Ram Khatry I 12 July 2020
A large section of the Indian media is misogynist and thrives in distortion. If they are given their way, they will make “soft pornography” out of Bhagavat Gita.
Nepalese people, specially those that are blinded by hypernationalism, always hated Indian media. This is a result of their partial exposure to Indian media. They do not get to engage much with world class Indian journalists like Barkha Dutt, Rajat Sharma, Shekhar Gupta or Prannoy Roy – to name a few. All they get to know are the desperate television presenters with no moral compass whose only mission is not to disseminate information and present views but to “sell”.
Nepalese audience end up interacting only with these spinners of non-facts; they are alienated from the professionalism of high calibre Indian journalists. Nepal’s very own Yubaraj Ghimire is a product of Indian media and his status as a gentleman mediaperson in Nepal and beyond is unparalleled. A former senior editorial staff of The Indian Express, Mr Ghimire represents the logical and unbiased professionals within India’s media industry that he was once part of.
So, the “anti-Indian sentiment” borne out of Indian media’s reportage on Nepal is the result of Nepalese people’s interaction with a section of the Indian media that Indians themselves cannot stand.
Therefore, protesting against Indian media is no ant-Indianism; else hundreds of millions of Indians would be anti-Indian themselves.
Nepalese are only guilty of generalising the unprofessionalism of handful of foul-mouthed presenters. They must understand that these presenters of a handful private Indian television channels that make fun of their leaders, present lopsided news about their country, patronise their country or have the callousness to put “How do you feel?” to a mother who has just lost her son to a 7.8 magnitude earthquake are only “a section of the Indian media” not “the whole of Indian media”.
Nepalese audience hates Indian media so passionately that they are in fact the legitimate guardians of the now famous social media hashtag GoHomeIndianMedia, thanks to some Indian journalists’ insensitive reporting post 2015 Nepal earthquake. Both India and China were massively involved in helping the country at the time, winning hearts of the distressed victims of the mega earthquake. However, the initial warmth and gratefulness were soon replaced by a strong resentment due to some media channels’ style of reporting. Their “style” could have been perceived all right in India but Nepalese people were seriously offended by it. They were not used to being patronised by few mic-wielders from another country. The country has since healed but their digital legacy of hate rages on in social media even today with the hashtag being used by people in other countries.
Nepalese people who are not adept at following what is trending on social media elsewhere may not be aware that Indians hate Indian media even more than they do themselves. Indians pour their abhorrence all over the Internet.
China’s influence in Kathmandu should be viewed & analysed keeping aside how “pretty” Beijing’s ambassador in Kathmandu is & whether or not she has honey-trapped PM Oli. This is BS, to say the least.
And most Indian media outlets deserve 2 b blocked in India, forget about Nepal!
— Happymon Jacob (@HappymonJacob) July 10, 2020
One Twitter post in particular, made since Indian TV channels recently began suggesting that Prime Minister KP Oli was “honey-trapped” by Chinese ambassador to Nepal Hou Yanqi best represents how most Indians view the private television channels in their country.
“China’s influence in Kathmandu should be viewed & analysed keeping aside how “pretty” Beijing’s ambassador in Kathmandu is & whether or not she has honey-trapped PM Oli. This is BS, to say the least. And most Indian media outlets deserve 2 b blocked in India, forget about Nepal!,” wrote Happymon Jacob on July 10 in protest of how television channels in India were making a pornography out of facts that did not exist.
He was referring to trending social media videos that showed journalists with poor taste, and clearly lacking decency expected of news crew appearing on the screen of national television, making mockery of an ailing prime minister.
Zee News editor Sudhir Sharma himself has apologised for the hurt feelings of the Nepalese people.
मेरे इस ट्वीट से नेपाल के हमारे दर्शक आहत हुए हैं।यहाँ भारत में भी बहुत से लोगों ने मुझे लिखा कि ये विचार सही नहीं है।सम्भव है कि मैंने ये खबर आने के बाद आवेश में अनावश्यक प्रतिक्रिया कर दी हो।ये मंच अभिव्यक्ति का है,आहत करने का नहीं।इसलिए खेद जताते हुए इस ट्वीट को हटा रहा हूँ।? https://t.co/mqTL652uOe
— Sudhir Chaudhary (@sudhirchaudhary) July 10, 2020
Fellow at Brookings India, Constantino Xavier, was also offended by the narrative of an imaginary romance concocted by some Indian media outlets. Dr Xavier tweeted a link by a news website with his subtle disapproval, “Sexist objectification. There’s worse but won’t share here.” He was too embarrassed to share other materials available on news websites. “According to intelligence sources in New Delhi, she is a frequent guest at Nepal PM KP Sharma Oli’s office and official residence,” the tfipost.com article shared by Dr Xavier, which has been viewed nearly 50,000 times since it was published on July 10, reads.
To suggest that Mr Oli would have any romantic relationship with Ambassador Yanqi is plain low.
And practically idiotic.
The 68-year-old Nepalese prime minister is a married man who has ongoing health issues of extremely serious nature, not to mention the pressure he constantly undergoes because of the twisted nature of Nepalese politics. In fact, his challenges are expected to accompany him for rest of his life. He has had numerous medical interventions due to his poor renal health. Only not long ago, he had his second kidney transplant carried out by homegrown doctors with world class expertise.
The 50-year-old career diplomat, ambassador Hou Yanqi, on the other hand, is a happily married woman with children and partner. Moreover, no one with common sense would for a moment assume that an ambassador of a powerful nation like China would indulge in a “honey-trapping business” with the prime minister of a smaller country like Nepal.
The recent reports suggesting “honey-trap” of PM Oli is so fraught with moral and ethical defects that even Manoj Gajurel, a comedian who is always ready to laugh at anything under the sun, could not take it in the jocular vein. “We have many issues with the current government and Prime Minister KP Oli but Nepalese people themselves will take account of that,” he wrote on Facebook as he condemned the Indian TV channels’ regrettable reporting that he said violated the “cultural values” of the society.
A Facebook user from Madhya Pradesh termed the salacious report by Zee News a “soft pornography” and questioned, “Brothers, are you practicing journalism or making blue film?”. He warned that if a journalist sitting at New Delhi newsroom could “record” romantic moments during official visits of ambassador Hou Yanqi to KP Sharma Oli then Nepalese journalists also had their own “weapons” to concoct similar reports about “our own PM”, that is, Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Above post by the Indian Facebook user is merely representative of innumerable others who equally disapprove of not only the Oli-Yanqi episode but any fake news making round of the media – be it about India or Nepal.
Nepalese people must understand that few television channels from across the border do not represent the greater mainstream media in India. Nor do they represent the opinion of the Indian people at large.