On the proposal of the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, starting this year, June 21 is being celebrated as the International Yoga Day. Although the popularity of yoga in our Nepali celebrity circle doesn’t seem to be that much, we have collected and shared the experiences and best wishes of some celebrities on the Yoga Day.
Actress Namrata Shrestha says that, her father had introduced Yoga to her. These days, she practices meditation and relaxation – one of the branches of yoga.
The Indian Embassy in Kathmandu had organized a Yoga workshop to mark the International Yoga Day. The comedy duo MaHa (Madan Krishna Shrestha and Hari Bamsha Acharya) participated in the event. In his Facebook post, Madan Krishna has said, “Happy International Day of Yoga. We did Yoga today in Indian Embassy and in Pashupati area. Yoga is good for health, brain and prosperous life.”
Actor Raj Ballav Koirala says, Yoga is necessary to ‘cleanse your body, mind and soul…’ He wishes peace and serenity prevail in our lives through prayers, meditation and yoga.
An Indian newspaper has reported that one of the most controversial Indian Ambassador to, Rakesh Sood, might be called back by the Indian government soon.
Apart from being the most controversial person, he is also accused of being arrogant. Sood had been very tough with Maoist and was unnecessary involved in business of Dabur Nepal. Sood was instrumental in reducing anti-Indian sentiments in media and stop Maoist from leading the government.
The newspaper accus
es Sood was one of the reason behind the current political deadlock in Nepal. He was one of the most hated ambassador and was once thrown shoes by the crowd. He is also the first ambassador whose effigies were burnt on the streets.
India is planning to send Jayant Prasad as the new ambassador for Nepal. Jayant Prasad had served as an ambassador to Pakistan previously. His father Bimal Prasad had also served as an ambassador to Nepal during the Rana regime.
A consumer advocate group has asked the government to investigate the involvement of actor Rajesh Hamal, actress Karishma Manandhar, sportsperson Dipak Bista, and businessman Min Bahadur Gurung for appearing in the advertisements of the controversial drink Real Juice.
It was told that Rajesh Hamal received a whooping Rs. 1.2million to be featured in the ad. That is, 3-4 times the amount he receives for acting in a full movie. Others should have received a smaller but considerable sum to act for the ads.
In the wake of various reports of non-consumable products in one of the Dabur Nepal’s product, Real Juice, Indian Embassy was worried on its "National interest" in Nepal. Dabur threatened to take back its investment. The issue was more of a tussle between some journalists and Indian Embassy than Dabur or Real Juice.
Kantipur didn’t know when Miss Nepal 2010 was held (at least its loyal readers don’t). Last time, I questioned their loyalty to their readers and specifically asked for their explanation. I wrote emails to the kantipur officials, with the links to those posts about Miss Nepal and Kantipur. But, they played deaf (attached email screenshot), yet again! It was not the first time I didn’t get a reply from them. Last time, when I wrote about Smita Thapa and Maya Bazin, my emails didn’t get any reply.
A hat-trick of no replies is enough to prove that that the Kantipur officials are self-centered, short-sighted, and don’t know their responsibilities.
The Real Juice, Real Embassy, Dabur Nepal, and Kantipur were center of attraction for for me, for some time. Now, it is Nayapatrika that came out with another version of the same story – extra materials in the juice. The same unanswered questions are being asked:
Why are our kids being fed such non-consumable items ? Why is the government silent on this issue ? (Even, India felt the heat and was talking)
[Update: I had written the original post in a hurry so, I have changed some wordings. I hope Kantipur editors will come up with some valid arguments.]
Some people thought that my previous article, Journalism Ethics, Dabur and Miss Nepal, was biased. I want to make myself clear, by telling that, I still believe in the spirit of the article, Indian Embassy – Real Juice – Real motive, and Indian Media, I wrote on August 28. A few points:
- Kantipur owes me an explanation. Why didn’t they cover the Miss Nepal event? I am still not convinced Kantipur did something ethical.
- Not publishing major news based on one’s personal problem (or, organizational dispute) implies that the Indian Embassy was right in telling our journalists are unethical (even if, it is still baseless).
- Am I baised ? Yes, a little bit. Previously, Kantipur writers simply ignored my enquiries through previous articles and emails (on Maya Bazin and Smita Thapa issues). The article was targeted to thick skinned, writers there.
My friend Aakar argued that he thinks Kantipur publication is doing what it should. Dipak Bhattarai and Aakar sent me the link to The Hindu article. It was a very detailed and in-depth analysis of the background of the current problem. I have summarized the articles below:
Excerpts from Nepali Times article.
A parliamentary committee in Nepal has directed the Nepal Government to take action against the Indian Embassy in Nepal for the press release, that is against the diplomatic norms.
As if the involvement in the formation of government in Nepal wasn’t enough, when the Indian Embassy (dubbed Real Embassy) started talking about how corrupt our media are, and that the tainted Real juice was only a media propaganda.
Indian Embassy accused Nepali media of improperly posting news about the evidence of finding non-consumable materials in Real branded products. The photographs of tainted products published in various newspapers do seem genuine.
Even if Nepali press have exaggerated (which doesn’t seem true) some unanswered question are:
- Why does Indian Embassy have to issue a press release in this issue? Is it such a big issue? Does such minor events affect the intergovernmental relations between two countries?
- Is Dabur Nepal (or Dabur India) so incapable of defending itself?
Indian Embassy and Nepali Press
There were reports about the tainted products from all over Nepal. Given our media house’s capabilities and dedication, I don’t believe Nepali media can create such a large scaled fabricated story (as Indian Embassy told). And, it was not a single media house that reported the story. Apart from Nayapatrika, Weeklynepal, ABC news, Kantipur, radiomirmire, Pokharatoday, Pokharanews, Yubabahas; a lot of media had published independent news on the issue.
- Can Indian Embassy point out which of these media houses they were talking about?
Real worms in Real Juice
The news, photographs, and quotes of general public don’t look fabricated. They are from different sources, involve different people and are from different parts of the country. For example, some of the places from where reports of inconsumable products were reported (collected from different sources):
- Kapilvasthu (Badrinath Guesthouse, Chandrauta) – A government official witnessed 20 tainted packets.
- Pokhara (Bulaud Bazaar store) – The officials of Dabur Nepal forced the owner to close the shop.
- Kathmandu (Mohan Cold Store, Anamnagar) – Sagarmatha TV featured the story.
- More reports from different parts of Pokhara
- Birgunj – people admitted to hospital after drinking Real juice
Misleading Indian Media Campaign
Various media bodies in Nepal have expressed serious concern over Friday’s statement of Indian embassy.
However, Indian media are doing their own media campaign against Nepali media. (When Embassy itself is that irresponsible, I can’t blame the Indian media!)
Some of the headlines in Indian media:
- Dabur faces smear campaign in Nepal
- Dabur faces misleading media campaign in Nepal
- Indian joint ventures face smear campaign in Nepal
In contrast, Nepali media headlines read:
- Media bodies irked by Indian embassy statement; ask it to apologize
- Media orgs caution Indian embassy to respect diplomatic norms
- सञ्चार संस्थाहरुद्वारा भारतीय दूताबाससँग क्षमायाचना गर्न माग
- सञ्चार सगठनहरुद्वारा प्रेस स्वतन्त्रताको मान्यता पालना गर्न भारतीय दूतावासलाई सचेत