Nepali Times
CK LAL
Fourth Estate
Junket journalism


CK LAL


RAJESH GURUNG

Bias is built into the very concept of news. No report of an event, or the background and circumstances of its occurrence, can ever be fully free of the attitudes and beliefs of the person doing the reporting. In fact, propaganda is such an essential element of the media that most of us in the profession find it unnecessary to explain that our values get reflected in whatever we do.

The degree of predisposition may vary, but few journalists can honestly claim that they are completely objective. Even in straight reporting of facts, the slant of a reporter or news editor is reflected in the phrasing of headlines, the angle of photographs, the wording of captions or placement on the page.

Political wrangling is page one because most journalists in Nepal consider it to be urgent enough to bring it to national attention. Events of economic and cultural significance go to the tail end of a news broadcast or to the inner pages of the papers, even though they may be more urgent or important.

Ravindra Mishra is a professional journalist for the BBC Nepali Service but a media activist of some repute who unabashedly promotes causes close to his heart. But once in a while, he doesn't hesitate to censure even widely celebrated authors, like the author of the Nepali bestseller Soch, Karna Shakya. However, when that controversy appeared to be careening out of control, he publicly apologised.

Recently, Mishra has taken up the cause of Samata Shiksha Niketan and its promoter Uttam Sanjel. In a country where philanthropy is rare, Sanjel's efforts to provide affordable education to the poor are indeed admirable. Upendra Mahato, a Nepali billionaire who made his fortune in the independent republics of the former Soviet Union, believes Sanjel's experiments in affordable private education need a bigger laboratory. He has thus decided to sponsor the construction of a string of these schools all over the country.

When Mahato travelled to lay foundation stones for Sanjel's schools, a herd of reporters from Kathmandu followed him wherever he went. Glowing accounts of his philanthropy then appeared in the press. Almost identical photographs of Mahato doing puja in a pit as his family looked on adoringly were published in the dailies. The media willingly became a propaganda tool for what it had decided was a worthwhile cause

Seemingly dispassionate, neutral and objective reporting is the most effective publicity vehicle. Perhaps that could be the reason politicians use suggestive tip-offs to get desired coverage. Businesses exploit inauguration or anniversary ceremonies for business purposes. Social entrepreneurs rely on friendly journalists to push their reformist agenda.
All these techniques are variations of 'embedded journalism': seemingly objective dispatches by reporters receiving hospitality and other facilities from organisers.

Somehow, the media reports about the extension of Sanjel's schools in the countryside gave the impression that its financial sponsor was more important than the idea or the person behind it. This may have had unintended
consequences for the credibility of reporters practicing junket journalism. We are all propagandists, but we need to be mindful of the principles and personalities we promote.



1. pwlda
yea, yea .. lal's jealousy is wee too apparent.


2. hange
Excellent- nothing is more honest that self-criticism.  Nice work Mr. Lal.

3. jange
"We are all propagandists, but we need to be mindful of the principles and personalities we promote."  And having promoted the Maoists we know about this quite a lot.


4. half_zero

But the other side of the coin is that by brandishing big shot such as Upendra Mahato in the front page the media can egg on the others like Updendra. After all, we most nepali are all fond of "Janket Fame".



5. Thurpunsich
Once in a while, I do agree with Mr. Lal. This is one such occasion.

Mr. Mishra's recent open deification and glorification of one born-with-a-silver-spoon-in-mouth and privileged-by-birth-and-association Mr. Siddhartha Rana of Soaltee Hotel and Sipradi Trading, just because he donated money to charity, was cloying.

However, this tendency for excessive and distasteful public fawning of the rich (Rana) and the nouveau riche (Mahato) is not limited to journalist; it transcends the professional boundaries. I've seen plenty in the NRN community, the people with self-assured importance, fawning over Mr. Mahato over the last 5-6 years, whether it is in Washington or New York or Toronto or Moscow or Berlin or our own Kathmandu.

The messenger is no longer the medium; it has become the cause. 


6. Journalist
With all due respect Mr. Lal, you are not a journalist. Please don't say 'we' and talk about journalists because you are not one of us. You are an op-ed writer. 

Having cleared that, it may have been worthwhile to define what you mean by objective. I concede that unless you are a robot, you have a bias by the very fact that you are a human. The reason you become interested in a story is because of a bias - the fact that you find it interesting. What is important to clear is whether you give all sides equal hearing, which is to be impartial. 

