14:13 IST

Hats off to Justice Katjau for telling the bitter truth . indian media lack the standards and few people are misusing the media for their vested intrests . We need a person like Justice Katju to clear the mess .

from:  C S Azad
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 14:11 IST

Justice Markandeya Katju has done a good beginning.Wish him success.

from:  M Narayana Bhat
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 14:01 IST

Brilliant Article !!
I think "The Hindu" should send a copy of this article to all the other
newspapers, english as well as vernacular, to be printed on the 1st
page.
My only concern is that Justice Katju's measures should have enough
safeguards against the interference by the government. I have full faith
in Justice Katju, but the question is what after him ? If the govt., by
tweaking some rule here or there appoints a sycophant bureaucrat as the
head, then it might be a disaster. The head should always be a person of
high integrity like an SC judge etc.
And, I think the doha is by Kabir and not Rahim.

from:  S Kumar
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 14:00 IST

I wish we had more honest Indians like Mr Katju. He is right when he says that Indians are off a poor intellectual level. One example is glaring, though not mentioned - an Indian will leave a fortune at the gates of Tirupati, but he will not give a penny to his own servant so that the poor man could educate his children. Temples come first for us and then the alleviation of poverty which is an acceptable disease in India. Look at the ongoing work at the temples in Chattarpur where building will never cease. All that money for plain stupid superstition.

How can the fedual be banished from India, when we are ready to call Rahul Gandhi the 'yuvraj', or Sehwag the 'nawab', or Ganguly the 'prince'? It is the media, the poor intellectual sobs, that have named them so.

from:  Paddy Singh
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 13:58 IST

All power to you ,Sir:)You are an inspiration.

from:  Diksha
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 13:52 IST

Very need of the hour.... excellent article... Media needs to be
regulated.

from:  Kumar
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 13:52 IST

All the comments here have supported Mr. Katju. It indicates (though this is not a scientific sampling) that citizens understand his words and the spirit behind it. At the same time, the whole issue shows the the power and influence that electronic media have - they bombard the nation with their thoughts and it gives one the impression that what they say on TV is the mood or thought of the citizens. So successful it is, that Mr. Katju had to respond with this. A great one it was. Media, don't be so haughty.

from:  Venkat
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 13:48 IST

media relally made us think that Hon'ble Justice Katju was agent of govt who wants to play their game, after reading his clear deep thinking , love for country -- everything changed for self. Media / tv channels must come under some strong regulatory body to watch tv channels/ print media so taht they dont make king a clown -- clown a king.Thanks justice Katju for writting very good article and giving us opportunity to develop ourselves.

from:  dinesh
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 13:42 IST

There is indeed a burning and urgent need for a proper regulator for the Online and TV media. Close 30% of the landing page on our news portals is entertainment, which is a matter of utter shame. Next to that, personally, I beg to differ with Justice Katju on certain issues which must not be insisted at a systemic level. For example, astrology. An average Hindu does not think it is superstition. It is another matter how much air time it should get! Looking at the panchangam in the morning is an ancient practice, it cannot be forcibly wished away as "superstition". Next, caste. If you condemn caste in its entirety, not just the exploitation part, then you land up in great problem. We must ask ourselves if we have enough social security before destroy all the traditional social structures! Caste is linked to religion, who is your kuladevata? What rituals you follow? What food you eat? These are all related to caste. Comparison with Europe would be a risky generalization.

from:  Ramamurthy N
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 13:33 IST

thank God, we are fortunate to have a few personalities like him.

from:  musthafa
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 13:33 IST

Great letter by the Learned Judge and Chairman. Thanks to Hindu for carrying it which most of the print media omittted it. To add to the Judge's letter, omitting a news that is fit to be broadcast is also misrepresentation of truth. Ex: First few days of Radia Tape leak when none of the media house published/discussed it. Thank you Judge Sahab. Judiciary is the last hope for the people of this country! Jai Hind!

