Press Council of India (PCI) Chairman Justice Markandey Katju on Saturday said anti-corruption activist Anna Hazare lacked scientific ideas needed to tackle graft.
The PCI chairman also took a dig at the media for “hyping” issues such as the 100th century of Sachin Tendulkar, retirement of Rahul Dravid, pregnancy of Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and death of film star Dev Anand.
“This Anna Hazare movement, I have not spoken about it because I am attacked by the media as if Justice Katju is some kind of demon. I regard Anna Hazare as an honest man, there is no dispute in that. But what are his scientific ideas? I don't think he has any scientific ideas,” Mr. Justice Katju said.
Addressing the convocation ceremony of the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, he said raising slogans such as ‘Bharat Mata ki jai' and ‘Inquilab zindabad' would not end corruption.
“What will happen with shouting? People shouted here for 10-15 days and then went home. There is rampant corruption in the country and that is why there was so much support for Anna Hazare,” he said.
“Corruption needs a scientific solution, he said adding: “What is the rationale of thinking of Anna Hazare? With due respect, I could not find any scientific ideas. These shoutings will not do anything. You have to have a scientific solution for it.”
Mr. Justice Katju also flayed Mr. Hazare for his approach to dealing with issues such as alcoholism. “You say you can stop alcoholism by tying a man to a tree and beating him. Is this a solution to alcoholism? Most poor people take alcohol and country liquor because they get relief from their miserable lives and forget their miseries,” he added. “To abolish alcoholism, you have to raise the standard of their living. You have to reduce their miseries, not that you catch hold of the people, tie them to the tree and beat them,” Mr. Justice Katju said.
The PCI Chairman attacked media houses for giving “undue” space to entertainment to “divert attention from real issues… 90 per cent of the media coverage goes to entertainment. The problems of the country are not price rise, employment, poverty but whether Sachin Tendulkar has scored his 100th century. Once he has scored his 100th century, issues like unemployment, hunger and poverty are finished and rivers of milk and honey will flow here.”
“When Rahul Dravid retires, it is the greatest catastrophe in history. Rahul Dravid retired, the country is doomed. For days on end, the media hyped it up. This is your Indian media,” he added. He said the Mohali cricket match between India and Pakistan last year was also hyped as if a “Mahabharat” was taking place. Accusing media houses of suffering “total loss of sense of proportion and priority,” he targeted newspapers and TV channels for showing programmes on astrology, which he termed “pure nonsense.”