Odyssey is the story of an adventurous journey. Its semantic affiliation with epic poetry and its protagonist could be very well-known. We reside in instances when adventures are made however they fail to create halos round performers. The highly effective chief of a strong nation might like to challenge the picture of a hero, however he might find yourself performing solely burlesques. My purpose for utilizing the phrase ‘odyssey’ for the Nepali media has the next causes.
I had by no means focussed on the media as I did within the final couple of months, working below the lockdown. Studying classics, poetry anthologies, and philosophical and historic theories wouldn’t have given an image of the truth round me. So I critically focussed on Nepali print, audio, and visible media. Moreover the broadsheet papers that got here to my gate, I learn on-line media and sat glued to the tv to observe critical information and reporting. On the finish of this rigmarole, I emerged wiser, like a personality in Anton Chekhov’s quick story ‘The Guess’. The protagonist who chooses to remain in confinement for 15 years to show that imprisonment is healthier than capital punishment turns into so smart after studying books there that he decides to forego the guess; he flees by leaping out of the window. I realised I’d grow to be wiser on one rating—Nepali media have proved that they’re robust, accountable and brave.
I don’t wish to title a specific media, as there are various. However some sections of the Nepali media have been the one sources of details about the individuals’s predicament. Not a single political social gathering—revolutionary, democratic or conservative—did create portals to report the occasions, analyse the deviant paths of the ruling social gathering, its authorities, and the opposition events locked in management battles. The media have reported virtually each vital difficulty. I haven’t got to call who did that; I depart it to the judgement of the viewers. Throughout these weeks and months of lockdown, the media—their reporters, opinion makers, reviewers and guests—have completed exemplary work, ensuring no difficulty went unnoticed. They laid naked the premature intraparty feuds and the evolution of the uncanny practices in issues of the spending of cash and incomes by means of unfair means. Media reporting has foregrounded these questions brilliantly properly. Have been it not for the media going out regardless of hazardous circumstances and reporting the general public’s depressing plight—together with occasions, from the political to the financial—who else would have completed it? Who else would have reported and analysed the conditions freely and boldly if not the free media of Nepal throughout such troublesome instances, regardless of overt or covert threats from the federal government?
Regardless of the political transformation—individuals’s uprisings, political agreements, the promulgation of the republication structure and the institution of a majority authorities—one caveat stays to be addressed right here: the position of journalism in drafting new historical past. Nepali journalism throughout democratic instances has resisted varied state interventions and been confronted by the attitudes of a conservative society. However they’ve labored within the twilight zones of historical past and proceed to take action as we speak. John Lloyd, a really distinguished British journalist and editor of Monetary Instances Journal, in his well-known guide What The Media Are Doing To Our Politics (2004) has this to say about media and historical past: ‘Journalists give the primary draft of historical past: historians might do a fairly totally different draft, however most individuals do not learn the histories—so for them it is the primary and final’.
Did Nepalis learn historical past from the primary draft given by the journalists? This can be a debatable query. Journalists have written about their struggles and their experiences in Nepal. I’d not say that the journalists gave the primary draft of historical past in Nepal as a result of the idea of the historical past of the later instances—of the democratic instances in Nepal—has not but taken a transparent form. Pratyoush Onta in an article ‘Critiquing the Media Increase’ included in a Himal guide entitled State of Nepal (2002) provides an image of the components that had been accountable ‘for media development’ and their ‘structural traits’ in democratic instances.
‘Journalists didn’t give the primary draft of historical past’, however as I learn the memoirs of some senior journalists like Purushottam Dahal’s Mero Patrakarita (2073 BS) and Harihar Birahi’s Aago Nibheko Chhaina (2073 BS), and the journalistic accounts of occasions like Hari Bahadur Thapa’s Rajgaj (2074 BS), Basanta Basnet’s 72 ko Bismaya (2075 BS) and Sudheer Sharma’s The Nepal Nexus (2076 BS), I clearly noticed the unstable relationship between media and historical past. These journalists have captured totally different moments of change in Nepali politics; one widespread factor of their books is the image of the unstable instances in Nepali politics. The current state of Nepali politics, the search for an image of stability, the communist authorities’s ignoring critical social points just like the discrimination and even homicide of Dalit youths, and the overall marginalisation of the poor individuals and the farmers in contradistinction to their touted slogans of social change—all of them current the image of a historical past that appears chaotic.
What I like is the efficiency of the assorted types of media, their free but restrained and daring reporting and analyses. Commentators who come from totally different backgrounds and trainings have printed sensible analyses of the occasions and have laid down their very own options to the issues. In varied nations, rulers have shocked individuals by utilizing the pandemic to reinforce their very own energy positions by enjoying the concern card. Amongst others, I learn Noam Chomsky’s articles about this state of affairs, the gist of which is that the pandemic is utilized by rulers in varied political constructions, in search of each alternative to ascertain and delay management. One different uncanny improvement is that governments have been implementing insurance policies with nice flourish by profiting from the pandemic. However individuals can break the silence if their persistence is put to a really onerous check.
Cheers to Nepali media for his or her vigilance, boldness and repair.
What do you assume?
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