from:  M Suresh
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 13:29 IST

The media is indeed becoming a raging materially motivated bull in the china shop of our vulnerable society. However, the media represents freedom of thought and expression and today the media is participatory in nature because everyone can express his or her opinion through the media. If 90% of the media is devoted to entertainment it is only because the people, having a choice, have chosen to be so entertained. But it cannot be denied that it is the same media that has exposed the scams of the government and supported Anna Hazare's movement. Paid-news is a reality but it has been exposed by the media itself, has it not? P.Sainath is a great journalist but he is also a communist activist. Whatever comes out of the pen of such activist journalists may be as questionable as those that come out of the pen of paid-journalists. Imposing a regulatory authority on the media would only end up in curbing the freedom of expression and in addition to paid news we would have dictated news.

from:  Venugopal Kaikulath
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 13:29 IST

Absolutely brilliant defence of his position. I don't think any right minded individual could be against what Justice Katju is proposing. More power to him and his ilk!

from:  Chanakya
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 13:28 IST

I fully endorse the views of Hon'ble Justice Katju. Dogs bark but caravan goes on. Please go ahead,all right thinking people are with you. Those who feel that they are immune to law and can disregard the accountability to public,are biggest fool of the century and need some shock treatment,as suggested by Justice Katju. In the name of freedom,certain corrupt judges have played havoc in the past but the same methods are now employed by certain irresponsible electronic media people also.

from:  Amar Ranu
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 13:23 IST

I had seen the interview of Hon'ble Justice Katju with Karan Thapar & salute him for his courage & straightforwardness about our media, both print & electronic,whose standard is going down day by day in most cases. Why should TV news channels show swayamvars of Rakhi Sawant & Rahul Mahajan ? What is their contribution towards society ? Debates aired on TV have indeed, become 'shouting competitions' as observed by Justice Katju. Everyone wants to speak at the same time like in Parliament/Legislative Assembly. Very few newspapers/magazines/TV channels report about our 'unsung heroes' who are working silently but greatly for our country's social & economic development. While all media people cannot be labelled as 'irresponsible', the fact remains that many are, money & connections with powerful people being the main cause.
Nobody likes a strict principal/headmaster like Justice Katju but if our past glory is to come back, people like Justice Katju must be at the helm of affairs.

from:  S. Balakrishnan
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 13:22 IST

Excellent. I have rarely seen such masterpieces in Indian media...having depth, knowledge, wisdom, keen observations, sense of moral values, & also humor. I happen to be an academician who primarily researches on impact of Internet on society. Internet is such a powerful technology, that such a macro-question is difficult to be addressed. But major findings are: The biggest impact of Internet on society is through the media characteristics. Good thing is, web, social networks, online news are truly democratic, but not the 'television news, a slave to the loudest and most garish stories?' (stated by Bill Keller of NYT). In India, they add distorted quotes, #CNNIBNLies, Radia Media characteristics, Paid News standards, etc.
As academician, I thank Justice Katju for his initiatives in trying to clean-up/improve Indian media; & hope he would not give up in spite of cartelized vested opposition. I really thank the recently retired & current SC Judges, who have been making a +ve difference.

from:  Ranjit Goswami
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 13:20 IST

Respected Sir, I am watching BBC for a few weeks now and I fully agree with you. Only having access to Good journalism that one can understand that there is a 'moral responsibility' apart from advertisements and business.

from:  Rajendra patidar
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 13:20 IST

Hats off to you Sir! Coming from a highly intellectual and informed person, the article made for a delightful read. Ever since Justice Katju took over the reins of the Chairman of Press Council of India, and exhorted the media to reassess their priorities, the Media has launched a vicious campaign against him. Honestly speaking, ordinary people like me were influenced by this aggressive campaign to a certain degree and had begun to feel if the council was indeed being headed by someone bent on imposing his diktats on the media. However the article has served as an eye opener and put to rest all the misgivings. The chairman's critical assessment of the electronic media is entirely justified. Electronic media, in my view, is one of the most powerful but at the same time one of the most irresponsible forces of our country. It is to be hoped that the media, instead of vilifying the chairman, will treat this as an opportunity to introspect and set its house in order.

