I heard this a couple of months ago. An Indian businessman wanted to start a newspaper in Nepal and he was on the look out for a Nepali who would help him in this endeavour. He did not find anyone and I was quite happy. I was happy because I believed that although the Nepalis are poor, they have a lot of self-respect and are nationalists to the core. A few weeks later, I heard that finally some Nepali was willing to help the businessman. I felt disheartened. Some Nepali was willing to help this Indian, willing to become his stooge. The Nepali is willing to start this English paper. This paper is going to be published in Nepal, but its heart is not going to be on this side of the border.
In India there is an organisation related to this field. It is called the Asia Pacific Media Association, APCA for short. APCA is now going to set itself up in Nepal and start an English daily called Himalayan Times, with Ram Pradhan as editor. There can be two motives for starting this paper in Nepal. One is the profit aspect, the other could be a desire to destroy the very basis of this country and its nationalism.
The media is a field that helps spread information, knowledge and will inform the people. It can help build the power of the people, but it can also destroy it. Media is directly related to the administration, the rule of law and the political situation of the country. It can shape the thinking of people, it can introduce nations and cultures to the outside world. But it is not a sector where there is a lot of profit to be earned. Realising the importance and seriousness of this sector, most countries in the world do not allow foreign investment in it. India has one of the most stringent policies concerning this. And a person from this very country, India, is now all set to start a paper in Nepal. ?