Left Menu
Development News Edition

Nepal: Comedian arrested for posting satirical review of movie

ANI | Kathmandu | Updated: 13-06-2019 23:04 IST | Created: 13-06-2019 22:49 IST
Nepal: Comedian arrested for posting satirical review of movie
Image Credit: Flickr

A stand-up comedian has been kept behind the bars for nearly a week in Nepal after he posted a satirical review of a film on a social media platform, raising questions over freedom of expression in the Himalayan nation. 24-year-old Pranesh Gautam was arrested on June 7 under the Electronic Transaction Act on a complaint filed by a filmmaker named Milan Chamling after the comedian had uploaded a "satirical" video of the movie 'Bir Bikram 2' on his YouTube channel 'Meme Nepal'.

The movie was made by Chamling and released last month. In a statement, the Nepal police said that Pranesh was arrested for defaming Nepali filmmakers and hampering the sales of the film after Chamling had filed a case against him.

"The investigation is underway with compliance to Electronic Transaction Act and he (Pranesh Gautam) is sent to Metropolitan Police Circle," the police said. Gautam's arrest has drawn widespread condemnation amongst the people.

"Question: If a director/ writer/ composer/ blah blah copies... oh wait! ...Get "inspired" from "another" movie and can be proven with proper evidence.... will they be put behind bars in the case of plagiarism?? #FreePraneshGautam," A Twitter user named Swarna Tamrakar said while referring to the satirical review where the stand-up comedian had claimed that the film has been copied from Indian blockbuster movie 'Sholay'. In the last four years, more than 120 cases have been filed against people in the Himalayan nation for their social media posts, according to Nepal Police.

The KP Sharma Oli-led government is moving ahead with a new Media Council Bill, which, the journalists claim, will curtail their rights. Interestingly, Oli who recently gave an address at the Oxford Union in London, had spoken about the importance of freedom of expression in a democracy.

"PM's great call to treasure freedom of speech at international forum. Highly appreciate and applaud. Nepali citizens want to see the same at home land too. #Freedomofexpression and #HumanRights are protected," Mohana Ansari, Commissioner of National Human Rights Council, Nepal tweeted. This is not the first time that an artist in Nepal has faced such consequences.

Last year, Nepali singer Pashupati Sharma had to remove a satirical song on corruption after he allegedly received threats from the cadres of the ruling Nepal Communist Party. "This is very scary. I am 28-year-old and my parents have asked me not to speak anything against the powerful people. There are very young comedians and content creators in our circle and they are scared to even say anything. We have gotten into the habit of self-censorship not because we think its wrong but we don't want powerful people to be offended. It has made us realise that we are helpless and powerless. There is nothing called a rule of law as long as you have money," Ayush Shrestha, a fellow stand-up-comedian of Pranesh Gautam told ANI.

Shrestha said that the satirical contents are sometimes related to colour and race but are intended to be shown in a light-hearted manner. "The videos we make are on jokes regarding race and colour. But they are satirical in nature. The intention is not to discriminate but to point out what exists in the society," he added.



Why COVID-19 is unstoppable in USA despite it being ranked at the top of GHS Index?

Several worst-hit countries such as Italy, France, Spain, the UK, Canada, and Russia have peaked COVID-19 cases in April. Almost all of them have gradually flattened the curve. However, the USA is setting new daily records of infections tha...

COVID-19 seems cooking biggest ever global scam

The increasing number of corruption cases on COVID-19 funds from throughout the world and involvement of high profile persons indicate that the countries cant ignore corruption in their pandemic response programs. This has generated the nee...

Health Management Information Systems lack holistic, integrated, and pandemic resilient character

Being a part of the United Nations system, the World Health Organization WHO deserves its share of rebuke for its alleged failure issue COVID-19 health emergency alerts on appropriate time. However, the pandemic has also exposed loopholes i...

Pride in the time of coronavirus: a welcome move online?

This year is different in many ways not least as celebrations are also taking place against the dramatic backdrop of a global health crisis and a resurgence in grassroots activism following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. ...


Latest News

CM Yogi issues directives on special sanitisation campaign in UP from Saturday

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has issued directives to officials concerned for the special cleanliness and sanitization campaign, beginning on Saturday. In a video conference with all divisional commissioners, district magist...

Derailed economic activities getting back on track amid unlocking: Khattar

Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Friday said that with the unlocking of the economy, several disrupted activities were getting back on track. Speaking in Rohtak, Khattar said the revenue generation of the state has also increas...

COVID test conducted on CPI(M) members during state committee meet

The CPIM on Friday conducted rapid antibody test to check coronavirus infection on around 70 of its West Bengal state committee members who attended a meeting here, party sources said. Samples collected by the partys medical cell will be se...

Shivakumar asks how Rewa solar plant is Asia's largest, says 2000 MW plant already in Karnataka

Karantaka Congress chief DK Shivakumar on Friday raised questions over claims that Rewa Ultra Mega Solar Power Project Madhya Pradesh was largest in Asia and said a 2000 MW had been built in the state. BJP central government is claiming to...

Give Feedback