Social Sciences and Humanity Studies Academic Blog

Mimamsa Ethics

Posted in Media by Shekhar on June 18, 2010

The word “Mimamsa” mean “Investigation, inquiry or Discussion”. It’s basically the proper way of interpretation of Vedic text, that also the earlier portion of Vedas, so it is also called Purva Mimamsa. It is also known by Dharma Mimamsa because it is an inquiry to an Dharma established by Vedas. Another name for it is Karma Mimamsa i.e. it describes the importance of sacrificial activities in attaining the pure Dharma as the good.
It is one of the school of thoughts with in Hindu Philosophy. We have other schools of thoughts with in Hindu Philosophy namely : Vedanta, Vaisheshika, Nyaya, Samkhya and Yoga.
Mimamsa explain how a human being can achieve the mysterious, transcendent power produced by a correctly performed sacrificial ritual, not through the action of gods. The results of the sacrifice often come after the death of the person performing the ritual.
“Theory of Karma” is guided by Mimamsa Philosophy. “Karma” means “deeds”, “act” or “work”. Mimamsa is one of the school of thoughts with in Hinduism which gives importance to ‘theory of Karma’. This theory states that good actions produce good fruit, evil actions produce evil fruits. Every journalist seems necessary to be guided by karmayoga which holds that “when duty is performed in a spirit of dedication to god it becomes the cause of emancipation.”
“Morality, fair play, ethics and justice are the basis of karmayoga” (Bodhi pp 30). This is the evidence that why both western and eastern world have given so much importance to fair play as canon of a journalism.

Application dimension of Mimamsa Ethics:
As said by Chanakya, the practical use of Mimamsa is: it does good to mankind, makes one’s intelligence, Buddhi, settled in the midst of pleasure and pain and makes one expert, visarada, in wisdon (prajna), in speech (vakya) and in action (kriya)”. So developing a code of ethics for journalist and other media professionals based particularly on Mimamsa Philosophy seems not only rational, it also seems more practical.
Here, i claim that the present insecurity among the media professionals in Nepal, where media professionals are being attacked, would have been prevented if everybody had understood the ethics of Mimamsa and applied in their professional deeds.
Here, we can say that the (Vakya) language used in media outlet also determines the ethical standards of media. For example when a journalist is reporting about physically impaired person, using the words like ‘Andho’, ‘Bahiro’ or ‘Langado’ is unethical. Instead we can be ethical by using words like ‘Dristibihin’ for blind person.
Mimamsa will take a journalist action of exposing the name of culprit ethical if the culprit involvement in the crime is confirmed. As said earlier ‘ evil action will produce evil fruits’, culprit should be punished for his/her crime or harm deed to other. But what Unethical media do it just publish the name of the suspects and create the environment of hostility with the third party, followed by attack in the media.

Hence we can maintain the ethical standards of media through the proper use of our language and action according to the Mimamsa Ethics.

Work Cited:
1. Adhikary, Nirmala Mani. (2007). Studying Mass Media Ethics Kathmandu: Prashanti Prakashan.
2. Khanal, Shri Ram. (2005). Media Ethics and Law Kathmandu: Bidhyarthi Pustak Bhandar.
3. Adhikary, Nirmala Mani. “Exploring New Paradigm in Mass Media Ethics.” MBM Anthology of Media Studies. Kathmandu: CSC, Madan Bhandari Memorial College, 2007(pp 57-72).
4. Adhikary, Nimala Mani. “Mimamsa-Philosophy and Mass Media Ethics” BODHI An Interdisciplinary Journal. Dhulikhel: Department of Languages and Mass Communication, 2007.
5. Adhikary, Nirmala Mani. “Manusmriti as a Resource for Media Ethics.” MBM Anthology of Media Ethics (2010). Kathmandu: Department of Journalism and Mass Communication and Communication Study Center (CSC) (pp 47-50), Madan Bhandari Memorial College


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