By: Annet Preethi Furtado
July 28 2023
News of Nepal's cable TV briefly suspending Indian news channels in 2020 for negatively impacting national sentiment is being circulated as recent.
In July 2023, a viral series of posts on social media, particularly on Facebook and Twitter, claimed that Nepal had banned all Indian channels except DD News. One Facebook post, written in Hindi, suggested that Nepal had taken this step because it was "frustrated by people who were loud and aggressive" or those who made claims about the country.
The post carried a small cutout of India Prime Minister Narendra Modi with text in Hindi which read "not worthy of showing his face." The post appeared to be a jibe at the prime minister. A viral tweet carried a video by a woman announcing the news, insinuating that everyone was aware of a loud and aggressive individual that caused Nepal to ban Indian channels. The archived posts can be found here and here.
While in July 2020, a temporary ban was enforced on all private Indian channels, it was subsequently lifted. There is no current ban on Indian news channels in Nepal, and news of an older ban is being shared misleadingly as recent.
We found no recent news reports of any ban on Indian channels in Nepal. However, multiple reports from 2020 surfaced as part of this search, offering detailed coverage on the matter.
One such report from Deccan Chronicle from July 10, 2020, reported that Nepal suspended the transmission of all Indian private news channels, except state-broadcaster Doordarshan. The decision to ban Indian private channels in Nepal was prompted by several channels allegedly broadcasting content that negatively impacted Nepal's national sentiment.
The article said that the ban was reportedly implemented because of critical reports concerning then Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli and his government. However, the Nepal government had not officially announced the discontinuation of telecasting Indian news channels, as stated in the Deccan Chronicle report.
Days after, The Times of India reported on July 14, 2020, that the ban had been partially lifted, with all but four private Indian news channels permitted to air in Nepal. According to sources quoted by the paper, these four channels were Zee News, India TV, Aaj Tak, and ABP News. This decision was reportedly taken due to significant pressure on cable operators to resume broadcasting Indian channels for several reasons. A report by NDTV also stated the same.
Further, on August 2, a tweet from news agency ANI quoted Sudeep Acharya, the Managing Director of Dish Home in Nepal, announcing that the DTH service provider has commenced broadcasting all Indian news channels, including previously banned ones. Since then, no developments on this matter have been reported as of July 2023.
Logically Facts has contacted the Federation Of Nepal Cable Television Entrepreneurs to seek clarification on the matter. This story will be updated if and when we receive a response.
The claim that all Indian news channels with the exception of DD News are banned in Nepal is misleading. This ban was imposed for a limited time in 2020 but was later lifted. The recent circulation of this outdated news is inaccurate and misrepresents the current situation.