from:  Vimal
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 13:19 IST

This article is excellent and I wonder how he kept reading so many books of literature. Justice Katju and Justice JS Verma are the kind of people who should be governing this country and their talents cannot be wasted just because they are retired.

from:  Chanemougam.R
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 13:18 IST

It is quite true that our priorities are mixed up, not only in media but also in governance in many States. Barring a few, many TV programs lack content, and are devoid of any substance. The reality talk shows, I understand, are even 'manufactured' to suit the vested interests. The news put out by many channels are blatantly one-sided and disgusting. If I want to see 'neutral' news, I tune into "Podhigai" which still continues to provide a balanced content. Politicial parties, in my opinion, should not be licensed to own TV channels, or if they do so, no news programs should be permitted to be aired. It is time the electronic media is regulated. I am with Justice Katju.

from:  D. Chandramouli
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 13:15 IST

I salute J.Katju for highlighting to put electronic media under regulatory authority.We are fed up and frustrated with the advertisements repeatedly thrust up on us that too, some of them can not be seen with family specially with children.A negative picture of women is always produced and different dirty tricks are invented on daily basis against various characters to pollute the minds of viewers instead of healthy entertainment. Let me quote Munshi Prem Chand a popular Hindi story writer and novelist "Jaise nayi dulhan ke chehrey per halka sa ghoonghat ka perda hota hai,chehra to dikhta hai, lekin poori tarah nahi.Theek usi terha yarthaart per addarsh ka halka sa perda bahut jaroori hona chaheye."
Like a newly wed bride covering her face with a light thin cloth so that one can have a glimpse of her face only. In the same manner facts may be produced but under cover of morality or dignity. This can be achieved only by putting media under regulatory authority

from:  Ravindra Raizada
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 13:09 IST

Once upon a time TV News channels used to command sanctity particularly when there were no 24 hour channels. Now they are no better than 'views channels' of vested interests,self-styled experts and specialists,bordering on yellow journalism and puveyors of superstition, sleaze and animal instincts in humans. It is high time they are regulated as Justice Katju had put it 'self-regulation is an oxymoron'.When they themselves say that nobody should be above law, what logic is there for their claiming undeserved holier than thou attitude?

from:  T.N.Sethumadhavan
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 13:09 IST

The whole nation should rise up at this stage and say : Mr. Justice Katju. MAY THY TRIBE IINCREASE. You have spoken the truth as a real democrat with the main aim of reforming. The media in their interests and to project a good image of the Indian media to India and the outside world. The whole world is now watching the miserable fall of Murdoch in England. Such an incident should not happen in India. Right thinking people in India will Not misunderstand your approach. You have initiated the change. You are also going to Witness the change.

from:  C.p.Chandra das
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 13:04 IST


A Daniel come to judgment! yea, a Daniel! O wise old judge, how I do honour thee!
I am at loss of words to express my ecstacy after reading. Sir! you one of the last beacons of hope around a morass of darkness. Fortunate to read this jewel of an article laced with erudition,experience,intellect,sauvity to drive home the point.

from:  Veerabhadram
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 13:03 IST

Self-regulation requires taking responsibility, and this comes with adhering to established norms, rules and regulations. As parents we allow children to take on increasing responsibility while monitoring their actions. Media is a powerful tool (remember, words are mightier than sword), so until Indian media can demonstrate that they're capable of behaving like a responsible instrument of change, they should come under the purview of a regulatory authority. This is particularly true of electronic media where it's easy for anyone to publish at will. As for money and media, one has to only look at the example of Berlusconi and the media empire, or some of the networks in the US to understand what media can do to sway the public in any way they chose to. Today's Indian media is essentially modelling itself as a pure business venture, which in principle it is. But there's a responsibility that goes with it and that they're not inclined to take on.

