Shri Rajdeep Sardesai,
Subject: IBN-7 Channel’s 10 p.m. news on September 5, 2006 regarding Nepal Maoist’s plans to attack India.
Your channel carried in its news at 10 p.m. on September 5, 2006 a news item which purported to show how Nepal’s Maoists were preparing to attack India. In this connection the reporter accused the Indian government for their careless attitude. The report carried two maps which were used to suggest that these maps issued by the Maoists show Almora, Haridwar, Pilibhit etc. towns as part of Nepal and Maoists are shown as saying that “if India does not return our land then there will be war.” All this, according to your reporter, points towards the “Greater Nepal” plan of the Nepal Maoists.
Our objections are following:
1. Both the maps show the situation existing before 1815-16 i.e. prior to Sugauli Treaty signed between the Rana rulers of Nepal and the then British colonialists. As a result, a large part of Nepal became part of British India. It was the Gorkhaland movement led by Subhash Ghising that the GNLF gave a call for “Greater Nepal” and their map showed Kedarnath, Badrinath, Gangtok, Dehradun, Haridwar, Pilibhit, Nainital to Darjeeling as belonging to Nepal. The same map was shown by IBN-7 as being that of Nepal Maoists thus deliberately misreporting and feeding false information to the public which watches your programme.
2. Just two months back CPN(Maoist) chairperson Prachanda in his statement as well as interviews has proposed reduction in Nepal’s army from nearly a lakh to 20,000. He has argued that while Nepal can only be attacked by India or China. However, Nepal’s military strength is not such that it can defend Nepal. Therefore, there is no need to maintain such a huge army for a small country. And that, 20,000 troops are sufficient to meet any emergency. Therefore, for your channel to show the parade of PLA and present it as a preparation for war is ridiculous.
3. In the last more than a decade since Maoists began their “peoples war”, no document of the Maoists even hint at any plan for “Greater Nepal”. Thus it’s still a mystery why your channel contends that Maoists in Nepal are preparing for war as pasrt of its “Greater Nepal” plan.
We request you to inquire into this matter because telecasting news without basis or on make beleive evidence not only effects credibility of your news channel but also has the potential of sowing seeds of suspicion about neighbouring country and/or embitter public perceptions.
Anand Swaroop Verma