Press Council of India chairman justice (retd) Markandey Katju on Saturday invoked Ramayana to appeal to journalists to help transform India into a modern society.
"India is passing through a transformation like the one in western Europe in the 19th century. The next 15-20 years are going to be terrible in India.
"Indian media should play a role similar to the European media so that India could transform into a modern, industrialised society," justice Katju said.
He was addressing a seminar on Unethical trends in current journalism, organised by the All-India Small and Medium Newspapers Federation in Hyderabad on Saturday.
Stating that media was like Lord Hanuman, justice Katju noted there was nothing the media could not do. "You (media) are so powerful...You are here to serve Indian people. That's your dharma. I am like Jambavant (a character in Ramayana) reminding you of your duties and powers," justice Katju remarked.
He recalled that media played a vital role in the transformation of western Europe from a feudalistic to a modern, industrialised society between 17 and 19th centuries.
"You (media) are responsible to the Indian people. There are massive problems of unemployment, health-care, child malnutrition, etc. Farmers are committing suicide. You have to project modern ideas and combat backward ideas," the PCI chief said.
The former judge of the Supreme Court, who on Friday justified his decision to appoint a panel for fixing minimum qualification for scribes, observed that unethical trends were not limited to journalism and there was no point blaming journalists over this.
"Why blame journalists alone? Unethical trends are there not only in journalism but also in every walk of life. Journalists are lowly paid and there is corruption everywhere," he pointed out.
Federation president Gurinder Singh, Andhra Pradesh information and public relations commissioner Dana Kishore and others spoke on the occasion.