December 1, 2021, Wednesday
Nepal 1:37:26 pm

Ram Dev’s TV channels with no registration sparks controversy

The Nepal Weekly
November 23, 2021

Nepal Government has said it will take action against Ram Dev’s two television channels which were launched in Kathmandu on Friday amidst a programme attended by Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, CPN -Maoist Centre chairman Pushpakamal Dahal “Prachanda,” and other senior political leaders.

We will take action if we found that Patajali Nepal and Ashtha Nepal channels belonging to India’s yoga guru Ram Dev and Acharya Balakrishna have built infrastructures to broad the television programs without fulfilling any legal formalities and even having registered, said Director General of Department of Information and Broadcasting Gogan Bahadur Hamal.

The two television channels have never applied for registration and did not follow any legal procedure to start the television, he told The Nepal Weekly over phone, when asked to comment in the matter. However, issuing a statement Patanjali Yogapeeth Nepal claimed that it has only inaugurated the building of the television channel and registration process for the channels is yet to be initiated.

Director General Hamal said, we can’t believe in the statement issued by the Patanjali Nepal and we have formed an investigation committee to find out the truth. If they have made any preparation regarding operating the television channel from Nepal without our permission and without following due procedures, we will take necessary action, he said.

Nepalese law does not allow foreign investment in media sector. Ram Dev and Bala Krishna’s Patanajali group are learnt to have invested money in the two television channels, which they said are meant for broadcasting religious and yoga related programmes.

Last time in June also Ram Dev’s Patanjali group pllunged into controversy after they tried to market Coronil kit meant for treatment of Corona virus disease without formally registering in Department of Drug Administration under the Ministry of Health and Population, Government of Nepal.

FNJ says its serious attention was drawn to the Patanjali’s TV channels

Meanwhile, Federation of Nepalese Journalists, umbrella organization of Nepalese journalists, have issuing a statement said that its serious attention has been drawn towards the news about launching of two television channels by Patanjali group. At a time when the Nepalese law prevents foreign investment in media the launching of television channel by Patanjali Yoga Peeth was violation of the law, it said. “We want to remind the concerned group about the existing laws and rules that prevent operating TV channels under foreign investment.”

“We appeal the government to halt foreign investment in media sector of Nepal and create conducive environment for Nepalese media sector to operate in a competitive and professional manner,” the statement further states.