from:  Sriram
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 13:01 IST

Your Honor: I salute you for the stance you've taken. Bold, progressive and far reaching. We need in India a MEDIA COMMISSION...an autonomous, quasi-judicial body that has representation from all walks of life including the media barons, the journalist union, the parliament, the judiciary, the professional bodies et al. TV channels are giving us a package and it is important that their content is given RATINGS by MEDIA COMMISSION periodically (entertainment channel, news channel, sports channel, etc). As a consumer of their product we've a right to know their RATINGS. The ratings scheme will also help us identify authentic NEWS channels and give them government subsidy. PLEASE SUPPORT MEDIA COMMISSION IN INDIA AS SUGGESTED BY JUSTICE KATJU.

from:  Poovhenden
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 12:59 IST

We need regulatory authority for electronic media. It is high time.

from:  Vasant Sane
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 12:53 IST

Excellent article sir. Truly agree with you.

from:  CA Akhil R Darda
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 12:48 IST

There is conspicuously a sky of intellectual disparity between Mr.Justice Katju and the pressmen. Many TV channels are permitted these days and engineering colleges too are also established the same way. Result is the poor quality output. Periodical training by experts can only improve the situation. India Media magnates are of the firm belief that the present style of functioning with political patronage and proximity can only mop up good revenues for them. Why eminent journalist Kushwant Singh recently only complimented 'The Hindu' amongst world press is worth pondering.

from:  Vyas K Susarla
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 12:42 IST

I do agree with Justice Katju. When we talk about accountability the first thing comes in our mind is Politicians & Bureaucrats which is absolutely correct for proper functioning of democracy and the same logic applies to electronic media , because they are the first to make them accountable on our television screens & them why shouldn't media do the same to regain the trust deficit among the people of the country.
We seldom hear or see a balanced report on television and has to always believe what is being portrayed is authentic which many times may not be the correct picture.Before even verifying the news we get the breaking news tickling on our screens.

from:  Brij Raj Sahani
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 12:39 IST

I agree to Mr. Katju. Whatever he has quoted is all true and should be implemented by our media/ TV channels. Today the people like Anna Hazzare, just know how to root out the corruption but they have forgotten the great act done by the Raja Ram Mohan Roy and others in the history with the help of the news papers to deal with the social issues. I should quote here for all Indians "Jaago Janata Jaago". We should not form our views or perceptions based on what media portrays to us, instead we should be intelligent enough to understand why the other person might have said the issue/ fact under discussion. To quote an instance Max Weber a great sociologist once said "Vertschen approach”, should be taught to Indians. Media should be under the umbrella of regulation; self regulation will not help here. Article 19 quotes, the “freedom of speech” but within the framework of certain constraints.

from:  Sheetal Shinde
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 12:38 IST

Excellent article. Agree on most of the points and the logic used is very strong as well. Two minor things though I would like to point out in an almost flawless article. One, knowing about J'accuse and Emile Zola does not make Karan Thapar worthy of being held in high esteem or even highly educated - that may make him well read, highly literate, maybe a Francophile or an Anglophile, but in the Indian tradition a truly educated man is one who is liberated [of biases and bondages] - "saa vidyaa yaa vimuktaye". Second, a minor error by Mr. Katju - he has confused Madhvacharya (the founder of Dvaita subschool of Vedanta) with Madhavacharya (also known as Vidyaranya, the author of Sarva Darshan Sangaraha and a follower of the Advaita school of Vedanta) - the two are different people even though the names sound similar. One is "Madhva", other is "Maadhava".

from:  Nityanand Misra
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 12:33 IST

Power & Authority without accountability is dangerous, and this is exactly what media preaches for others, but does not want to practice for itself.

from:  Zakeer Hussain
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 12:33 IST

