Let me play the devil’s ombudsman here this week and ask if any of you reading this feel that your freedoms have been constrained lately.
Just look around, no one is stopping you from singing hosannas about the grabberment’s achievements, of which there are too many to list here because of space constraints. There has been absolutely no attempt to muzzle reporters covering the Prime Minister’s success in getting Nepal to leapfrog into the space age.
The Prime Minister assured Nepalis this week they no longer have to worry about no water or muddy roads since Nepal will soon have its own satellite in geosynchronus orbit. “Now that we are a glorious space nation, all those petty inconveniences won’t matter at all,” he said amidst wild and prolonged applause.
Despite all this, there are still naysaying nabobs who can’t stop moaning and groaning. Nepalis already know how bad things are — there is no need for the media to rub it in and make them even more depressed.
It is in our national interest to lift national morale so we can at least pretend that everything is hunkydory in the boondocks. Nepalis want to believe they are steaming ahead to a prosperous and happy future with our own satellites, ocean-going ships, bullet trains and Bir Bikram 2, which is a quintessential milestone in the annals of Nepali cinema for its exquisite cinematography, superb acting by a galaxy of stars, a mature masterpiece of film-making portraying witty and angst-ridden characters.
As the Minister of Information Warfare rightfully said the other day, and I quote: “There is complete freedom of press in this country, because I say so. Journalists have to be objective, which is to say they must have the same objective as us.” The minister took the words right out of our mouths, we couldn’t have put it better ourselves.
But, there are worrying signs we are not being draconian enough in protecting our hard-won curbs on freedom, and efforts to restore authoritarianism. Nepal has a long way to go to catch up with North Korea. This just won’t do, we must forthwith declare the following subjects out of bounds for nosey-parker pressmen:
Anything concerning national security, which means everything about politics, economics, culture, history, geography, biology, arithmetic, Nijgad airport, ill-gotten wealth and movie reviews.
All news that may jeopardise Nepal’s fraternal relations with fellow-pariah states.
Freedom of thought is hereby banned, and anyone thinking subversive thoughts will be liable to persecution.
Laughing in public is hereby banned with immediate effect and until further notice.
Weather forecasts that predict delays in the monsoon are banned in the interest of national security.
Media blackout of all Dalai Lama news.