Speaking at a seminar on ‘Media and its responsibilities’ this week, Katju slammed television news channels for “excessive” coverage on film stars, cricket and astrology to boost viewership. Taking media to task, Katju pointed out that channels should rather be focusing on real issues such as economy, poverty, unemployment and farmers’ suicides.
Referring to such coverage, he is reported to have stated, “How does it matter if Rajesh Khanna is dead or alive.” Though his dismay over sensational reporting is genuine, such a statement has upset Khanna’s ex-partner Anita Advani tremendously.
“To say ‘how does it matter if Rajesh Khanna is dead or alive,’ after he has passed away, is not in good taste. It has hurt me a lot, but more than that, I feel Mr Katju owes all of Kakaji’s fans an apology,” said Advani.
Explaining her distress over the issue, Advani’s spokesperson Dale Bhagwagar remarked, “Ms Anita Advani has always told me, she loved Kakaji like crazy and that she was always there for him. Maybe, it is because of this special bond they shared, that she finds this casual remark insensitive!”