CPN-Maoist bans Hindi movies, Indian plate vehicles
KATHMANDU, Sept 27: In what it says is a bid to safeguard national sovereignty, the CPN-Maoist has threatened to prohibit the screening of Hindi movies and the entry into the country of road vehicles with Indian number plates, from Thursday.
In a statement released on Wednesday, the CPN-Maoist said that it will prevent all Indian-registered vehicles from entering Nepal and all cinema halls from screening Hindi movies, to develop a self-reliant national economy, protect employment opportunities for Nepali people, secure Nepali investment and ease the difficulties facing Nepali vehicles in India.
Asked if the ban applied to all Hindi movies or only those that ´insult Nepal and Nepali people, spread hatred and promote vulgarity and cultural anomaly´, as mentioned in the statement, CPN-Maoist spokesperson Pampha Bhusal said, “We are against only those Hindi movies that hurt the sentiments of Nepali people or undermine the notion of Nepaliness. However, since we can´t figure out which Hindi movies are against Nepal and Nepali people, we will impose a blanket ban on all films.”
Bhusal added, “We can form an independent mechanism later to censor anti-Nepal Hindi movies after consulting all stakeholders.” According to Bhusal, the CPN-Maoist aims to prohibit all cable channels from screening ´anti-Nepal or vulgar´ Hindi movies, songs and programs in the long run. “But, we won´t target the cable channels immediately as we now lack an efficient mechanism for censoring television content,” she said.
Although the CPN-Maoist diktat has jolted Nepali cinema hall operators, they are tight-lipped about it. “We´ll be able to react only after thoroughly discussing the matter among ourselves,” a cinema hall operator, unwilling to be named, told Republica, adding, “We´ll organize a meeting to take a collective decision on this issue.”
As for the entry of Indian vehicles into Nepal, the CPN-Maoist has clarified that those Indian vehicles that are already in Nepal will not be obstructed while returning to India. In its statement, the CNP-Maoist has indicated that the ban on the entry of vehicles with Indian number plates is to create pressure for the easy entry of Nepali vehicles into India.
Although the CPN-Maoist decided to prohibit the entry of Indian vehicles and the screening of Hindi movies across the country only from Thursday, the Tamsaling State Committee (TSC) of the party disrupted the free passage of vehicles with Indian number plates from Wednesday. On Wednesday, most of vehicles with Indian number plates were obstructed in 10 districts including Chitwan, Dhading and Makwanpur, which the CPN-Maoist has incorporated into the proposed Tamsaling state.
According to Chitwan-based Republica correspondent Chandni Hamal, a group of CPN-Maoist cadres have set up a tent in Narayangadh to turn back all Indian vehicles. The CPN-Maoist has also banned the import of milk, bananas, fish and vegetables from India, saying that Nepal can become self-sufficient in these agriculture products.
According to Bhusal, the TSC proactively went ahead of the CPN-Maoist in implementing the party policy. “These are some of the issues that we raised in our 70-point demand,” said Bhusal. “Our politburo has already taken a decision in this regard.” On September 5, the CPN-Maoist had submitted their 70-point demand, including a ban on the entry of Indian vehicles and the screening of Hindi movies, to Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai.
PM asks security chiefs to act tough
Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai on Thursday directed all security chiefs to take stern actions against those involved in activities that may adversely affect relations with neighboring countries, said a press note issued by the prime minister´s aides Thursday evening.
The PM´s directives came at a time when cadres of Mohan Baidya-led CPN-Maoist started enforcing a ban on vehicles carrying Indian number plates into Nepal. The prime minister also said that no one has rights to take the country´s laws in their hands under political cover.