Nepali Times Asian Paints
From The Nepali Press
Media bashing



On 30 June in Aba Ke Huncha program on Nepal Television, I asked the Maoist leader Netra Bikram Chand: "There's a sense that the Maoists are pushing for a president who will do what they say like a cow herder, would you like to comment?" The word 'cow herder' angered the Maoist NTV chairman, Rishi Raj Baral. The following week I explained on air why I used the term 'cow herder', which angered him even more and I was told my program was being pulled off air from mid July.

The program faced difficulty right from the beginning, but after the Maoists took over the Communication Ministry, I had to face the kind of censorship media houses faced during Gyanendra's direct rule. The Maoists say they will support press freedom, but they can't stand criticism. The control over my program was so extreme that I had no say over the subject of discussion, nor the people to interview.

There was a time when UML leader Madhab Kumar Nepal was ready to come to the studio but I was asked to not invite him. I had to call Nepal and apologise. Baral threatened to call the technicians to pull the program off air if I went ahead with the Nepal interview. Instead he asked me to call Maoist leaders Pushpa Kamal Dahal, Mohan Baidya and Baburam Bhattarai to the program. But even within the Maoist ranks I was told not to invite Hishila Yami, Matrika Yadav and Barsha Man Pun.



LATEST ISSUE
638
(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)


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