Nepali Times
From The Nepali Press
Bam Dev refuses to accept Hrithik denial

Bam Dev Gautam: I think the reaction in Nepal and Kathmandu is natural and correct. Whatever is happening now is the feelings against Hrithik Roshan's wrong, damaging and insulting comments which has now taken the shape of a nationalist wave. The government tried to impede the expression of the nationalistic feelings of the people by firing at the protestors, and that has left four innocent people dead.

BBC: You say these reaction was natural and appropriate but do you have any proof that he had actually made the comments?

BDG: No, I don't need to give proof about whether he said it or not. The Nepali people have already done that. If I were to say anything I would say he should not have made such things.

BBC: It's different to say he should not have said it but when students close to your party and others are protesting, all we are asking is whether you have any proof at all?

BDG: How can you take Hrithik Roshan's side when you are staying in London? His remarks were heard on television channels, it was in the papers. Just because Hrithik Roshan has denied ever making such comments today and so on, can we say that is true? Can you give proof of that? Therefore whatever you have heard is wrong. The insulting things done against Nepal and Nepalis by some Indian artistes are very saddening, shameful and worth protesting. Does it suit you, a Nepali living in London, to ask for proof of whether he said it or not? Let's not talk about that. He definitely said it. For proof you have the TV channel.

BBC: When we contacted the television channel it was not confirmed, and Hrithik Roshan has issued a statement denying he ever said that and has said he loves Nepal and Nepalis.

BDG: That is what he is saying now. How can you reach any conclusion on what he has said now?

BBC: I am not making a judgment. I don't even have that authority I'm only trying to question you by staying in the middle.

BDG: You should first find the facts and say that he has not said it at all. He said it but now denies doing that. The channel that broadcast it may have tried to erase it but there must be some proof of what has already become public. It was on the basis of that proof that the sentiments of the Nepalis were hurt.

BBC: If he had said it many people may consider the reaction as natural but is it right to stage protests which has caused so much damage and even loss of human life without having solid evidence? Don't you need solid proof to base your protests on?

BDG: He has definitely said it. He has definitely insulted Nepalis and Nepal. The Nepali people poured their sentiments against that insult and that should have been allowed. But the government-which is used to wagging its tail in front of Indian rulers-this time too crushed the protests, shot them...

(BBC tries to interrupt)

BDG: What do you want? Only things you want (to hear). Take what the Nepali state now needs. Today the Nepal government, the Nepali Congress government has shot and killed four innocent, unarmed people for what? For saying that the Indian actor should not have made those insulting comments against Nepal.

BBC: Many may agree with that aspect but on something which you passionately feel about, when so many journalists have not found solid proof, how did you find it?

BDG: We found it in the Star Channel and on that basis newspapers published the reports.


Ishwor Pokhrel: The public have reacted to what Indian cine artist Hrithik Roshan's said. I am not aware of any political party giving much importance to the issue to make it the main reason for protest. What our party feels is that the remarks, which we've been told of, are not appropriate and can affect the relationship between our two countries. But the government's action to crush the protests, where shots fired even killed people in their homes is a very irresponsible and condemnable act. What we are saying is that the Home Minister should resign immediately to take responsibility for these acts.

BBC: We'll talk about resignation later. You say Hrithik Roshan's statements were irresponsible, do you have any basis to say that he actually said it?

IP: From what we have might ask whether I heard it myself or whether I watched the interview but we've heard about the people that heard it, official institutions. Even the government has officially denounced his statement saying that until he apologises for the irresponsible statements his films will not be screened in Nepali cinemas. That also proves that his statements are true, it does not matter if I heard or watched it or not.

BBC: Hrithik Roshan has issued a statement saying he's never said that and he loves Nepal and Nepalis. And that his competitors may be doing that to damage his image.

IP: If he has said that then we need to take it into account, it could be true. But I have not read his statement or heard about it, but I have heard about his denial in the media.

BBC: Do you think it was right to stage nationwide protests without confirming if the statements were made or not?

IP: I should contradict you here and say that there were no nationwide protests to counter what he said. Some students had expressed their resentment against the statements, protested it through statements, some people, unorganised as they were, went to cinema halls to ask them to stop screening his movies, that is what we have come to know. We are also surprised by the way the situation has been provoked, the type of people involved in the protests, the way they are attacking other people, the way the protests have taken a communal angle, launch an attack against the democratic system itself, this is really suspect and we are observing it seriously.

BBC: What will your future reactions be? Are you in favour of the Home Minister resigning?

IP: At the moment we are not thinking of the long term. Our focus now is that killings has taken place, the home minister should take moral responsibility for it and resign, one thing, secondly action should be taken against those that were responsible and the injured should be treated and families of the dead have to be provided compensation. And a powerful, high-level commission needs to be formed to investigate the
whole issue.

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)