I agree Rabindra Mishra (he spells his name with a 'b', by the way - maybe you need to check such tiny details in your article) needed to be called out and it is despicable that one of top journalists in the country shamelessly promotes certain causes. What you fail to mention are how almost all of journalist population in the country is affiliated to a certain party by their membership with certain unions. How journalists outside Kathmandu practically work as MCs in political rallies, and fawn over the leaders of their parties. How do they report? Is any bias reflected in their reporting? How can we trust them to write impartially about other political parties and leaders. 

You aimed at a soft target. You haven't even begun to look into the real problems and the problematic actors. 

And I disagree this article is "honest self-criticism" as one of the commentators notes above. This is criticism for real, but you are mistaking yourself as a journalist,which you are not. You don't go out and talk to people, you don't seek out opinions of various people that are talked about in the report. You don't report. You sit in your leather couch and pontificate. You are not a journalist. And please don't say you are.



7. Devendra Pant
It takes lot of soul searching to disagree with Mr. Lal. His stance is insightful and critical. This time he chose to incise the very profession that he has been practising. His frank and outright acceptance that "we (the journalists) are all propagandists" is terrific! As students of history we are aware of different types of propoganda-- propoganda of Goebel in Nazi Germany, party propoganda during the Soviet regime, propoganda by the Vatican and the Radio Free Europe, or current radio talk-show and right-wing propoganda in the US. Nepal has witnessed all types of propoganda from the days of Panchayat to the people's Republic. One wonders whether propoganda has become our modern-day existential reality. If propoganda helps to promote growth, harmony and dignity among people that's fine. Good deeds in society definitely needs to be propagated. That is the dharma of journalism. However, one also needs to be aware of the slippery slopes! Propoganda can make or break any society!

8. Thurpunsich
@ Journalist (#6)

Mr. Lal may not be a journalist in the traditional sense. He may not go out and report. He may not do interviews with people. What he does is write op-ed columns. But who are we to say who and what is a journalist? 

Mr. Lal has been writing op-ed columns for years. This fact alone makes Mr.Lal a journalist in my view. For someone to be a journalist, one doesn't have to go to a journalism graduate school. To imply that only reporters and interviewers are journalists is untenable.

But that's not even the point I'm trying to make. My point is this. OK, let's say for a moment that Mr. Lal may not be a true journalist. But that doesn't mean what he has written in this op-ed piece has no truth or value.

Journalism in Nepal has yet to set a high standard for itself. Not that it cannot. Actually, it must.


9. Nepal Hill, SG

#6 Journalist,

You have shown that you are indeed a Kathmandu-centric Nepali journalist with a sense of insufferable self-importance. That is why your argument is self-serving and silly. You make it sound like there are "real" journalists and there are "nakkali" journalists, and that Lal is a nakkali one. Wake up and smell the Tokla chiya. 

Have you thought in this line? One does not need a journalism degree to be a journalist. One does not have to pass a license exam to be a journalist. The barrier to entry in journalism is so low that only party-politics is likely to rank a little higher.   

Now, try doing that in medicine and law, and you will be exposed as "nakkali". Perhaps journalism is not so much an an exalted profession as you make it out to be in your earnestly complaining tone. 

In today's Internet-driven times, Lal is as much a journalist as an anonymous citizen blogger. In the absence of gate-controls in the profession, who are you to decide and say otherwise?

What increasingly sets the low-end "journalists" apart from high-end "journalists" is not which FNJ chapter they belong to or which watering holes they visit in Kathmandu or Patan but what the quality and the influence of their work is.   

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Journalist

Op-ed writers, BTW, make the most money among journalists (at least in the West). One does not get to be an op-ed writer with a megaphone of one's own in the West if one is not way better than most meat-and-potatoes journalists. Think Tom Friedman of NYT. Think Martin Wolf of FT.

Now that you know all this, Mr. Journalist, repent by reading this document.

http://www.ifj.org/assets/docs/060/151/2bcb53c-c641f97.doc



10. Journalist
Thurpunsich and Nepali Hill, SG:

Where did you see me say anything about anyone needing a journalism degree, undergraduate or post-graduate? In fact, some of the best journalists did not go to journalism schools. 
 
And Nepali Hill, SG: Did you not see me say that affiliations to unions in Nepal is probably the single biggest problem of Nepali journalist? So why harp about which FNJ chapter who belongs to. Geez!

You just like to hate journalists. And both of you have done the same without even reading my comments properly. You saw Lal deprecate himself and his profession and thought he was a hero (at least for this week). You see my complaints, and you automatically start barking. 

