Anar­chism in "new" Nepal

People's Review - - COMMENTARY - PR PRAD­HAN push­para­jprad­han@gmail.com

In a democ­racy all the or­gans in the so­ci­ety should be abided by the law of the na­tion. Per­haps, there is dif­fer­ence be­tween democ­racy and lok­tantra, and thus, all the or­gans are try­ing to demon­strate them­selves above the law. Cur­rently, one me­dia house is try­ing to de­fame the Supreme Court chief jus­tice with the aim of ter­mi­nat­ing him from his po­si­tion. The me­dia house, emerged as a sup­per power, has used all the me­dia be­long­ing to its group to de­fame the SC chief jus­tice. Fur­ther­more, the group, by us­ing its me­dia in­flu­ence, has mo­bi­lized dif­fer­ent lo­cal as well as for­eign el­e­ments against the ac­tion of the chief jus­tice or say, the SC ac­tion to call the me­dia house ex­ec­u­tives to the Court on the charge of con­tempt of court. The in­ten­tion of this scribe is not to de­fend SC chief jus­tice and he doesn’t want to give clean chit to the chief jus­tice. Al­le­ga­tions against the SC chief jus­tice are the sub­ject of in­ves­ti­ga­tion but a par­tic­u­lar me­dia house should not mis­use its me­dia in­flu­ence just against a mi­nor charge against the me­dia house. Nepal has adopted lok­tantra hav­ing western char­ac­ter­is­tics but par­tic­u­larly talk­ing about me­dia, in the western coun­tries, one me­dia house can­not run print me­dia, ra­dio, tele­vi­sion to­gether. This has been pos­si­ble only in Nepal. In our neigh­bour­ing coun­try In­dia, none of the FM ra­dios can air news but we can see it only in Nepal. The fact is that none of the FM ra­dio op­er­a­tors have ac­quired per­mis­sion from the gov­ern­ment to broad­cast news. Af­ter 1990 po­lit­i­cal change, me­dia sec­tor got un­lim­ited free­dom, which opened doors for the big in­vestors – from smug­glers to man­power busi­ness­men, car­pet man­u­fac­tur­ers all came to in­vest in me­dia. When the busi­ness­men came in me­dia, they are ob­vi­ously do­ing their busi­ness by us­ing me­dia they are run­ning. Just re­cently, con­tro­ver­sial busi­ness­man Ajaya Su­margi, who is run­ning a FM ra­dio and is now plan­ning to run a tele­vi­sion in the near fu­ture, al­leged Kailash Siro­hiya, owner of the Kan­tipur Me­dia Group (KMG) that the lat­ter was in­volved in black­mail­ing busi­ness to the in­vestors and busi­ness­men. Su­margi al­leged to Siro­hiya that the lat­ter had de­manded 10 mil­lion ru­pees and when the for­mer didn't give the money, from the next day, me­dia be­long­ing to the group started to pub­lish/ dis­patch fake news against Su­margi with the aim of black­mail­ing him. Su­margi also al­leged that Siro­hiya asks "se­cu­rity" share with any new in­vestors and if any­one deny giv­ing such share at free of cost, from the next day the me­dia be­long­ing to the group will start writ­ing against the in­vestors. To re­call the past, the then King Gya­nen­dra headed gov­ern­ment had dared to bring me­dia within the law but the very Supreme Court judges that time, to give rev­o­lu­tion­ary and demo­cratic im­age, had blessed KMG to run its me­dia em­pire par­al­lel to the gov­ern­ment. To­day, the very chief jus­tice of the Supreme Court has be­come tar­get of the very me­dia house. Both the or­gans are not above the law of the na­tion, they should un­der­stand. Fur­ther­more, a charge against a me­dia house on con­tempt of court can never be the at­tempt to cur­tail press free­dom. In­ter­fer­ence of the for­eign or­ga­ni­za­tions against the Court’s de­ci­sion is se­ri­ous and ob­jec­tion­able. Also, the warn­ing of a med­i­cal prac­ti­tioner to launch fast onto death if the SC CJ will not re­sign is an­other form of anar­chism.

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