Nepali youths take out protest rally against Indian TV channels
Nepali youths on Saturday took out a protest rally in Kathmandu against Indian TV channels saying that the channels have been repeatedly and erroneously depicting India as the birthplace of Gautam Buddha, instead of Nepal.
The rally began from Basantapur and went through various thoroughfares before it reached at the official residence of Interim Election Council chairman, Khil Raj Regmi at Baluwatar.
The participants were furious that the Indian TV Channels always repeat the falsified information about the birthplace of Buddha and ask for apology thereby.
“We are fed up granting them apology time and again. Now we need concrete commitment from Indian side that such mistake will not be repeated,” said a participant of the rally, adding that the Nepali government, too, needs to act tough on this sensitive matter.
On September 8, Nepal’s cable television networks blocked Zee TV, an Indian channel, for an hour, as the channel aired the first episode of its new show ‘Buddha’.
Social media was abuzz with “Buddha was born in Nepal” messages after Kabir Bedi, a cast of the show, said in an interview that Buddha was born in India. The statement was made during the show’s launch.
About 300 cable networks blocked the television channel from 11:15 am to 12:15 pm as the show made its debut.
“We were fearful that the content of the show might be disrespectful to Nepali audience,” said Sudhir Parajuli, Chairman of the Federation of Nepal Cable Television. “In precaution, we decided to self-censor ourselves in the scheduled time.”
However, a team from the Federation watched the first episode of the show in a controlled screening. Parajuli said that the first episode mentioned Kapilbastu as
Buddha’s birth place, but did not specify the country.
Following the trend of biopics of historical figures in Indian channels, ‘Buddha’ chronicles the journey of Siddharth Gautam from a royalty to a religious figure. The show is produced by Spice Studio for Zee TV.
The actor, Kabir Bedi, has already made a public apology on his Twitter account for his statement. Zee TV, too, made an apology following the scandal. Nepalnews.com