Let's be clear. Lal is correct in describing his own work, and he should call it by its name which is op-ed or columnist. The term journalist could be used as a blanket term to all those engaged in this profession, unless you are a purist. 

Now when Lal says journalists propagate propagandas whether they report news or write photos for a caption, he is not talking about himself. He is talking about the reporters. And reporter he is not. 

I am not belittling his profession. Opinion writers are experts. You just don't become a columnist one day the way a blogger can become a blogger. I have a lot of respect for what he does, but I also have lot of disagreements with him. This is one of those instances. 


11. Nirmal
The discussion in Nepali Times is being interesting, hmmmm ke swadilo to visit the site! CK Lal, can we put a suffix or prefix to word journalist? A journalist is a journalist, simply bad or good(may be I am mistaken). But in Nepal's case there are UML NC Maoists etc journalist. Sometime I wonder who the journalist is affiliated with. Interesting article and excellent comments!


12. Chamarey
लौ .. कस्तो अचम्म... राम्रो काम गर्ने को प्रोत्शाहन गर्नु त कता हो कता junket journalism भनेर उल्टै कुर्लिने???  रबिन्द्र मिश्र जसले बेलायत को बसाई छाडेर नेपाल मै केहि गर्छु भनेर आएका छन्, अनि उपेन्द्र जी जो आफ्नो धन को केहि भाग समाज मा लगानी गर्दै छन्, उनैलाई तेस्तो आरोप? के भको हो हामी नेपाली को बुद्दी...?

13. Nirmal

To the critiques of this column

 

Those who think that CK Lal has written this commentary as fruit of  his envy or he has got it in for the present model of media have slightly misunderstood him. He has cleverly touched the matter which is so much debated in journalism. Almost every genius has once in their life spoke of it- ideal concept of propaganda and journalism-. Which arise from common sense and are usually approached from values diametrically opposites. In the case of the first term, the meaning takes on a negativity that it presupposes an amateurish and misleading technique. On the contray, journalism is meant more beyond certain isolated cases, as a practise related to the truth and freedom, whose candidacy is to achieve the objectives of fairness criteria as far as possible from existing power relations. His definition agrees that propaganda is a phenomenon of social control, organised to influence systematic public opinion and behaviour of the masses. In this analysis he has tried to show that indeed there is a relationship between journalism and propaganda and that the links that determine their interdependence are much narrower. So, it necessary to conceive the journalistic phenomenon as a special form of propaganda, propaganda objective, to  get to understand the concept of intentionality.



14. Nepal Hill, SG

C K Lal writes:

"Seemingly dispassionate, neutral and objective reporting is the most effective publicity vehicle."

This is ridiculous.

Consider this sentence: Two plus two is four. This sentence is dispassionate. It is neutral. It is objective.

Now is a report full of such dispassionate, neutral and objective sentences "the most effective publicity vehicle"?

Give me a break.

On the contrary, such a report will be utterly boring to read. It will also not make any money for the publisher.

Contra Lal, journalism should be (a) interesting, provocative and attention-grabbing, and (b) all backed up by verifiable truth.

(a) alone is not good. (b) alone will be boring.

Both a+b has to be there. Else, journalism has no future. If I want objectivity, dispassionate stance and neutrality, I'd rather read a pathologist's report, thank you.


15. Thurpunsich
@ Journalist (#10):

Coming from a journalist like you, the word "barking" says a lot about you. Is this how you engage in a public discourse, by using epithets to characterize the viewpoints of others that do not parallel your own?

The thrust of your comment was that CK Lal is not a journalist.

Now, Mr. or Ms. Journalist, please enlighten me in what sense is Mr. Lal not a journalist?

Is it because you think he writes sitting on a leather sofa? Would he be a journalist in your eye if he moved over to his bed to do the writing at 5 am in the morning? 

It seems you have a preconceived notion of who is a journalist and who is not? It was in this context that I interjected with a conjecture that somebody might have about someone being a journalist or not, based on his/her training. And you, Mr./Ms. Journalist, found this to be the main focus of my comment? I've got to give you credit for imperceptive reading of a small comment.

Even a 7th Grader understands that Mr. Lal was writing about journalists in general, not limiting his criticism to reporters. Reporters are not the only journalists out there. Columnists are journalists, too. 





16. Kale
Dr. Lal says here that Mr. Sanjel's role is more important than Dr. Mahato. Media accepted hospitality of Dr. Mahato. Media glorified Dr. Mahato. Media ignored Mr. Sanjel. Nothing wrong with this. The problem here is Dr. Lal couching his subjectivity in high theory. That makes Dr. Lal an academic. That proves Dr. Lal is not a journalist. Any problem Mr./Ms Thurpunsich?

