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Nepal media group declares war on India
KATHMANDU, AUG 29 (Agencies):
Published on 29 Aug. 2010 11:31 PM IST
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Six years ago, a section of Nepal’s media showed its dark side when it falsely attributed anti-Nepal statements to Bollywood star Hrithik Roshan, triggering anti- India riots in the Himalayan kingdom. Now, anti-India sentiments are being stoked afresh with a new virulent media campaign deliberately twisting the Indian government’s concern over the protection of Indian investment in Nepal.
Smarting under falling circulation and dwindling revenue, the Kantipur Group, a private media house with dailies, magazines and a television as well as FM station in its stable, has begun spearheading an anti-India campaign after the Indian Embassy in Nepal warned that it would not be a silent spectator to the murky drama of Indian joint ventures in Nepal being maligned by media organisations disgruntled at not receiving advertisements from the JVs.
Since the Indian Embassy issued the statement on Friday, the group has unleashed a media blitzkrieg glossing over the ad extortion issue and instead portraying the Indian concern as a ham-handed effort to block the criticism of Indian products in Nepal. It is also circulating “condemnations” by a few media organisations, calling the embassy’s concern a violation of diplomatic norms and interference in Nepal’s media.
The campaign is an echo of similar hate campaigns in the past. In 2003-4, when a new media organisation announced the launch of a Nepali daily, the group led a similar smear campaign.
The last one occurred recently when hit by the coming up of a new media group, that carried away many of its star reporters and editors, the group sought to project itself as a victim of India’s repression.
It alleged its cargo of newsprint had been deliberately stopped at the Kolkata Port to muzzle it for championing national interests, especially in the aborted passport deal between India and Nepal.
The embassy said it was surprised by the reaction by some media associations to genuine concerns at attempts to elicit advertising revenue from Indian JVs. “The reaction by these media associations would have been credible if backed up by a condemnation of such unethical practices and an offer to discuss how to address the issue with concerned companies,” the embassy said.

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