As Nepal transits through yet another critical process of defining the course of its political destiny, what remains certain is the fact that the Radio assumes an indispensable role in defining the opinion of the people; hence the fate of its future. A unique and central feature of Nepal’s sovereign dispensation has been its willingness to facilitate the development of the Radio as a means to encourage the making of an informed society. Indeed, the Radio has been a central pathway of connecting and empowering the diverse people of Nepal as a unified political entity.
While India by large is an entertainment centered society, manifested and reiterated through its mainstream media, Nepal by comparison thrives on the hunger for want of information and knowledge through public discourses on issues that are important to their existence. This is so evidently clear in the positions that the media have taken and the priority it gives to information over entertainment. It therefore is not surprising that independent media was a leading figure in the peoples’ movement for democracy.
In the face of threat and grave danger, the media in Nepal took a conscious and deliberate decision to collectively withstand all forms of state pressure and to resolutely stand firm upon a moral and ethical position; to strive for democracy. Its passionate resolve to truly represent peoples aspiration makes up for its lack of suave and sophistication. In essence its simplicity and sincerity has made it possible to communicate with the people, thereby creating trust and reliability. Fundamentally, its political stand to be ‘in the boat’ rather than ‘outside the boat’ has made independent media in Nepal a decisive factor.
Considering that print media has limited reach and accessibility in Nepal, the Radio in effect is the one and only true medium of mass communication. With cheap and easy accessibility, the Radio has succeeded in developing a personal relationship with the listener. From remote villages to the heart of Katmandu valley, from scanty shacks to sophisticated studios, Radio stations stand proudly in the skyline, serving as reminder its testament as a vanguard of people’s aspiration.
Nepal’s pioneering community Radios have had positive affect on the people; and because it is community-centered with ownership in the hands of the people, it has become an affective and trustworthy medium for addressing concerns, disseminating information, empowering people to make informed decisions. In essence, these have been the factors that enabled its resistance in the height of state repression and have enhanced decentralization of power. Consequently, it moved from resistance to actively assuming the critical yeast in forging unity in purpose among civil society and harmonizing internal and external conditions, which finally led to the restoration of democracy in Nepal.
Over the coming weeks and months, the Radio will assume greater responsibilities in sharing viewpoints, cultivating public opinion and evolving consensus towards fundamental questions of justpeace and human security. With an open Air and a critical Voice of reason, this RadioNation exemplary demonstrates that revolutions come by way of honest and open dialogues, made possible through, Radio.