17. Kiso
In regards to karna sakya thing, Mr lal got backend of the story. Mr Mishra was stressing out the importance of referencing the context in the book. After all writing three books ,Mr sakya has responsibility of  doin a bit of research in referencing. Thats how it started the whole saga. Mr mishra had to back off cos there were overwhelming support for Mr Sakya(Even some of the context in the books were directly copied(coincidence, i guess) from  some motivational books.) All books being good stuff, for fans I guess it did not matter how he wrote.

18. Thurpunsich
@ Kale (#16)

You are seeing nebulous theory in simple observation; as only someone with fanciful flight of imagination could see a most elaborate cobweb deep under the sea.

There is no theory in Mr. Lal's criticism of journalists. High or low.

What he has done is make a simple observation.

There are journalists who cloyingly indulge in public fawning of their favorite "hero" of the day.


19. A K (no, not CK)
Where do I even begin.

C K Lal works in the journalism industry. He is no Thomas Friedman, neither is he anywhere close to Martin Wolf. Opinion columnists in the west, most of those who write for reputed papers, have done decades of reporting and are experts in their field. Well, I can't vouch for Friedman's expertise in climate change and green energy. And until this day, there are opinion columnists who spend a good 3-5 days making calls, meeting people and interviewing honchos to write a 800-word piece.

So, if this argument is about if C K Lal is a journalist, no, he is not. Does he write? Yes. Does he report? No. Who doesn't write these days? Just look at your friendly neighborhood newspapers' commentary section - you will see a college junior who is an economics major touting about ways to increase revenue from exports and an NRN screaming about non-residents' rights.

Nepal Hill, did you just cite wikipedia to define journalist? Come on, sir, you can do better than that. Journalism might be evolving, it has gone digital, but the basics still remain. Agree or disagree, journalism involves a significant amount of reporting - at the very least.

In C K Lal's defense, he raises some very important points: Yes, Nepali journalists who cover stories are semi-morons. Glamor comes before the impact when they think of subjects they want to cover. Lal is right to call out journalists for focusing on the financial sponsor rather than the idea behind it.

But is C K Lal a journalist? No.

My conclusion: Your grandmothers must have pulled your teeth out at one point in life, but she is no dentist.


20. Journalist

Thurpunsich (#15):

Do I have a "preconceived notion" of who a journalist is? Of course, I do. And would I prefer if CK wrote on his bed instead of his leather couch: I think it would be nice if he would wore nice polka dot pyjamas too....

A K (not CK) makes some excellent points. Who is a journalist? Is photo editor a journalist? Is the copy editor a journalist? What about the design guy who choose which font color should go with certain headlines. Certainly he is making some judgement there. Isn't the color red meant to specify danger? So maybe he's editorialising when he used that font for a headline. How about the marketing guys? They occassionally deny ads that are racist, and espouse hate crimes. Maybe they are secretly colluding with the other guys.

The problem with CK's argument is he present the problem of a certain kind of writing and generalises it to say it is the reflection of what journalists do and what they are about. His arguments may correctly identify what he does, but not what "REAL" (according to my preconceived notion) journalists do.



21. Nirmal
Perhaps journalism is not an exact science as 2+2=4. It moves around exactitud. Imagine that it is, then it would be boring! We will have to say, although 2+2 can be three because there are three things or 5 because 2 and 2 added become four and + sign adds one the truth is that 2+2 is finally four.


22. Nepal Hill, SG
To AK (not CK) @ 19

You try to be clever but you fall flat. 
No surprise there.

No reasonable adult human being, let me repeat, no reasonable adult human being ever mistakes his or her merely teeth-pulling grandmother as a dentist. 

Never. 

If you think otherwise, then, you should have your head examined.

I cited wikipedia as a starting point to build up credibility for my view, which is to say that the aggregately-informed public opinion indicates that the definition of journalist appears to include columnists too.

In return, what did you do? 

All you did was sneer. You spouted your own opinions, insinuating, just as Journalist (#10) does, that CK Lal is not a journalist. 

Why? Because (a) apparently he does not go out to report, and (b) apparently he does not talk to enough people, etc like "real" journalists do. This is all silly. Besides, those are your views. Merely presenting your views without offering evidence in support of your views is hardly a way 
to persuade others. Don't they teach logic to you guys?