Its unfortunate even he need to say clarification for his good words, Indian electronic media showed it disrespect to Justice Katju by misinterpreting his words,maligning him is greater conspiracy of Indian corporate media whose sole interest is lobbying and garnering money and no accountability towards people.its no surprise to unable understand words of Justice Katju. Indian electronic media really needs a watchdog it needs to bring under press council of India to save freedom of speech of poor and common man from corporate media czars,hope govt will act.

from:  Varun
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 12:30 IST

What is wrong if e-media journalism/journalists are governed by some regulatory like TRAI, IRDA, RBI etc. etc. Nothing wrong in the words of Mr.Katju and his free for all expressions. Every responsible citizen should invite. Let us hope, even now some regulatory body shall be come into force without further delay.

from:  Lal Chand Jain
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 12:28 IST

Justice Katju has explained fabulously how electronic media is unregulated. these electronic media always distorted the original words of civilized person in wrong manner. Hence there must be a mechanism to regulate these sections of society. We must raise our voice along with katju to bring them under regulation. we civilian people are really grateful to your real concerns. We are with you.

from:  Ram Nath Raman
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 12:22 IST

The whole article is an embodiment of truth. Yes when there is right there is a duty. So should their be some regulatory mechanism in existence to rein in the electronic media. Most of channels churn out information which are distorted. There should be level playing field for everybody. I appreciate the message set by Honorable Justice Katju a well articulated one.

from:  Jayaraman
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 12:18 IST

I fully agree with the ideas of Justice Katju who does not need any certificate.

from:  Naeem Khan
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 12:13 IST

Excellent work! An ingenious way to address the wrong.

from:  Raghavendra
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 12:12 IST

Google - the pastor, the nun, the bishop and the donkey - This is the way nowdays visual media is reporting. They should respect, listen to people like Justice Katju. Excellent write up. Thank You, Sir.

from:  Balakrishnan
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 12:12 IST

Although you have written this beautifully articulated and an exceptional article to clarify your position it would be of no use. The media that is portraying you negatively right now could have understood earlier from your interview what were you trying to say. They are really afraid of accountability and this is what makes them shiver when someone tries to make them so.
Thanks for the article though.

from:  Nikunj
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 12:12 IST

Whatever you have said in the interview with Karan and have said here is not just your words. It is the feeling of many ordinary citizens like me. We are with you.

from:  Ameer
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 12:09 IST

@Raman : It means we should keep those who find fault in us near us because they can help us in keeping our souls clean.. Nice article!! A must read for everyone!!

from:  Kiran
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 12:09 IST

Hats Off to Justice Katju that he has caught the right nerve that is the reason Media is making a hue and cry ... out of all that he mentioned the best part I think is his pointing out the 90% concentration on unwanted stuff which is not for the common man...and as his last para says all that and if the Media does not want to take his words then why same media is giving so much importance to Lok Pal when they themselves want to stay unanwserable ... is there a entity in this world who stayed unaccountable and still behaved responsible .... No Way..

from:  Khan
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 12:08 IST

While I agree in general with what the PCI Chairman has to say about the media, it does appear to me that Markandey Katju attaches too much importance to superficial knowledge. A person is not "highly educated" merely because he recognizes Emile Zola. The most important attribute of an "educated" person is having an open mind!
One may not know of the works of Voltaire and Diderot, but if one possesses humility, self-doubt and inquisitiveness, that is enough!

from:  Nerus
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 12:07 IST

Sir! You have time and again proven your intellectual superiority. You are very right in not stooping to the Level of those who have 'Radia Tapes' as the by product of their "Responsible Journalism".

from:  Hamza Omar
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 12:03 IST

Simply excellent; after reading the views and the mind of Mr. Katju, I have regained the confidence about the media's role; Mr. Katju has touched not only the media's role but also about various important issues concerning India's progress; his analysis of 'transititional period of India' is a great learning experience for persons like me; the media, more particularly the Electronic Media, must be proud of Mr. Katju sitting as its Chief/Mentor; I was the regular viewer of English News Channels till last year; I stopped viewing it because of quality of its contents; the Electronic Media Editors must understand that the viewers are also having their analytical skills and, keeping it in their mind, they should schedule the news programmes and debates; otherwise, such Channels will have natural demise in the months to come.

