Our first phase of protest to safeguard the national interest received a wide support. We want to thank people of Nepal for agreeing to defend the country’s interest. Our recent move against blocking the entry of Indian registered vehicles is not directed to any country. It is taken to defend the interest of Nepal. We have already made it clear that Indian government’s expansionist and hegemonic policy hurts the Nepalese people. This is the reason a large number of people supported our campaign. The banning on vehicles with Indian number plates and screening of "vulgar Indian movies" all over Nepal raised consciousness of Nepalese people towards nationalism. The party decided to ban Indian plate vehicles as India does not allow vehicles with Nepali number plates in India. This is unfair. We should not allow Indian-pate vehicles to ply in Nepal until India allows Nepali vehicles.
The TSC proactively went ahead of the CPN-Maoist in implementing the party policy. Theese are some of the issues that we raised in our 70-point demands. 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.
As I have mentioned, the decision to ban the vehicles with Indian number plates was taken with an aim to promote economic development based on national independence, protection to local employment opportunities, utilization of Nepali investment and in view of obstruction on the operation of Nepal's transportation means in India. We don’t have any enmity with the people of India and transporters. Our aim is solely guided to defend the rights of Nepali film producers and transport entrepreneurs.
The decision of our party to ban Indian films that defame and disrespect Nepal and Nepalis, promote obscenity and spread cultural pollution has wide support. The CPN-Maoist has banned Hindi movies and music in the ten districts of ‘Tamsaling’ and we will call a nationwide ban, if necessary. We have not forced anybody and it is very encouraging that it is a bid to safeguard national sovereignty.
Preventing all Indian-registered vehicles from entering Nepal and all cinema halls from screening Hindi movies means 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.
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.
We can form an independent mechanism later to censor anti-Nepal Hindi movies after consulting all stakeholders. 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. The ban on the entry of vehicles with Indian number plates is to create pressure for the easy entry of Nepali vehicles into India.
Bhusal is Maoist Central Committee Member. As told to New Spotlight.