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.

Tags: , , , ,

11 Responses to “CHURUMURI test for journalists (and their critics)”

  1. pdk Says:

    I’ll be the first from the readers side to admit that I’ve scored myself and come up with 0 out of 12. I have a sort of vague idea about #4 – must be some foreigner – but the tip of my tongue is not letting go.

    I’ve already stopped watching TV. Now I’m seriously questioning if I have the right to read newspapers and/or magazines either. And then why have morning coffee without a newspaper.

    Churumuri killed my mornings.

  2. Amit M Says:

    I’m a zero out of 12 too. That certainly tells me that I’m not as well versed in politics, poetry, philosophy, business, and spirituality as I’d like to be.

    But then again, does that mean I have no right to judge the quality of the daily news that i consume? I don’t think so.

    Just because I can’t name all the cranial nerves, does it mean that I have no right to judge a doctor “incompetent” when he proves to be obviously so while treating me?

  3. Vinay Says:

    11 is by Djinnah, fooling the citizens of newly formed Pakisatan.

    Don’t have an idea of the rest.

    Anyway, does one really need to know quotable quotes by various famous personalities? That is a silly expectation, both from the reporters and the readers.

  4. S.Prakash Says:

    Questions are quite interesting, my score is 6. I am unable understand question 4. I am attempting get rid of newspaper, and TV at the earliest. Churmuri is like a warm cup of coffee in the chilling morning.

  5. voyeur Says:

    @pdk re: #4 Ernest Hemingway has a novel whose name derives from this quote I don’t know who the original quote is by.

    1 is napoleon
    10 – Both quotes are by Ambedkar (Should I claim 2 points?)
    11 – Jinnah
    12 – First one is by Machiavelli

    Ach. Not a good score. Nonetheless, going by the logic of this test I can now sit and judge all the journalists (and critics) who score lesser.

  6. kaka Says:

    11. Jinna (made famous by Advani, who heard it from Sw. Ranganathananda)

  7. Sathya Says:

    @Voyeur and @pdk – thats a famous poem by John Donne “No man is an island”…

    I love the beginning – no man is an island, every man is a part of the main…

  8. the colonel Says:

    A Score Of Zero when i saw this now….

  9. Gaampa Says:

    … I am proud to announce I got a zilch

  10. dodo Says:

    scored only 4.

    1. Napoleon, 3. Keynes, 11. Jinna, 12. 1st: Machiavelli ( and Ishwarchandra Vidyasagar also in different context), 2nd: Machiavelli.

    Thanks to Master Mind Runner-up professor, Wharton phd RBI Director for proving that I do not deserve non “lousy news”.

    Only saving grace is that Churumuri did not ask a Master Mind winner to set the questions. In that case I’d have surely lost my right to live!

  11. jounos Says:

    most corrupt write.

    We totally agree with the what Mr Katju says. There are several instances in front of us. For example you take, a most corrupt journalist who took money from mining lords became an editor of the one of the popular Kannada daily.

    Another most corrupt journalist ( we shame to call him as journalist) who always used to give hours long lecturer about honesty is going to start a news channel. The person who used to travel in luna and subsequently he puchased kinetic honda just ten years ago, how can he own a news channel with the investment of crores of rupees. Where the money comes ? Which politician agent he is. Why no body have guts to write about him.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: