Kantipur Ghearoed For Hours. An Experience

By Dinesh Wagle
Wagle Street Journal

An angry mob ghearoed Kantipur Complex yesterday shouting angry slogans against the media institution. The mob, dissatisfied about Kantipur TV’s coverage on the killing of Rajesh Gurung, wanted to invade the complex, destroy the facilities and burn the buildings. It reminded me, a Kantipur journalist, September 1, 2004 when same kind of mob vandalized the complex building and burnt cars parked inside. [They were protesting against Kantipur Television’s news bulletin on the killing of karate player Rakesh Gurung by Assistant Sub-Inspector of Police Man Bahadur Adhikari Tuesday night. The protesters said the news was lopsided and resulted in “character assassination” of deceased Gurung. Read TKP report. Another one.]

Kantipur Under Attack
Mob burnt tires on the main road that goes from in front of Kantipur complex that houses Kantipur Publications and Kantipur Television. All pics Wagle

People can, for sure, express their dissatisfaction over press coverage of any kind. They have their right to do so. There are certain norms to be followed. If you want to raise voice against a report, write a letter to the media making your point. There is an institution called Press Council where you can lodge your complain against the report and the media outlet. I also understand the sentiment of the relatives of Gurung. The report should be accurate. Kantipur TV says that the report was based on their sources at Nepal Police. Generally, such happens to be the case. Police provide information about any crime or events. Some reporters try to independently verify the info before running the story. Kantipur TV has already apologized for ‘the incomplete’ report which means the initial report didn’t put the version from the Gurung side. Such things happen with any media anywhere in the world. But exploiting such mistake and trying to attack the media organization with the help of a politically motivated mob is of serious concern to Nepali journalism.

Kantipur Under Attack
The crowd. There were about 50 people protesting. Others were just curious onlookers.

Kantipur Under Attack

This woman said that she supported Kantipur for Loktantra (democracy) but now she was against it. I found so strage that she and others in the crowd were trying to relate the case with loktantra

Kantipur Under Attack

The only comforting thing this time (compared to Sept 1, 2004) was the police presence in front of the complex.

Police killed the player, and Kantipur TV reported. The fact that the mob, which claimed to be acting on behalf of the sportsman, wasn’t speaking about the police who actually killed the player but sloganeering against the media that reported the incident was very strange. It was also not the case that the report killed the player. It was a clear act of intimidation and hooliganism. The mob was trying to kill the messenger.

For a Kantipur reporter, the scene just in front of the office yesterday was simply terrifying. The same mob, while marching toward Tinkune office of Kantipur, manhandled and thrashed a reporter associated with the daily newspaper. In front of the office, while burning tire and blocking the main street for at least three hours, the mob kept threatening reporters. “We will not spare you if you dare go out to collect news,” a man shouted. I was just behind him, calmly watching the procession. I was hiding my identity card second time in my six year long career with the newspaper. [This is the second time Kantipur has been targeted during riots. On September 1, 2004, during protests following the killings of a dozen Nepali laborers by militants in Iraq, a motivated mob vandalized Kantipur complex and burnt some half a dozen vehicles parked inside the complex.]

Kantipur Under Attack

While many of the Kantipur journalists and staffs were trapped inside, others waited for about 3 hours outside the complex to see the situation back to normalcy. (Also two pics below)

Kantipur Under Attack

Waiting to get inside..

Kantipur Under Attack

Waiting to get inside..

Another strange part of the mob was that, those agitated persons who entered inside the office to have talks with senior Katnipur executives, didn’t want to be identified. You are claiming to be fighting on behalf of a sportsman because you want justice in the news coverage but you don’t want to be identified? One of the most heard slogans in the mob was this: Loktantra aaudima goli hanna paidaina [You can’t shoot just because you have democracy.] What the hell to do with democracy with the killing? A policeman killed the man and claims that he did that in self defense. That’s a matter of investigation. Just because the killer happens to be a member of security guard of UML General Secretary Madhav Kumar Nepal doesn’t mean democracy encouraged him to do what he did. The alleged mistake was in the TV coverage but the crowd was constantly threatening to burn the paper and directing the protest against the paper. It wasn’t difficult to conclude that the crow was politically motivated and wanted to take revenge against Kantipur for the paper’s pro-democratic role in the movement against Gyanendra Shah’s autocratic regime.

Kantipur Under Attack

Kantipur folks entering and getting out of the office.

One of my colleague said that he saw his friend, an army officer from Nepal Army’s Bhairabnath Battalion. This makes the case even more complicated. Kantipur had extensively covered the recent atrocities by an Army captain from the same battalion. It is no doubt that many folks in the army, who still want autocracy in the country, see biggest enemy in Kantipur. Two boys pelted at the police from the back of the crowd to instigate the police to add tension in the situation. Another man and a woman, seen in the photo above, said that no one should pelt. I heard someone as saying, “These buildings are made from peoples’ money and people have the right to bring them down. We should destroy these buildings today.” I was quietly listening.

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90 thoughts on “Kantipur Ghearoed For Hours. An Experience”

  1. Rosan,

    You have my support but it is not unconditional. Any new force has to politically and diplimatically sound. It has to be progressive and the army does need to be more disciplined, not that it always was bad, but once in a while there has to be some standards put in place. We need to emphacise democracy as our primary goal, and not the libertarian kind but a social democracy so where the central government oversees policies being undertaken by local entities. If, and I say if, there is a need for a millitary entity for force and not defence it has to be properly organised and agenda set to be able to properly integrate back into civillian duties. We do not want a rougue and disreputable entity at any cost, because the goal is Nepal, not the army or the king, it is Nepal I am in for and that is the number one priority. Diplomacy and Politics should be the number one goal and public support by appeasing them and populist gestures should be our number one weapon. The main reason the army is ineffective against the Maoist is because a poorly equipped conventional army cannot deal with a guerilla movement. We need our organisation to be a guerrilla sort of outfit yet more defensive than offensive. Getting hold of local areas under moist control and developing them is the best way to win

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  2. Intersting to read the points in the interesting debate. The comments above raise the following questions:
    Is our corporatized media is part of civil society and plays the role of fourth state or it is simply another business house?
    When we could have democracy where there is both freedom and desciplene?
    Is it law and order anarchy of the former rulers vs anarchy of inaction of new rulers?
    Is it delibarate attempt of certain section of society that particpates in demos/tyre burning or ia it a sign of overwhelming frustrations of the people?

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  3. Dineshji, after reading all the above Royalist pro RNA rantings above I will say this – I laud Kantipur for it’s stance against the King and the RNA! Keep that bit up! These dinosaurs need to be made extinct!

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  4. ah! finally the epiphany– is the journalism the fourth state or just another corporate house?

    now, it all depends on ones perspective, if you own the publication yourself then you would like it to make profit of it, while putting the facade of ‘the fourth state’, which is obvious and understandable since you have your investment in it, a good example would be ‘Cuntipur’ publication.

    and government(ruling) would like to use ‘it’ as propaganda machine while advocating, journalism is the most lethal arsenal for check and balance in democratic society. when check and balance is not realized thru private publications, they will have their own– a good example would be ‘Gookhapatra’ publication

    farce! farce! and more farce! from all sides, but we still read them anyway.

    just because it (journalism) is printed (as the fourth state) on the pages (i don’t even know
    pages of what) doesn’t mean, people will start playing by the rules.

    how many of us, have ever been deterred by the warnings on the pack of cigarette ‘smoking is injurious to health?’ it is just there because it looks morally good to be there, so is the declaration of the fourth state.

    now every state needs a foot soldiers, and our dear Wagle ji, is a fine cadre, i see him going far far, but no matter how farther he goes, he has no options other than likes of ‘Cuntipur’ or ‘Gookhapatra’.

    what a ‘bidambana’, personally, i would like to see him heed the advise of caution
    when he reads it on the Pack.

    Pasupati Nath le sabai ko valo garun!!

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  5. I agree with Layman when he said that kantipur group sholud come out with some sort of white paper on why they are not working with Indian Agenda ? Because everybody in nepal believes that it is run by Indian agents. There is no single pro- Nepal news at all in it.Eventhough, they have helped to create an atmososphere of Janaandolan II, they are basically working for Indians.

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  6. I am not sure about Kantipur working for Indians. I have also felt that it is not working in the best interest of the country as it advocates no-construction if not distruction. Some one has already commented that if Kantipur continues campaign against certaing villians, may be those villians start generating sympathy. It is not the villians who deserve sympathy, but it is lost credibility of Kantipur providing the space for the. Negative pereption of people plays as an indicator of its slidding credibility. It would be better for Kantipur if it starts pondering. Where is the Kantipur of yesteryears – small but credible.

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  7. Lets now talk about the 34,000 ropani land.

    What should we do for the well being of nepali society? Why dont make an article for its usage?

    Among different idea, i want to suggest one. We have very little public land for recreation purposes so we should left some of land for public parks.

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  8. Sanjeev, all comments await moderation.

    “Mobs”, “crowds”? Police sometimes reassures, sometimes it doesn’t? Tabloid-style screeching headlines? Yes, Kantipur was in the movement, but it is equally not in the movement.

    It goads some to protest. That is fine. Then others come to protest. That is not fine.

    See the problem?

    Try and figure that one out.

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  9. A single person can not keep up with the “blog” thing after reading all kinds of view mostly complaints. It is not possible to defend one’s view from each person that logs in, masturbates his mind and leaves unless its a full time job. How can you safeguard your view tirelessly from all the random people? Is that your hobby or job, Mr. Kirat?

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  10. Wagle,

    You should decide weather you are maoist, marxist, royalist, ceremonial royalist, fascist, libertarian, pro democracy, etc. or a combination of the above. Or you should state you are neutral. This way people know what to expect when you write, I mean either you going to be biased or neutral. This way when you break you standards we can write you a letter to alert you, untill then we will burn tires to urge you to state your agenda and neutrality. It is abour accountability, if you state to be biased then you have the freedom to but you cant pretend neutrality yet do biased reporting and blogging. Thats what causes smokes to rise, like you experienced recently.

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  11. Culture:
    Kantipur is a private enterprise! It sure as hell doesn’t need to prove anything to you or anyone else. Why are you giving them an ultimatium? Who do you think they are. If you don’t like their newspaper then don’t read it – the last I checked Nepal is a free country and I don’t believe there is a law in your justice system that punishes citizens who don’t read Kantipur.

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  12. Lalit:
    The above comment is directed at you as well. I don’t think you don’t understand/Know how a blog works – maybe it’s because you spend too much time masturbating.

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  13. As some one earlier said, do not read/watch/listen Kantipur if you think it is biased. There are plenty of other options. If all people think Kantipur is biased, why is it read/watched/listened by so many people?

    Also, media can only be as unbiased as the people who run it. But who is as unbiased as you guys are expecting? We all have our own perspectives about everything and so we are all biased. Even in the US, CNN, LA Times, NY Times, etc are considered liberal biased by the conservatives. Fox News, NY Post, most of the talk radios are considered conservative. Name one media whether in Nepal, US, or any other country that is as unbiased per your standard.

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  14. apologize for the clutter….but can’t help adding few things…

    caveat emptor in latin, meaning, let the buyer beware…for media outlet being what it is, well then responsibility of filtering the facts, is on our shoulder.

    everyone of us is a rational being, i presume, we are capable of deciding for ourselves…

    if you rush out in the open to burn tires and throw stones just by reading news paper….inherently fault lies in your sanity of judgement more that the paper’s….

    sad to say you would be buring tires all your life reading papers….few of the things within in your control and grasp are– your rational and judgement, so why not practice it, doesn’t cost a dime and you don’t hve to curse at Wagle ji….

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  15. “in my humble opinion, NPR (national public radio) is quite unbaised!!!”

    If you are referring to the NPR that airs in America, it’s considered liberal because it champions humanitarian causes and leaves the impression that America is never doing enough to right the worlds ills. A conservative program would suggest that developing nations should do more for themselves. In this country today, we have become so dependent on international aid that washed out bridges don’t get repaired waiting on donor country assistance.

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  16. Yahoo,

    I think NPR is unbiased too. However, conservatives attack NPR as being liberal.

