Come Ramadan, one of the beautiful and holy months, behest with blessings, opportunities, fried food and seasonal delicacies. Despite the fruit chaats, the month of Ramadan can also be expected to produce some fruitless debates circling aggressive show of religiosity.

After the judgement mandating that programmes containing lotteries and rewards be banned during Ramadan, the Islamabad High Court went along further to direct TV Channels to telecast the Azaan five times a day. A single bench comprising Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui had issued the order while hearing a petition against the violation of the code of conduct for morning shows and Ramazan transmission by some TV channels.

Was there ever truly a fear that the Pakistani people may be deprived of the Azaan or not realise that the time for prayer has arrived? With a mosque in almost every corner of Islamabad, it seems safe to say that our people would hear the call to prayer and be aware of the times for prayer not just in Ramadan, but in all seasons. Moreover, it seems futile and a waste of the Court’s time to forcefully mandate a channel to air the call to prayer, when almost every major news channel already showcases the time for azaan, as well as religiously documents Sehri and Iftari times.

It is unfortunate that this month teaching patience and humility is used as an opportunity to broadcast religiosity and intolerance. This order of the IHC is just one of many which ignore the many problems that people fact to prioritise a non-issue in order to win over some approval from the religious right. If the IHC really wanted to ensure a more Islamic Ramadan, perhaps it should take issue over the inflammatory prices of basic food during Ramadan, instead of planning television content.