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Anarchism in “new” Nepal

By PR Pradhan

In a democracy all the organs in the society should be abided by the law of the nation. Perhaps, there is difference between democracy and loktantra, and thus, all the organs are trying to demonstrate themselves above the law. Currently, one media house is trying to defame the Supreme Court chief justice with the aim of terminating him from his position. The media house, emerged as a supper power, has used all the media belonging to its group to defame the SC chief justice. Furthermore, the group, by using its media influence, has mobilized different local as well as foreign elements against the action of the chief justice or say, the SC action to call the media house executives to the Court on the charge of contempt of court.
The intention of this scribe is not to defend SC chief justice and he doesn’t want to give clean chit to the chief justice. Allegations against the SC chief justice are the subject of investigation but a particular media house should not misuse its media influence just against a minor charge against the media house.
Nepal has adopted loktantra having western characteristics but particularly talking about media, in the western countries, one media house cannot run print media, radio, television together. This has been possible only in Nepal. In our neighbouring country India, none of the FM radios can air news but we can see it only in Nepal. The fact is that none of the FM radio operators have acquired permission from the government to broadcast news.
After 1990 political change, media sector got unlimited freedom, which opened doors for the big investors – from smugglers to manpower businessmen, carpet manufacturers all came to invest in media. When the businessmen came in media, they are obviously doing their business by using media they are running.
Just recently, controversial businessman Ajaya Sumargi, who is running a FM radio and is now planning to run a television in the near future, alleged Kailash Sirohiya, owner of the Kantipur Media Group (KMG) that the latter was involved in blackmailing business to the investors and businessmen. Sumargi alleged to Sirohiya that the latter had demanded 10 million rupees and when the former didn’t give the money, from the next day, media belonging to the group started to publish/dispatch fake news against Sumargi with the aim of blackmailing him.
Sumargi also alleged that Sirohiya asks “security” share with any new investors and if anyone deny giving such share at free of cost, from the next day the media belonging to the group will start writing against the investors.
To recall the past, the then King Gyanendra headed government had dared to bring media within the law but the very Supreme Court judges that time, to give revolutionary and democratic image, had blessed KMG to run its media empire parallel to the government. Today, the very chief justice of the Supreme Court has become target of the very media house.
Both the organs are not above the law of the nation, they should understand. Furthermore, a charge against a media house on contempt of court can never be the attempt to curtail press freedom. Interference of the foreign organizations against the Court’s decision is serious and objectionable. Also, the warning of a medical practitioner to launch fast onto death if the SC CJ will not resign is another form of anarchism.

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