from:  S Anbalagan
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 11:59 IST

It seems we have got the right person at the Press Council of India. In the name of freedom and self regulation Indian media has been throwing nonsense on public. It does affect the social and moral structure of the society their thinking. As pointed by Justice Katju, Our media should play a constructive role, its not a mere entertainer we have other unending means of entertainment IPL, movies,facebook and many more. Being the lagest means of reaching the population it should along with creating awareness about the issues, educate the masses and try to imbibe in the the moral standard for which we Indians have been known. Education can play an important role in uplifting our society, if Taliban can train people to blow themselves for jihad,can't we educate our people to be a responsible citizen. Media had to play this important part.

from:  Brijesh Rajak
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 11:58 IST

Fully agree with you, sir. The media, especially the TV news, it seems has no system of checks and balances. Taking a simple tongue slip of a person and blowing it out of proportion is "breaking news" for these channels. It cannot be described more accurately than to say that "the majority of media people are of a poor intellectual level".

from:  Anis
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 11:57 IST

Well said Sir. Its time media starts airing REASON above VOYEURISM. As there are other channels dedicated for fun and entertainment. Our reporters and editors should enlighten people with the socio-economic issues. As they have the power to reach people , they should be the agents for the change required in our systems which are not ideal or reasonable.

from:  raj
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 11:57 IST

Sir, After seeing the reactions from media both print and visual about you I was really pained. But after reading your clarifications I am a relieved person

from:  Udayashankar.B
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 11:56 IST

Forget about the dualities the Indian media swims in, even if one were to open ones eyes to the crass practices followed by some erstwhile respected media folks who is now rubber stamped by the Radia-tapes scandal, it would become clear the Fourth Estate has become a shell of what it should have become. The first axiom in setting up an independent fourth estate is to willfully disconnect itself from money making machines. News must not be manufactured. A lot of work needs to be done still in order for the media to be a "check" on the practices of the Goverment, on raising awareness of people and in helping people remember what they forget after the hustle and bustle of daily life. In its current form, Indian Media does not need to provide any entertainment to its viewers. It has become a bell clad jester sitting at the foot of its fancy owners.

from:  Jayakrishnan Rajendran
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 11:56 IST

I fully subscribe to the views expressed by Justice Katju. I t is high time the media realised its responibility and trys to fulfill its historical role. The media has an important role in moulding public opinion.It has been called as 'The Fourth Estate".It is an important pillar of democracy. Insted of pandering to cheap public tastes it should function as a sentinel of democracy. The media has to become an instrument of social change.It should address the real issues facing the nation like poverty, illiteracy,corruption,unemployment, terrorism,atrocities against women and children,strengthening of democracy and other related issues.
The media should fearlessly attack the vested intrests entrenched in our society and try to bring about change in power relations in society. With the advent of the internet, the importance of print and electronic media has diminished considerably.More and more people are turning to the internet to keep abreast of the latest developments in the world

from:  Umesh Bhagwat
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 11:54 IST

"Self-regulation is a oxymoron in democracy" - Absolutely correct. When we have even Supreme Court judges coming under the preview of Parliament and being accountable to people, Media cannot exonerate and put itself out of regulation. Given the trends in media these days(highlighting fashion parades, lives of movie stars, "Big Boss" news, and Kingfisher calendar girls). Open any news site, and you can see volumes of this type of material on this. For that matter, even some popular newspapers have a daily dose of visual pornography highlighting sex, sex and sex all the time. And, this is one of India's "top" newspaper. Katju should extend his statements and apply stringent punishments to these newspapers as well.

