Thou Shall Not Castigate Supremo Party

Pushpa Kamal Dahal

Slur Against Media

The outrageous slur against the media and other political parties by Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal during a public gathering at Tundikhel has exposed his personal mentality and that of his party. In an attempt to outshine his own colleagues by drawing more applause from his own henchmen, Dahal forgot to conceal his true self. He did not hesitate a bit to show his hatred for the free media and democratic politics. He descended to the level of warning the press not to write anything against his party—an open and ugly display of totalitarian mentality. Interestingly, the very next day they tried to mend fences because they did not wish to unmask their undemocratic face in front of the international community as yet. Baburam Bhattarai did clarify his leader’s gibe by saying that he did not mean to be rude to the media. But it was not said with conviction, so it failed to convince the media. Maybe Bhattarai would not mind letting his nemesis get some bad repute. Dahal himself has not yet mustered enough courage to admit the mistake.

Hisila Yami

Obviously, the Maoists will try to downplay their slur at the center, but the message from the former rebel chief will have a far-reaching impact all over the country. Local level cadres take their cue from what their leader speaks at the center. It is likely that they will now unleash a reign of terror against media people all over the country. However, it seems the Maoists already have a central policy to attack the opposition press. Even before Dahal spoke against the media, his cadres had been attacking journalists in Kailali district. Journalists Lucky Chaudhary, Hemanta Paudal have been displaced after facing murder attempts. They had written about a local temple and pond, which a local Maoist leader did not like. The situation has worsened to such an extent that over a dozen editors from the district have announced closure of their newspapers owing to threats and insecurity.

Maoist Press Freedom

After Dahal issued an open threat from Tundikhel, fear has swept the minds of journalists around the country. If anything bad should happen to a single member of the press, comrade Dahal will be held responsible. During dire times such as now, we can do nothing but urge international rights organizations, press freedom organizations and all forces supportive of the freedom of expression and democracy to immediately pay heed to the worsening situation of media persons in Nepal. The diplomatic community in Nepal that has been strongly advocating support of the Maoists must tell them to stop intimidating the press. If the Nepali press fails to get national and international support, we believe our media will be gagged. We feel sorry to realize that in threatening the media, Dahal has followed the line of the infamous Tulsi Giri—chairman of the erstwhile king’s cabinet.

Editorial, The Kathmandu Post
June 1, 2008.

More:

Prachanda Warns Kantipur

Another dictator in making?

Hyperopic Maoists & myopic pundits

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6 Responses to Thou Shall Not Castigate Supremo Party

  1. pranjal says:

    khai dai I really feel confused these days. Ko sahi ko galat? kasko sunne kasko nasunne? Its an obvious fact that the political parties are dishonest most of the time but is a shame that even the media here seem to be politically polarized. It feels sad to say that the media of Nepal doesnt even have a hint of neutrality left in them. When I read Kantipur, all I get to read is Maoist bashing and When I read other local ‘dainiks’ such as janadisha and other ‘janawaadi’ press papers, there is nothing but ‘congress ra UML yathastitiwaadi’, ‘congress ra UML pratigaami’ and stuffs like that. Gorkha patra ta chameleon nai vaihalyo – government sangai rang badaline. So there’s the dilemma, koslai patyaune?

    what Prachanda was downright disgraceful and such remarks from a party leader of a major political force certainly needs to be condemned. However, my point here is the Nepali press is no saint either. free, it is but fair? not by a long shot. By press, I am aiming at the Nepalese press as a whole, not just a single corporation.

    We Nepalese desperately need a press which is free, fair and politically,socially and economically responsible.

  2. pranjal says:

    what prachanda SAID hunuparne…said chutecha

  3. ShutUp says:

    Yes Kantipur is not a saint, either. Every media is biased in one way or the other – either they are direct mouthpiece of political parties or they are looking after the interests of the investors.

    I guess, the recent backlash and resentment over Kantipur is because of the excessive coverage of “Ramhari Murder” case. Maoists had a momentum going on by winning the greater numbers of seats in the CA election. And suddenly Ramhari’s case popped into the public like a throne in the eye and Kantipur grabbed the opportunity. The “jana lahar” of Maoists suffered a huge setback and their credibility was in question – big time. It was like the triumph card for other parties to capitalize on, push the Maoists into a corner and kick them at the balls.

    Credit goes to the Kantipur. Why wouldn’t be Maoists pissed at Kantipur!

    Free/Impartial media or not – after Pushpa Kamal Dahal’s speech – every “free” Nepali better be alert from now on. Anyone could be another “Lucky Chaudhari” or “Ramhari Shrestha”

  4. pranjal says:

    “what? the land of the free? whoever told you that is you enemy!” Ah…RATM rules!

  5. nepcker says:

    Prachanda did this for a reason.

    The PLA men were free to do anything they want during the “People’s War” time. But now they are not as free as they used to be. To make them happy, Prachanda said this.

  6. nepcker says:

    About Kantipur being biased:

    How can they not be? The Maoists had shutted down Kantipur for some days. They also stopped The Himalayan Times, Nepal Samacharpatra, etc.

    Obviously there will be some bias against the Maoists in the media.

    But the bias isn’t extreme. Just few days ago, Kantipur was publishing about the Maoist school in Rolpa, which is 60% theory and 40% practical (versus the current 100% theory).

    There is positive coverage too, but the negative coverage is given more priority.

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