The audio-visual means have opened up immense possibilities for creating awareness quickly and more effectively. Print media is no longer the main vehicle of awareness, and new information / social media has produced an “audio-visual man” and “audio-visual-culture”. Printing has been replaced by images and brought far-reaching changes in perception, thought, sensitivity, and new modes of communication. As a result, a new community is born, making electronic media a very powerful tool in today’s advanced world.

A moral approach to politics through media has to be the crux. If we separate morality from politics, we discard with one stroke the entire history, particularly Muslim history, which is the evidence of supreme human effort to actualize goodness in this world. If we do that, we will have to give up that fund of knowledge and all those truths that faith provides us and from which proceed good actions.

The separation of morality from politics is thus one of the greatest woes of the modern world. It is a thousand times pity that man, in his arrogance, has chosen to apply only sensory truths without the aid of God’s Word, God, who is the Creator of all truths. But when religion is debased, when changes are brought about in the scriptures, and when no one can certify the purity of the earlier scriptures, it is no wonder that Nature has made it possible for unbelievers to put aside religion (morality) and take on to a road which ultimately leads to the separation of church from state with all the consequential distresses of life. And then there is an attempt to assert that goodness, truth, and love cannot be actualized in this world. Talking of those who reject good, God says in the Quran: “As for him who rejects what is good—We facilitate for him (the way to) distress.

A code of ethics of any society or civilization, inter alia, is formed on the system of values and concepts about the nature of things and ideas prevalent in that culture. Suppose thinkers in that society have access to true realities. In that case, the code of ethics built thereon will not only be instrumental in the creation, development, and progress of a meaningful philosophy of life and a healthy society. Still, it will also bring about the necessary effects that culture aims at.

Cultures and social systems based on old concepts and values of the twentieth-century “scientific” view of ‘matter’ and materialistic approach to life are no longer valid and effective even in secular societies since the notion of reality about ‘matter’ has undergone a complete change, and the ethics of life constructed on those values are no longer valid and do not yield answers to many of the current issues of those societies. Hence, a kind of confusion and chaos is being witnessed all around us.

Likewise, the old view about the relationship of cause and effect and the given conditions producing the required consequence is no longer valid, and the proposition is now considered an insufficient basis for understanding various phenomena not only in the scientific but in the sociopolitical sphere also where morality and sound ethics based on any spiritual ideas were even traditionally not considered in the west to play any role.

The two pillars of the state, viz., establishment and the judiciary, are quite vibrant. The other two, i.e., legislature and the executive, are currently benign, whereas media, an important pillar, is becoming stagnant. The political hype in the country, frivolous audio leaks, and unproductive political happenings and events are consuming most of the media’s time, leaving no room for productive contributions.

Social media can play a very important role in not only highlighting the ailments in society but also accentuating economic issues about the economy, inflation, commerce, trade, and industry, etc., also suggesting solutions to the issues and problems in these areas, compelling the regulators to streamline and correct the things. Apart from this, it can also play an important role in exposing the corrupt elements in the bureaucracy and the regulatory bodies having a direct bearing on the public, especially the downtrodden segments of society.

Political parties present their manifestoes with great zeal, tall claims, and promises; however, their manifestoes soon become redundant documents once the elections are over, leaving the voters and the general public at the mercy of none. Media should and can conduct debates, which can be a perpetual process of accountability for the political parties.

The learned anchors are mostly journalists, not subject specialists. They are unaware of the intricacies and technicalities of these issues and, as such, are not in a position to put the economic managers to media trial to hold them publicly accountable. Nor do they suggest remedial measures to solve the national economic problems. Moreover, since the subject specialists currently participating in the talk shows are either businessmen or have their own stakes, they do not directly raise the issues and suggest measures that may displease the economic managers. The issues that need to be taken up, inter alia, include economic issues affecting the general public, product-specific inflation, POL prices, economic meltdown, trade and industry, free trade agreements, etc.

However, the position is not up to the look at the TV as a great and effective instrument for awareness only. Further, simplicity in lifestyle and the virtue of modest consumption habits could be encouraged and taught through this media as against the frequent posh settings on the screen, which usually exhibit people and surroundings with a lot of pomp and show.

It is accordingly necessary that media should fully realize the profound effects that the powerful electronic information and entertainment media have in regard to character building and formulate integrated policies for (i) dissemination of facts and figures and (ii) hope for the youth against the onslaught of unwholesome and destructive ideas of the secular cultures while providing information.

If we merely follow others, we will be wasting all that experience of foreign coun. We will be doing it all over again instead of keeping ourselves within the limits of decency and ethics. The persons in charge of media would do well to take stock of the long-term effects of its actions. The social media script writers and the censors should be highly educated and literary persons who are also well versed in the subjects and ethics.

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The author is former Chairman, National Tariff Commission and can be reached at