from:  Ritesh
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 11:52 IST

With my small experience as a lawyer in Supreme Court and numerous appearances before Justice Katju, i know him as a great Judge in recent times, a great votary of liberty of people. He is a broadminded individual with outspoken words and a clear heart, i congratulate him for standing up against corruption and intellectual bankruptcy of media. Justice Katju's judgment on passive Euthanasia was discussed all over the world and a subject matter of study for legal and medical professionals alike. It was his request in a judgment by quoting an Urdu poem that crossed the Himalayan barriers and made President Asif Ali Sardari to release Gopal das, whereas every single Executive and diplomatic authority of Government of India has failed to get him released. Justice Katju is the man who can bell the cat, let the media understand their social responsibilities and change for the betterment of people of this country, i don't understand why they get so angry.

from:  Prasanth.P.
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 11:51 IST

We need people like you tell the issues on unbiased/ truthful manner manner

from:  Sabapathi
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 11:50 IST

Indeed...an exemplary and very impressive write up. His knowledge of history and philosophical thought and literature exudes here. Our full support to you, Mr. Katju....

from:  Amarendra Reddy S.
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 11:47 IST

Dear Mr.Raman: The quote "Nindak nearey raakhiye, Aangan kuti Chawaye" is part of a doha by Kabir that in full reads as.
Nindak nearey raakhiye, Aangan kuti Chawaye
bin pani sabun bina, nirmal kare subhaiy
It talks about the value of having an honest critic. In full it can be roughly translated as: Keep your critics close to you, let their hut be in your courtyard; That way you don’t need soap n water to cleanse your nature.Hope this helps.

from:  Prashanth Ravindran
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 11:42 IST

It is really painful to see a person of his stature cannot express his view about media who are shouting about freedom of speech and right to express themselves .Media becoming so powerful that it could influence all major issues and it is possible for them to collude with politicians for their own advantage as seen in paid news case . I, for one supports Justice's criticism on media and supports the need for regulatory body . Media should discuss on the regulation rather than interpreting his words and making news out of it

from:  Selva Balaji
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 11:39 IST

On many issues indian news are biased, because they are managed by politicians(pro/anti-govt type),businesss people and people operate media as business.The news are totally distored,biased and massive commercial programmes related to fashion,cinema,stars,cricket ,F1 etc.We need news apart from routines,the news suitable to our country"s :needs/upliftment/devoplment/economy/acadamic-technology/security etc

from:  g.ashokraj
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 11:38 IST

Go ahead sir.I totally agree with your views & explanations.The media should take criticism in right spirit & should not react in the way they have done.They are also free to express their views.

from:  Nagesh.B
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 11:34 IST

Another point which Hon'ble S.C.Justice (Retd.) Mr Katju has missed that out of the 90% coverage of TV shows on entertainment and 10% TV program on socio-economic issues, 75% out of this total coverage is devoted to advertisements to the horror and agony of the viewers. Further, ironically, during the so-called 'news-hour', moSt of the time, news are not telecast but are given at the bottom, forcing the viewers to see advertisements. Most surprisingly, all the channels have ganged up so that all the news channels almost carry the advertisements simultaneously.

from:  Verinder Sharma
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 11:33 IST

A brilliant way of putting things about our media and TV in proper perspective. Ofcourse the usual press freedom in peril guys will rant and rave but then Justice Katju has spoken the truth as many perceive.

from:  Captain Johann
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 11:33 IST

Justice Katju need not to give any clarification on 'cheap' and 'undemocratic' remarks of these people. The need of a regulatory authority is must after all everybody must be accountable for his deeds and misdeeds.

from:  Manu Dahiya
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 11:18 IST

I fully agree with the proposal of Justice Katju. Press/media should be put under regulatory authority otherwise it can go to any extent which is very dangerous to the very existence of democracy.

from:  Nandanan
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 11:18 IST

An exemplary and very impressive write up. His knowledge of history and philosophical thought and literature exudes here. I am not sure if all the Justice's of India are of the same intellect standards. His statement - self regulation is a oxymoron in democracy - nails the the whole argument. Hope media sees his point and renders itself to be a part of the healthy democracy in which the role of fourth estate is increasingly becoming important .

