CHURUMURI test for journalists (and their critics)

To the delight of those who think that the media is doing a lousy job (and that presumably is 90% of the internet population), the press council chairman, Justice Markandey Katju, has hit journalists—especially journalists who show off their college credentials—where it hurts most.

In saying that he did not think that we have “any knowledge of economic theory or political science or literature or philosophy“, the former Supreme Court judge has stopped just short of calling journalists idiots and ignoramuses. To no one’s surprise, the punctured egos have responded in kind (hereherehere).

But what about news consumers—newspaper and magazine readers, television watchers, internet surfers—who too think that Indian journalists are idiots and ignoramuses? How educated and schooled are they? What have they read and what is their knowledge of economic theory, political science, literature and philosophy?

At the invitation of churumuriMastermind India runner-up Prof M.V. Rajeev Gowdaa Ph.D. from Wharton who heads the Centre for Public Policy at the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore, and is a Reserve Bank of India director—has compiled a 12-question quiz, quotes really, from politics, poetry, philosophy, business, spirituality that should reveal whether the learned justice is on target.

Or not.

You can take this quiz in confidence, of course, but you are also free to mail the answers to churumuri [dot] churumuri [at] gmail [dot] com to receive the answer key. Googling for the answers, Prof Gowda assures us, is akin to “paid news”. So don’t.

Your time starts now.



Who is credited with each of the following quotations?

1.Four hostile newspapers are more to be feared than a thousand bayonets.

2. A king can protect his kingdom only when he himself is protected from persons near him, particularly his wives and children.

3. The ideas of economists and political philosophers, both when they are right and when they are wrong, are more powerful than is commonly understood. Indeed the world is ruled by little else.

4. Never send to know for whom the bell tolls. It tolls for thee.

5. An election is coming. Universal peace is declared and the foxes have sincere interest in prolonging the lives of the poultry.

6. Neither in this world nor elsewhere is there any happiness in store for him who always doubts.

7. Anyone who knows anything of history knows that great social changes are impossible without feminine upheaval. Social progress can be measured exactly by the social position of the fair sex, the ugly ones included.

8. Civil government, so far as it is instituted for the security of property, is in reality instituted for the defence of the rich against the poor, or of those who have some property against those who have none at all.

9. Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.

10Bhakti in religion may be a road to the salvation of the soul. But in politics, Bhakti or hero-worship is a sure road to degradation and to eventual dictatorship.


Why should the village become the locus of the political structure?  The village is a ‘cesspool, a den of ignorance, narrow-mindedness, and communalism.’ Why would we want to entrust political rule and development to it?

11. You are free, you are free to go to your temples. You are free to go to your mosques or to any other places of worship in this state of …. You may belong to any religion or caste or creed; that has nothing to do with the business of the state. You will find that in course of time Hindus will cease to be Hindus and Muslims would cease to be Muslims, not in the religious sense, because that is the personal faith of each individual, but in the political sense as citizens of the state.

12. Hatred is gained as much by good works as by evil.


He who wishes to be obeyed must know how to command.


Terms & Conditions: This quiz is open only to Indian journalists or journalists of Indian origin, and their critics. churumuri reserves the right to cancel, modify, extend or discontinue the quiz or any part thereof, without giving any reasons or prior notice if Google or Wikipedia has been used. Please allow 2-3 weeks for delivery of churumuri answer key. All disputes shall be subject to the jurisdiction of the court of public opinion only. If you have read all this and reached this far, congratulations, Justice Katju would like to hear from you.