Obdurate Katju sparks walkout by INS members in Press Council meet

18 Nov,2011

By A Correspondent

The four publisher members representing the Indian Newspaper Society (INS) in the newly constituted Press Council – Dr R Lakshmipathy (Dinamalar), Mr V K Chopra (Filmi Duniya), Mr Sanjay Gupta (Jagran) and Mr Vijay Kumar Chopra (Punjab Kesari) – strongly protested to the Chairman of the Press Council for his remarks that “he has a poor opinion of the media” and “majority media people are of very poor intellectual level with no idea of economic theory or political science, philosophy, literature”. The publisher members were attending the first ever meeting of the newly constituted Council of the Press Council of India.

However, Justice Markandey Katju, the PCI chairman, was firm on his stand and refused to withdraw the remarks made by him. The publisher members walked out of the meeting in protest.

Earlier in the day, the Executive Committee of the INS took strong objection to the remarks made by the Chairman of the Press Council of India in a television interview and in subsequent statements issued by him to the press. The Executive Committee of the INS noted with dismay that the Chairman’s remarks demonstrated a deep bias against members of the Fourth Estate and that such bias would adversely affect the functioning of the Council in its quasi-judicial role.

The Executive Committee strongly felt that the Chairman had undermined his own position as Chairman of the Press Council of India and that of the Council, by categorizing a majority of media people as being of poor intellectual level. In a strongly worded letter addressed to the Chairman of the Press Council of India, the INS President urged him to withdraw his remarks.

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