Nepali Times Asian Paints
From The Nepali Press
Safety valve



This incident dates back to the time when presser cookers were confined to our kitchens, unlike their multipurpose role in Nepal's conflict-ridden present. The old pressure cooker in my kitchen had broken and was sent to be repaired. The mechanic thought the safety valve was causing the pressure leakage and so he plugged it. Shortly after, the repaired cooker was placed on the stove and it burst, sending the whistle-weight into the ceiling wood. Luckily, no one was hurt.

Our country is in a similar situation today. It can also be a symbolic warning to our rulers. People have grievances everywhere and they naturally want to air them. And it is impossible for the government to know what each and every one of these grievances are unless the people are allowed to freely express them. Had there been an elected parliament, the people would have a forum to air their views. Without parliament, the only avenue is the media. In its absence, the people will be forced to resort to agitation which are not always peaceful. That is why, under no circumstances should any ruler try to muzzle the media. That is how a civilised society operates. But the present government appears to be intent on making the media its puppet.

The recent incident at Kantipur FM is yet another example of bullying. The government could well have followed a legal course if it intended to take action against the station. Instead, it chose to rob its equipment and vandalise the premises. Why is the government acting shamelessly? The entire media world, other professional groups and intellectuals are now gearing up for a movement. If the media, which is the safety valve of country, is plugged through this ordinance, the pressure cooker will go off just as mine did.


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


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