Anna Hazare does not have "scientific solutions" for the country's evils, Press Council of India chairman Justice (retd) Markandey Katju said on Saturday.
"Anna Hazare is an honest man, a man of integrity. But he does not have scientific ideas. He wants to deal with alcoholism by tying an alcoholic to a tree and whipping him. Is that a scientific solution?" Katju asked. He said he had not spoken about Hazare in the past to avoid being branded a supporter of corruption, though he had delivered several anti-corruption verdicts.
He said that a majority of Indians vote on caste or communal lines. "Ninety per cent of people in India are fools. Their minds are full of superstitions, communalism and casteism. They elected Phoolan Devi to Parliament since she belonged to a backward caste."
Katju was speaking at the convocation of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan' Sardar Patel College of Communications & Management. The institute conferred the Distinguished Alumnus award to Vinod Sharma, political editor of Hindustan Times. It also honoured RK Mukkar, a former editor with Morning Echo, which was published by HT, as a Distinguished Faculty. Sharma advocated self-regulation in the media, the way chartered accountants and the medical fraternity does.
Katju said he was the media's "fiercest critic" as well as "its strongest supporter". While maintaining that the media devotes 90% of its time to cover entertainment and other non-issues like cricket, Bollywood, celebrities and astrology, Katju suggested it instead focus on "real issues like unemployment, poverty, malnourishment and lack of health and educational opportunities".