Press Council of India chairman Markandey Katju on Saturday criticised the media for projecting non-issues and deceiving people instead of highlighting real problems affecting the country like malnutrition in almost 50 per cent children.

Inaugurating a two-day national seminar on ‘New Channels: Morality and Reality’ organised by the Potti Sriramulu Telugu University here, he lamented that projection of non-issues was sidelining the real issues.

“Is it not befooling the people?” he asked.

Mr. Katju said India too was passing through a similar transition as witnessed in Europe, from feudal to a modern society. In this transition period, the role of ideas becomes very important and it was the duty of Indian media to help society get over the transition faster and with less pain.

He urged the media to help the society in fighting problems like poverty, casteism, communalism, unemployment and superstition and in developing modern, logical outlook.

He said 90 per cent of Indians vote like sheep and cattle on the basis of caste and religion. He said people do not see the merit of the candidate and “that’s why you have so many criminals in your legislatures”, he added. Earlier, Mr. Katju announced the setting up of a committee to look into the problems of small and medium newspapers. Gurinder Singh, national president of All India Small and Medium Newspapers Federation (AISMNF) has been named as its convenor.

Later, he spoke at a seminar on ‘Unethical trends in current journalism’, organised by AISMNF.

India is passing through a transition period and media has to play an active role