from:  Sunder
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 11:06 IST

It is nobody's case that the days of no-regulation are over, whatever the industry. Accountability and transparency are buzz words today. Media has to decide one way or another if it is to redeem its honor especially in the wake of recent allegations where many media outlets are the prime accused e.g. paid news, Radia tapes, etc.

from:  Sai Charan
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 11:03 IST

A succinct and precise article written by an clear mind. I totally agree that electronic media needs to be regulated and limits must be set on how many hours of entertainment related news they can show. All sorts of superstitious serials must be completely banned. There needs to be a thorough discussion regarding the regulations and a time frame must be fixed to implement them.

from:  Akramjeet Singh
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 11:01 IST

A request to the Hon'ble Justice Katju - a framework to regulate the advertisements aired amidst programmes with high viewership like cricket matches should also be developed. Advertisments especially those of cosemetic products showing women in poor light should be barred since cricket matches are popular among children in India. The President of India herself had noted this observation a while back. Unfortunately that seems to have not triggered a cue yet.

from:  G V Prasad
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 10:59 IST

All Like minded, civilised, peace loving and self respecting persons literate or illiterate he or she may be, will clearly know, feel and understand what Justice M. Katju meant by his statements and fantastic analytical explanation and his repeated pleas verbatim/thru print media to focus on better anvils and issues required by the common man. Hats off to you Sir Justice M. Katju. You stood up and voiced what a common man like me trying to fend for his family working in a Gulf neighbouring country cannot speak out or does not have the means or reach. If you see the TV medium issues are discussed by a panel and only rabble rousing from different panelists of vested interests and parties speak out without attaining or going anywhere near a workable solution or what should have been the order of the day. Disgusting indeed. It is a game of upmanship of who is smarter than the other whereby real issues and solutions get dwarfed. The media should wake up and I salute you Hon. Justice

from:  sheker s
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 10:57 IST

Nice article. Enjoyed reading it. I could not understand the hindi saying of Rahim quoted above (I have pasted it below)
“Nindak nearey raakhiye
Aangan kuti Chawaye”
If someone can translate it, it will be helpful

from:  Raman
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 10:54 IST

We see a light at the end of the tunnel.Time has come for Arnab Goswami to say "Are you with MEDIA or with INDIA"?

from:  Pallath Govindan kutty
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 10:53 IST

Excellent article sir. Truly agree with you.

from:  Arpan Khandelwal
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 10:47 IST

Great going Sir, I fully support you sir. ALL THE BEST.

from:  Anwar
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 10:42 IST

Especially when so much of media has gone into corporate hands and when there is paid news going on to subvert people's welfare, it is imperative that there be media regulation in the nation. And coming from a highly credible and reasonable person like Justice Katju whose work in the Judiciary is there for all to see, Media Regulation process must be put in place under his able guidance.

from:  Yashwanth P
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 10:42 IST

Fantastic!!!!Amazing.....some one has to start for regulation of TV News channels....i think it has started....actually before even Katju there so called Media channels if they are fair would have voluntarily sought for a regulator...that should be the extent of values they should have..Today anyone who has 50 crores is ready to put channels.......and govt is blind not looking the objectives just grant license..

from:  Surya
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 10:40 IST

Justice Katju, you dont have to use so many words to answer those questioning you. We the 'real' people want media to be regulated. Pls. go ahead :)

from:  Krishna
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 10:39 IST

My absolute support for Mr. Markandey Katju. Media must be reformed. There must be regulatory body for the media to monitor its functions and reporting model.

from:  James
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 10:36 IST

A transparent and independent accountability mechanism is a must for every institution that exercises power. The electronic media is one such institution.

from:  Hilary Pais
Posted on: Nov 15, 2011 at 10:32 IST
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