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Pakistan Today

Published Date: Jan 3, 2017

Media, academia and researchers should play role to bring truth back, says Dr Adil Najam

The post-truth era has eroded the values of society, including the element of trust and verification.  The people around the world are rapidly losing its grounding in reality, which might result in crumbling of entire society and civilisation. Therefore, the prime responsibility of bringing the society back in touch with truth and realities lay with media, academia and researchers.
Renowned scholar and academician Dr Adil Najam said this while delivering his lecture ‘Living in a Post-Truth Era and What Does it Mean for the World and for Pakistan’ organised by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) here on Monday.
Dr Adil Najam who also serves as the dean of the Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University and has been the lead author for assessment reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, during his lecture, explained that the world politics in today’s post-truth society was dictated by ultra-nationalism and fear. The emergence of new kind of elected leadership in America, India, Russia and many other parts of the world was the reflection of these politics based on ultra-nationalism and fear.
“The eco-system of post-truth society thrive on over information,” Dr Najam said and added that the people tend to choose the information according to their personal desires and beliefs. He said that it was the failure of the institutions of verification where fear was being used as an instrument of survival in post -truth society. He said that the post-truth era has also influenced scientific areas as well and politics on climate change was just one example of this phenomenon.
“Brexit and other expressions of ultra-nationalism around the globe were an aftermath of globalisation. Most of the people tend to ignore the falsehood and it was clearly a failure of intellectual responsibility,” he said. “The politics in the post-truth era is heavily reliant on fear, ignorance and hate; thus, being the custodian of values, the phenomenon has added the responsibility of media, academia and researchers to establish the sources of verification.”
The case of Pakistan, he said, was no different where the element of trust in politics has been eroded by over information based on falsehood. “However, the youth could define the future of Pakistan as they have been somehow resisting the post-truth society,” he concluded.