By D. M Thapa
The media and the political parties in power started it all.
There has been much hullabaloo about the local election that will take place within a few days. But what will the country and countrymen get out of it is still unknown. The political leaders give vague answers only and like in the first constituent assembly election, they say,- Everything will be fine after the election. How many time are we to believe this?
Yes, there are some candidates who wish to do well for their community, but they are in a minority and they also belong to some party or the other and party interests and their own interests come first, so community development is still in the second category.
What this writer feels is why are our so called free and vibrant media silent about how the parties could not hold elections. They only talk about the fact that it has almost become twenty years before locals election have been scheduled. What were the parties doing during the twenty years and why don’t the free media put some blame on the political parties and their leaders?
Yes, as the political parties have various organizations, they are in a better position to start the frenzy, and unfortunately, all media outlets seem to side with one party or the other. The Nepali Congress, CPN (UML) and the Maoists have the biggest network in the media and individuals have been rewarded for writing in the party line.
I met one prominent Maoist leader who had come to my house, who told me why don’t I run around to become an ambassador? He gave me the example of a junior fellow who was appointed as Nepal’s top diplomat to a Western country for example. Naturally this fellow was also aligned to one political party, but I can say confidently he knows nothing about diplomacy. I told the influential political leader, I don’t run around for any post as it disturbs my conscience. Instead I suggested to him to tell his bigger bosses, find efficient men not party cadres for any post anywhere.
The majority of the media, both in print and broadcast have been totally biased as far as political developments take place. It is sure this has been not only by partisan motives, but also by foreign influence and money. I remember two so called prominent journalists, who were utterly useless and they did as the political parties told them to do and of course with some foreign guidance to. These guys are nowhere in sight now and they give no apologies for the harm they did to the nation, though they remorse what they did.
No matter what those being guided by foreigners say, the media here is not free. The majority of the media have been mostly guided by partisan interests. And why not, when lucrative posts in government organizations are given to them like elders give lollipops to children. But compared to what the party givesthe foreigners give more! I myself have met foreigners, who had come with millions of dollars to influence the media.Just going abroad, no matter where, means a lot for the majority of our media people, who normally come from remote villages, on top of that getting money means even more.
The political parties and the majority of the media go hand in hand. Even now when these so called mainstream media are drumming up the fact that people all over the country are very enthusiastic about being able to elect in the local elections after a gap of 20 years, no one dares to say whose fault was it that election could not be held for so long.
At least the former King had held elections in Kathmandu and other places even though the political parties had boycotted that election. This also is never mentioned by our free media. They seem to be busy in only holding talk programmes, conferences and other money milking events.
Our politicians also seem to have no sense of how to develop the nation, provide relief to the impoverished people and how to deal with foreign countries, including our two neighbours China and India. They depend on foreigners and the media for their existence. Going by the way they change their minds day by day it looks like politics has become child play for them. They are only inviting trouble.
Therefore, no matter how much the media blow their trumpets in favour bof the political parties, it is certain nothing will change in Nepal, instead, there could be more disaster.