Amend the IT Bill, Government trying to hide their failures and divert attention: Prof (Dr.) Surendra KC

Janata Janna Chahancha, President Bidya Devi Bhandari, Rishi Dhamala, Dr Surendra KC, Deepak Manange

Reporters Club Event: Prof (Dr.) Surendra KC has raised a concern regarding the silence of the Federation of Nepalese Journalists. He alleges that the government is trying to shut down social media. He said, “social media management is necessary but what is the intention behind it is a matter that is extremely challenging”.

Speaking at a special press interaction program organized at the Reporters Club last Friday, Prof KC spoke about the essence in which youth were driven by social media. “This government has not provided a concrete future for the youth since the youth are independent utilizing social media why is the government trying to curb them?” he questioned.

“The price of a camera may cost about 100,000 Nepalese Rupees (NRs), and that is being utilized by various journalists to publish their stories and videos on social media like YouTube. It is unfair that the provisions listed in the bill require journalists to pay 1.5 million NRs in penalties, the stringent provisions of the act that are included are not inclined toward justice”.

He also spoke about the current Minister of Information and Broadcasting Gokul Banskota being a youth leader and that he should be well aware of the sentiments of young people. Prof KC alleged that the government is moving towards totalitarianism. He also said that “since the government was involved in various scandals, Baluwatar land, and the recent debacle of the tourism Minister taking out a rally promoting Nepal in Australia in the latter’s time of natural crisis. These failures have prompted the government to divert national attention and he cautioned people to be aware.

He also said that “they will protest against the bill that has threatened to curb social media and disrupt freedom of speech. It was necessary to bring a revised bill”.

President of the Reporters Club and senior Journalist Rishi Dhamala said that the new bill that is being tabled in the Parliament will not be acceptable at all. He stressed on the consolidation of media and journalists. “The Reporters Club is not in favor of the new bill. Press freedom should never be compromised. We have to favor democracy and an independent press. We will fight for our rights in every which way” he said.