peoples march

from the people against injustice in the society

Indo-Nepal People’s Solidarity Forum

Posted by ajadhind on May 22, 2008

recieved via mail

Dear Friends,
Here is an example how media is disseminating misinformation on Nepal. Awaiting your comment.
Anand Swaroop Verma

Indo-Nepal People’s Solidarity Forum

New Delhi

May 19, 2008

Dear Mr. Karan Thapar,

Yesterday i.e. on 18 May 2008 the first part of your interview with Prachanda, leader of Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) was telecast by CNN-IBN in your program “Devil’s Advocate”. We are writing to you because the transcript of the interview and the video recording of the same are at variance with each other and there is reason to believe that there has been doctoring, nay censoring, of what Prachanda had actually spoken. For instance the transcript gives the following version:

Karan Thapar: Looking at your own experience in Nepal during the last two years and six months in particular, would you advice the Indian Maoists to give up the peoples war, to join mainstream, to use the ballot rather than the bullet as a way of acquiring power?

Prachanda: I think that I cannot directly address them, but our behaviour and our policy and our practices give out the message of the power of ballot.

The actual spoken words which can be heard on the video are very different:

“I think that I cannot directly address them, but our behaviour and our policy and our practices itself strongly gave the message of our changed policy and benefit of the FUSION of bullet and ballot and all these things.”

At another place similar editing can be noticed. The transcript claims the following:

Karan Thapar: What sort of relations will you be looking at with India?

Prachanda: A new relation on a new basis. The new base has been laid down with the understanding from Delhi. A new unity with Delhi is already in process.

The actual spoken words are different:

“The new base has already been laid through the 12 point understanding from Delhi. This 12 point understanding created a conducive atmosphere for peace process, created a huge mass movement to bring out a historical change in this country. It has also laid down a new basis for unity with Delhi.”

Perhaps you are not aware of the mismatch between the spoken word and transcript put out by CNN-IBN. However, such doctoring are not necessarily innocuous. We wonder if it is your practice to edit/censor words in such a way that it changes the meaning or gives a different meaning than the one intended by the interviewee? Is it ethical to ‘touch’ the original spoken words in an interview which go beyond requirement of grammatical precision? Also does this not amount to disrespect for views contrary to yours?

These questions become all the more important because PTI, presumably privy to your interview or at least its contents, prior to its telecast, released a news item on May 17, 2008 which was carried by Sunday Times (May 18, 2008), which quotes Prachanda as saying the following:

“Though we don’t want to directly address them, the benefit we have got, the differences of ballot and bullet has already sent a message”.

This entire sentence is nowhere present in your interview and is an interpolation which twists the meaning. And, yet, your office did not bother to contest this? We find all this rather strange.

We, therefore, ask you to kindly look into the matter, rectify the mistake and ensure that the transcript put out by CNN-IBN are those which were the actual spoken words rather than a censored/edited version of someone else’s imagination. This we believe is the least you can do to ensure highest standards of journalism, which you subscribe to.

Anand Swaroop Verma / Gautam Navlakha

(on behalf of Indo Nepal People’s Solidarity Forum)

New Delhi 19th May 2008

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16 Responses to “Indo-Nepal People’s Solidarity Forum”

  1. Mvenuss said

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