Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah took a section of the media to task on Saturday for sensationalism and called out television news channels for glorifying superstition.
Invoking an incident from last year, when two Kannada news channels - Public TV and TV 9 - went all out "reporting" that a crow sitting atop the CM's car could weigh heavy on the CM's political fortunes, Siddaramaiah said, â€śCrow is just a bird. But a section of the media, banking heavily on superstition, said a crow sitting on my car was a bad omen which may cost me heavily. They made a mountain out of a molehill then. When I was in Kerala, a crow pooped on my dhoti, and the headlines screamed that Siddaramaiah will surely lose power this time."
The CM was in Hubbali, for the diamond jubilee celebrations of a Kananda periodical Kasturi, reported The Hindu. During his address, the senior Congress leader took the opportunity to take a jibe at media houses that had been reporting on such "trivial" issues. He said that while many media houses were glorifying superstition by doing so, Siddaramaiah felt that it was the media's responsibility to work for the welfare of the people.
â€śNewspapers, periodicals, and electronic media should focus on issues related to people and society. They should facilitate the development of new ideas that furthered social growth, the CM said.
He also expressed regret over the fourth pillar of democracy running after publicity and money, thereby forgetting their social responsibility.
Siddaramaiah has run into trouble with the media several times during his tenure as the CM of the state. Last year, a media house had released footage of a man helping the leader tie his shoe laces, which became a huge controversy, inviting much criticism over the VIP culture the Congress leaders indulged in. More recently, the Karnataka government came under the scanner after its Water Resource Minister conducted pujas for Krishna and Cauvery rivers so that the state would receive good monsoon.