Friday, February 3, 2012

In appreciation of the writer Vijay Lama

One writer that I have consistently admired is Vijay Lama. He does what I wish more writers in Nepal did.

He seems to represent the unheard of voices in Nepal. Perhaps his vantage point as a pilot helps him to see from a perspective that most others don't. I mean this both figuratively and literally. Most of us are so involved in the ground realities that it is hard to see the big picture. In his job, I'm sure he interacts with a lot of tourists, foreigners, social workers who are travelling, as well as people in rural places. I'm sure this gives him a perspective that the rest of us miss.

I really enjoyed reading this article by him where he talks about how out of touch the media can get with the heart beat of Nepal because they are only chasing the controversial and sensational stories. This topic about media only being interested in chasing controversial stories is what the Hindi movie 'Rann' was concerned with. This is what we discussed in this post. Interestingly, another of my favorite writers in NepaliTimes, Rubeena Mahato, happened to write an article on the same subject.

And then I read the readers replies in Nepali Times. It always amazes me that no matter how positive a message an author writes, there are so many who are over-eager to look at it in a negative light. It is almost like they find some pride in themselves to somehow find a fault in the original writer's work. It is almost like they are reading with the expectation that the writer will cover all points of view all of the time. And if they don't, these writers should be vilified. It is almost like many of the readers on feel that the only way to prove themselves an intellectual is by finding one way or another of criticizing someone else's work.
I'm not sure what it says about the Nepali readers at sites like But I am truly amazed at the consistently negative trolls that find some way or other to twist an author's remark and see it in the most negative light possible no matter how positive of a perspective the original author is trying to approach things.

Least to say, it is not auspicious. This is no way to have a constructive national dialogue.

The purpose of a newspaper or any form of media is to reflect the voice of the people. But the people reading the newspaper and commenting on it are not always representative of the voices of the people. This is especially so in an online Newspaper environment. It is just way to easy to dash off a few comments and put your name and email in it and push the 'send' button. 

Seeing some of the comments on sites like almost makes me want to make a profile of the people commenting. Newspapers are supposed to be a mirror of society. Well, sometimes perhaps the newspaper should take the time to be a mirror of the readers commenting on it's site. It should take the time to show the readers of the kind of image that they are giving by the comments that they make.

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