Nepali Times Asian Paints
From The Nepali Press
Crude words



I am writing to you, Mr Pushpa Kamal Dahal, since you specifically threatened Kantipur at your public meeting in Tundikhel the other day. You were quoted as saying: "I have told the editor of Kantipur that if he keeps on criticising us he will have to face the consequences because the people have now made us victorious."

Do you mean to say, Mr Dahal, that the media should only criticise the "losers" in elections and you should be above censure? Or that whoever makes the government will have immunity from criticism. Such journalism exists only in people's republics. In democracies, the media is a watchdog especially vis-à-vis the state and the government.

In previous elections, the NC and UML have won with much larger numbers of popular votes than the Maoists have this time. The NC, in fact, won a majority twice. But they never said, we have won so stop criticising us. And neither did we stop exposing their wrongs. What kind political culture are you trying to construct, Mr Dahal?

Kantipur had a headline after the elections: 'Maoist wave'. It wrote that the Maoists should be allowed to form a government. That wasn't written to flatter you, yet your were happy with the paper that day. We were interpreting the political reality. During the king's rule we printed your interview. We didn't print it because you had forced us to print it, and we didn't desist from printing it out of fear of the king. We fought against the king and the army despite threats.

Am I allowed to express my opinions or not? Am I allowed to speak or not? Why should a journalist be publicly threatened for his coverage by the Maoists? At Tundikhel you asked us not to question your commitment to 'democratic competition' and then in complete contradiction you threatened to impose a 'people's republic' if things didn't go the way you wanted.

Tulsi Giri used to say it was possible for Nepal to have an alternative to democracy, and he used to publicly berate the free media and Kantipur by name. What is the difference between Tulsi Giri Path and Prachanda Path.



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


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