As for the definition, don't take my word. 
Here's your mother organisation CPJ's take on the definition:

"We don't have a rigid definition of who is a journalist, instead applying a common sense, case-by-case approach. We read the posts, examine the context, and make a determination. We try to be as inclusive as possible, particularly in repressive countries where the mainstream media is closed to critical views." 


If (God forbid) Lal were physically attacked tomorrow for writing things that some people find repulsive, will CPJ spring into action to protect 
Lal? 

The likely answer is yes. 

Why? Not because you card-carrying guys are stuck in your self-serving, hair-splitting-ly outmoded view about who is a journalist and who is not, but inclusive common sense dictates (the kind of stuff that CPJ uses in its judgmentthat Lal is indeed a journalist who deserves protection.

It's only Kathmandu's insufferably self-important hacks who think otherwise, while trying to make their work appear exclusive when the reality is that the Internet has turned everyone into a media producer and a media consumer of various sorts. 


23. Rajan
"Real Journalism" is reporting who said what from Reporters' Club of Rishi Dhamal!

24. Nirmal

I agree with the author that most journalism work become propaganda but it doesn’t mean that the journalist itself is the propagandist. So, it will be quite unfair to label the professional as propagandists. The definition of ‘propaganda’ may vary depending on situation, people, lifestyles, cultures, societies, country, the government etc and these factors may make much difference in news presentation. Objective interpretation of an event that is acceptable for the whole world is impossible because of the diversity of society and people in the world.

 

 

For example, a footage showing an Iraqi protesting against the US occupation in his native country may be terrorism acts from the eyes of the West, and the same may not be true for the Muslim majority. A suicide bomber killing 50 civilians in Afghanistan may be terrorism acts from western perspective, and it would be an act of frustration from the perspective of Afghans. If we pick up a newspaper, one from Afghanistan and Iraq, another from the West, their news contents may be inconsistent with each other. Here, how can you judge who is doing propaganda and who is not?

 

 

Observing an event is fantastic, but presenting it to the public requires lots of skills and knowledge that balance the people and society. Mr CK Lal seems to be lost right here, eventually admitting that journalists are propagandists. And unfortunately, Mr Lal appears to be considering the BBC as mainstream media.

 

Anyone agree with me?



25. Nirmal

I agree with the author that most journalism work become propaganda but it doesn’t mean that the journalist itself is the propagandist. So, it will be quite unfair to label the professional as propagandists. The definition of ‘propaganda’ may vary depending on situation, people, lifestyles, cultures, societies, country, the government etc and these factors may make much difference in news presentation. Objective interpretation of an event that is acceptable for the whole world is impossible because of the diversity of society and people in the world.

 

 

For example, a footage showing an Iraqi protesting against the US occupation in his native country may be terrorism acts from the eyes of the West, and the same may not be true for the Muslim majority. A suicide bomber killing 50 civilians in Afghanistan may be terrorism acts from western perspective, and it would be an act of frustration from the perspective of Afghans. If we pick up a newspaper, one from Afghanistan and Iraq, another from the West, their news contents may be inconsistent with each other. Here, how can you judge who is doing propaganda and who is not?

 

 

Observing an event is fantastic, but presenting it to the public requires lots of skills and knowledge that balance the people and society. Mr CK Lal seems to be lost right here, eventually admitting that journalists are propagandists. And unfortunately, Mr Lal appears to be considering the BBC as mainstream media.

 

Anyone agree with me?



26. A K (no not CK)
@ Nepal Hill, SG

I wasn't hoping to directly engage in an argument with you, but if you want to go back an forth with your baseless citings of western media organizations, you all the power.

Your views of mainstream journalists smells equally dipped in personal anger, so save your wise words for someone else. I'm glad I don't have to deal with ideologues like everyday. I appreciate your effort though.

To rest of the folks here, all I'm saying is:

Journalism involves reporting. C K Lal doesn't report. Infer whatever you want from it.



27. Thurpunsich
To those who say that for someone to be a journalist, one has to go out and do the reporting, I have this question:

Is copy-editor not a journalist? Is editor not a journalist?

If a copy-editor or an editor never goes out to do the reporting, is he, then, what, a bank khajanchi? 

;)


28. Nepal Hill, Singapore

@# 26 AK (no, not CK),

After engaging with my and others comments earlier in this publicly available comments section, you now turn around and innocently say, "I wasn't hoping to directly engage in an argument with you."

If so, what were you doing earlier?

You refer to my "baseless citing of western media organizations."

