Yours truly is pretty excited these days, for these are probably the best times for being a journalist (even if you’re just faking it). Committee to Protect Journalists (or the Committee of Protected Journalists?), CPJ, may go to hell, or any of the venues for Nepal’s National Games, whichever is nearer, for saying “Journalists are in Danger.”
A proud journalist that yours truly is (for no apparent reason), he has no qualms rubbishing the CPJ (Centre for Pseudo-protectionist Jamboree) report ‘Getting Away with Murder’. These actually are the best times we’ve had. In past 4 and half months we’ve thrown shoes at 3 world leaders, from the most powerful of the nations – US, China and India.
George Bush, Wen Jiabao and P Chidambaram (more so for wearing glasses and looking like a scholar) can tell you exactly the trajectory of the projectiles hurled at them and the size and brand of shoes that are in fashion among the reporters these days. No mean feat that (Nike and Adidas would spend millions to get that knowledge). So what if the person throwing his weight… err footwear at the Chinese premier was not a journalist. Federation of Nepali Journalists, FNJ – sometimes admiringly referred to as Faculty of Nincompoop Jokers – has the audacity needed to actually confer the title of ‘honorary journalist’ upon the poor soul, who disappeared sooner than his shoes did. (After all we have tradition of non-journalistic journalists making to every frame of TV and flashing cameras)
Huh! So much for 6 of the South Asian nations falling in top 15 list of shame from the CPJ. What CPJ seemingly did not see that the freedom with which the journos can throw shoes, and in case of Nepal throw stone-like projectiles at unsuspecting policemen, calling it freedom of speech (in any other country referred to as freedom to sleaze). According to CPJ, Iraq is the worst for journalists’ freedom, where Muntadar al-Zaidi found size 10 shoe before hurling them at his favorite target, a certain Mr. Bush Jr. Probably Iraq is number one in the list because the US led invasion has robbed the country of shoes, and the journalists face a real danger of not finding the right size for the target practice. Not to mention the poor reporters’ lack of practice, as all three have so far missed targets, robbing the Television cameras of the ‘perfect shot’.
Since we, in Nepal, live in eternal worry of not being able to match the world, and in constant effort to gladly follow the global trend, be it black market theories or suicidal politics, we are in urgent need to follow suit. And hereby, yours truly would like to propose 10 names, which would serve as target practice.
- 1. The Grand Old Man aka GPK – For being the youngest octogenarian in the country, yet old enough so that he is not able to duck when the projectiles come flying. And more for favoring his home town reporters to the capital based ones, when it comes to juicy bites and quotes. However, given that he’s only turned out at the Constituent Assembly once or twice, he may not turn up at the occasion.
- 2. The Fierce One aka PKD – For being the chief of everything. Especially for continuing to see the Royal hand when any media house term his goons as goon-das. You may not want to throw in the missile while he’s making a speech. Chances are his head shakes will make you miss the mark, and you might hit his come-raid-in-arms, aka the Finance Monster, oops… Minister.
- 3. The Red Flag aka BRB – For being the most vocal, giving soundbites to the television wallas. The only trouble is his quotes at the football match sound exactly similar to the one made at FNCCI, with no punctuation altered. Also, for looking really angry when he’s actually trying to crack a joke (ask Minister wife He-She-la Yummy). Close your eyes if he’s your target, you might drop dead with fear, if you are in front of him while he is speaking.
- 4. The MY (most famous Yadav this side of the border) – For being what he is, downright funny a la Laloo Yadav (the animal friendly Railway Minister from southern friendly nation), no matter what he says or speaks. The only problem is, he takes himself seriously. If you actually manage to throw something at him, at least make sure you agree to listen to him swearing at you in Maithili (for swearing-in and swearing out sound so similar).
- 5. The still young leader of Nepali Congress aka SBD – He might be the favorite target for Television and Radio journalists and the obvious reason: his soundbites. Television reporters have had their jobs at stake when producers demand Nepali subtitle of his speech, when he actually speaks in Nepali. Tough job!
- 6. The latest Grand Old Man in almost youth aka MKN – For being the editor himself (mildly also referred as changing statements). Reporters have had days, when they sat down to write a story with his speech as a peg, and by the time they wrote a few lines, dear MKN had already changed statements.
- 7. The so many times former PM aka SBT – For being louder than his visible size and for making the interviewing reporter feel as if he was about to announce a war on the other side of Great Wall of China, when he was just asking the nearby spot boy for a glass of water. And of course, for also believing that reporters actually want to interview him, even now.
- 8. The Supplying Minister aka RM – For saying so many times that he’d quit the government, sometimes due to a reason and sometimes without, and sometimes just because he’s free time when no one is trying to capture the grand old lady of his former party. Also for standing too close to some reporters (some have started complaining of facial itch due to his beard)
- 9. The Scientific Minister aka GS – For having the same initials as the former King. Moreover, for having almost all the journalist in his facebook friends. More, for running a blog, and believing an update once a semester would be sufficient. More, for being present in almost all the seminars and workshops that the capital could ever host. All along, forgetting the small matter of making the IT park functional, which he had promised in jest. If you’re trying to throw the missile, you should know that he’s an engineer and he may be able to calculate the velocity of the shoe, its curve in the space, just before it hits him, wasting your and of course, his own energy and time.
- 10. The present Home Minister aka BDG – For snatching away the favorite hang-out spots of fellow journalists of yours truly, the dance bars of the valley. Here the bar maidens would also like to join the journos with brand Nike and Bentley, Adidas and Bata. By the time these lines were being written, the journos were seen rushing to the nearest shoe stores. Mr. Home Minister, stay home safe, please…