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Accusing Indian media of promoting superstitions and backward ideas to divert people’s attention from real issues, Press Council Chairman Justice Markandey Katju on May 3 alleged that the media houses are often looked upon by their owners as the means of making money. “In India, the recent tendencies show the media playing a reactionary role. Instead of promoting scientific thinking, it promotes superstitions and backward ideas and diverts attention from real issues which are socio-economic, to non-issues like lives of film stars, cricket, astrology, etc,” Katju said in a statement on the occasion of World Press Freedom Day.
He appealed to media persons to fulfil their social responsibility by promoting scientific and rational thinking and combating backward thoughts.” Eighty per cent of Indians are suffering from poverty, unemployment, price rise, health issues, education, housing and evils such as honour killing, dowry deaths, farmers’ suicides, child malnutrition and female foeticide. These problems can be resolved by scientific thinking which must be spread to every nook and corner of the country,” Justice Katju said. “Media has a great role to play in this transitional period through which India is passing,” he added.