When Ang Kaji Sherpa, General Secretary of Nepal Federation of Indigenous Nationalities (NEFIN) accused national media and the Federation of Nepalese Journalists for not bringing into light the movement of Tharus and undivided Far West, the scene turned violent after journalists shouted heftily and forced Sherpa to walk out from Reporters Club. After sometime, I started to see the reason of Sherpa's words and wondered if the allegations against media really was true or not, and if it were, to what extent. Since I, myself am learning the knacks of journalism in The New Paper, the topic became my curiosity. However, after talking to experts and journalists, I came to know that Nepal's national media haven't been inclusive at all—not just to indigenous people. "In many national dailies, programs, cultures, traditions and issues related to indigenous people are seldom broadcast or published," Sherpa said over a telephone call, citing examples of Shiva Ratri (an auspicious Hindu festival where Lord Shiva is worshipped) and Chaat parva (an auspicious festival of the Terai). "National media overwhelmingly cover Shiva Ratri, the silent streets of Kathmandu during Dashain for free of cost. Yet, when it comes to issues related to indigenous people and their rituals, it seldom is the case, and many times, we've paid sum of around Rs. 100,000 to Rs. 200,000 a day for a broadcast." Sherpa added.Sherpa argues that what national media are doing is a complete bias. "These 'so called media houses' haven't been friendly to indigenous people even when they comprise of a media's circulation, readership and viewership. Nepal's Population Report 2011 AD, which was published by the Ministry of Health and Population Division shows that while Chettri and Brahmins make only around 28 per cent of the country’s total ethnicity, the remaining fall under other caste groups. "It therefore is essential that media incorporates issues of indigenous people because covering their issues will bring in
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