My argument:

If (Western) organizations such as CPJ (which rushes to Nepali journalists' defense when they are in danger) are on record (see the link above) for using their collective common sense to expand their definition of a journalist to be as reasonably inclusive as possible, your trying to be more Catholic than Pope on this matter smacks of high-handed arrogance.

Get off your high horse about this picayune difference between "who only writes (i.e. CK Lal) – and who both reports and writes (i,.e. presumably all the fraternity-certified "sakkali" Nepali journalists)".

This difference may be a big deal to some Nepali journalists, who have their own card-carrying criteria as to who can be counted for their club membership. But the rest of the world and the public at large doesn't give a hoot. They are ALL journalists.

If saying that makes my views "dipped in personal anger", so be it.



29. Ajay
Thank you Lal for your brilliant expose of these shosak hypocrites.
Mahato, Mishra and likes - hands off working poor Nepalis. We don't need your filthy crumbs.       


30. UP
Indeed a good article where journalists should take into ethical consideration in their reporting. As everyone have witnessed when there is a billionaire in the town and his philanthropic activities is no doubt a news value. I think Mr Lal is trying to dig deeper regarding journalist valuing the philanthropist activities. There are other factors that needs to be considered, as Upendra Mahato has investment in Nepal's media houses, so it is natural to have the reporters of the concerned publications and TV stations. 

Regarding Mr. Lals bias and objective reporting, yes I agree it depends upon how a journalists report. But, I disagree with the fact which Mr. Lal calls as objectivity in journalism. It is what journalists wants to achieve but always discuss and wonders what objectivity deals with. That is why lots of academic researches have been conducted regarding objectivity in journalism but in practice, it is not there. So, objectivity should be viewed in a given context. Having disagreement, I agree that the article does bring out the important point on ethical aspect of journalism. It is not by the given rules but  thorough thought process every journalist should look into the mirror how they tend to meet objectivity in their reporting. Do you even observe yourself  Mr. Lal. being a columnist and  a journalist how far are your concerns in the columns are objective?


31. Not a journalist
Interesting banter above, but I think the argument about whether so-and-so is or isn't a journo is not only very off-putting it's totally off the mark. Who gives a rat's ass whether CK Lal is a journo or not?

The real issue at hand is: Is he any good with the points he makes in the article? He has already divulged the BIG secret that journalists cannot be impartial; they are biased just by virtue of being human with a working brain. Oh, you've gone and done it, Mr Lal. How can we readers ever trust any of you reporters/op-ed writers again? You may have broken the age-old sacred thread of trust that binds the reader to the journalist. Congrats.

But I still appreciate your candour and self-deprecation. Humility is such an honourable feature. However, I think you dig your coffin deeper by very specifically picking out Rabindra Mishra and using his example to make your point about journalistic integrity. By the same meter, your piece itself reeks of propaganda. Well, to your credit, you already admit to it. A query pops to the fore: who paid you to write so?

If an Indian actor arrives in Nepal, he/she is followed by hordes of journos of every hue. For the sake of argument, let's say he/she decides to romp around the country on a personal mission (opening up acting schools for the poor) and donates a respectable sum of money to make this happen. If this were so, it would be the mother of all junkets and every journo's pen/pad and keyboard would be smoking! Every day readers/audiences would be bombarded on paper, radio, TV, online, with reports/op-eds about the Indian actor's philanthropy. Many would exalt his/her generosity. It might even pave the path to repairing India-Nepal relations. Mr Lal himself may write an op-ed asking why Nepali actors don't do the same, why aren't they inclined to such acts of philanthropy.

This might prompt another writer to pick out Mr Lal and write an article such as the one he wrote, accusing him of unabashedly being part of the propaganda machine. (Of course, he's already admitted to this.) If this happens, would we be having the level of discussion as above?

In instances like this, when stalwarts choose to do some sparring, personal and professional track records and reputations come into play. Mr Lal and Mr Mishra both seem to have an impressive fan following. Unfortunately, it's sad to realise that even public opinion (those of all the commentators here) is biased. God spare us all!


32. kris
Just read it. Mr Lal seems Jealous. I think he is a big fan of GP Koirala and his type of politic in Nepal so, he may not like Mishra's journalism. Mr Lal want to see GP Koirala's photos instead of mr Sanjel and Mahato.


33. Time
What to say and how to start! I think such issues should be raised and talked like what above we did. CK lal has one glass to analyze it and Mirsha has one. They both must have few reasons behind writing this article. Not only the case of few philathropists. I think sometimes when I read Nepali newspaper they are full of propoganda. But changes come through such dialogue. Keep on!

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


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