Monday, September 28, 2015

India's 'Undeclared' Economic Blockade and Media's Role

Rabin Man Shakya
Former Associate Editor, The Rising Nepal

At a time when India is trying to increase its clout by imposing 'undeclared' economic blockade on Nepal, this tiny Himalayan nation has started to give fitting replies to India. With the economy crumbling and with the shortages of essential commodities and fuel, anger and discontent of the Nepalese people at the Indian government is mounting. Anti-India protests and demonstrations are taking place in major cities of Nepal.

Meanwhile, effective from Monday, all the Hindi channels have been shut down by the Nepal Cable Operators Association amid the growing public discontent about Indian economic blockade.

Likewise, yesterday, security forces of Nepal did not allow entry to more than two dozens Indian journalists trying to enter Nepal through Jogbani, India for covering anti-India protests in Nepal. Correspondents of Zee TV, Aaj Tak, India TV, NDTV, ETV Bihar and the Hindustan Times newspaper were among those who were denied entry to Nepal.

Given the history of biased and one-sided pro-Indian coverage of the Hindi channels on Nepal's issues, the decision of the Nepalese authorities not to allow Indian  reporters was probably the best we could have hoped for, at least, at this moment.

If India keeps demonstrating its stubbornness and creating chaos and hindrances in Nepal, its 'international and democratic' image will certainly be diminished for violating the 'internationally accepted rights' of a land-locked country like Nepal. The need of the hour is: All the political parties should be united at this critical juncture and all the Nepalese people are ready to sacrifice anything for this cause.

Ever since the political crisis erupted in Nepal during pre- and post-constitutional period, the Indian government has become increasingly paranoid about what it views as its special  interest and influence in Nepal.

The historical obstacle is that Nepal is an India-locked country and historically Nepal has been dependent on India in political and economic matters.

We, the Nepalese  living in the USA are against the irresponsible acts of the  Modi  administration. Nepal and the Nepalese people already have suffered a lot and they can not afford to stay hostage to the Indian idiosyncrasies. The international community should come forward to pressurize India to lift the economic blockade.

No doubt, Nepal is facing one of the worst crisis in its history, and the situation may further deteriorate if any early solution is not sought.

In such a situation of economic and political turmoil, the role of media is particularly important in explaining and disseminating the actual and true facts about Indian intentions. There is no easy solution to this blockade.

But one of the solutions that the Nepalese media can offer for reducing over-dependence on India is by publishing and broadcasting more stories about self-dependence, not just hyping about the scarcity and hardships.

No comments:

Post a Comment