Crush press freedom if must, says Katju

Contending that press freedom is "not an absolute right", Press Council of India chief Markandey Katju on Friday said that this freedom "must" be "crushed" if media's functioning leads to backwardness.

The former SC judge, who is known for his controversial comments, also criticised media for giving more importance to Bollywood and cricket and took a dig at channels for "promoting" superstition through shows on astrology.

"Freedom of press is not an absolute right. The absolute right is the improvement of standard of living of the masses. If freedom of press helps the improvement of standard of living of masses, then its a good thing. But if freedom of press lowers the standard of living of people, then we must crush freedom of press," he said.

"People are drugged with cricket... Please don't think that you are gods... channels show astrology, which is pure nonsense. If you keep people backward, it is pure superstition. Don't you have any common sense?" he said.

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