    I wonder what people would think if we had opinonated media like Fox News, Talk radios like Rush Limba and Air America or Christian TV stations in Nepal. I think non believers would set them up in fire within days. Inspite of their extreme bias (which everyone knows), they have a huge fan base and continue to do very well.

    Of course, if Kantipur makes up false news then it is wrong and they should be punished. However, if they give larger coverage to certain sides, have opinions, then you have an option to read it or not.

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  17. And for all the posters who are saying Kantipur does not work for Nepal’s national interest,

    What is Nepal’s national interest? Who determines it? For example, Janajatis want their languages to be used in schools. Others want Nepali to be the universal language in Nepal. Now, which one is our national interest? Any coverage on either side will infuriate the opposing side.

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  18. I think Kantipur should not have apologized and stood by its news. I understand there were threats but I think apology will only help such mobs if a certain section of the society is not happy and you cannot make everyone happy.

    Now, how do you expect Kantipur reporters who were beaten up or threatened to make an unbiased report? If reporters have to write news taking into account so called ‘National Interest’, and ‘to try not to offend anyone’, how is it not ‘Unbiased’? These events will influence the reporter and that is called a bias.

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  19. Exactly,

    If they have a bias they should state, not feign nutrality. I am not the one to burn tires, I actually read Kantipur to get a complete picture of Nepal.

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  20. Powerful lots have multiple options to protest and the powerless have limited choices, among them the most popular one is burning tyres. When the SPA was in that situation they were the practitioners of this type of act. Let’s not blame them who are marginalized even in the choices of selecting the means of protest. In a democracy that too in an impoverished country like Nepal, burning tyres could be a very acceptable method. The most dengerious part is mobocracy, the mentality of harming others.

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  21. GM,

    The demand of the Janaandolan-2 itself was vague. The issues were

    -democracy only
    -more democracy
    -re-intallation of parliament
    -strong parliament
    -republican democracy
    -equal rights
    -equal power sharing by all castes
    -regional rule
    -regional and caste rule
    -communism with regional rule
    -maoism rule etc. etc. making confusion among SPAM themselves and which is totally different then one voice of Jana-andolan -1.

    Where Kantipur news are making more confused to the people by its total biasness and what they really want in the country has become question mark to the people…100 days of this rule is also not satisfactory and supporting it gives no solution until and unless SPAM make one vision and one goal without harming each other where we are finding Kantipur is playing villian role on it..sorry..

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  22. Kirat..you are really a big loser i have ever seen. I checked this site after 2-3 months and what I still found was your childish behaviour of demoralizing other posters by posting abusive words against them. Grow up kid!

    And lets hear what your IQ is ? I guess it is worst than your Intelligent DOG!

    Like

  23. Rohit,

    I keed I keed, if I demoralize you in any way. Lest did I know the ease to demoralize you without even adressing you or you comments in any way. Well honestly speaking I havent taken an IQ test because I am not paying for the paper one and the Internet one takes too long. Looking at your post you seem to have scored mightly high and showcase the ability to drag my “Intelligent Dog” into the conversation. (Freakin Idiot) . Well I am seriously demoralized now, especially since I neither have a regular dog or an “Intelligent Dog”. Hahah but I loved the “Intelligent Dog” part, its so cheesy yet catchy and from now on I will honor you my calling you the Intelligent Dog in short form or if you wish the long form “My Intelligent Dog with best than me IQ”. I am also happy that abortion is legal, it relieves me that “My Intelligent dogs” like you could be put to sleep as early as possible. Jack ass.

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  24. Rohit Nepali:
    I have checked this site regularly for the last 2-3 months I don’t ever remembering reading any worth while constructive comment from you.
    Basically you are of no use with regards to contributing ideas and spuring discussions. So my friend I would ask you to shut the hell up mind your own business.

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  25. i read and re-read, ppl ridiculing someone eles’s IQ….

    that freaking IQ format tells nothing about your intelligence/wisdom/experience…..

    if you have an IQ of (i don’t know what’s the perfect score) let’s say 100%, but if you can’t even respect someone else’s opinion/perspective…it is of no use, is it?

    so why don’t you guys having higher IQ take that quotient and shove it up, where sun never shines…..

    Like

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