Friday, March 16, 2012

Journalistic Ethics in Nepal

-Yam Bahadur Dura

Ved Vyas, Gautam Buddha, Acharya Bishnu Gupta, Paigambar Mohammed and oriental sages like Adi Sangkaracharya and occidental philosophers like Socrates, Plato and Aristotle have defined ethics as spiritual issues (Mainali, 2008:11).     

The journalistic of code of ethics provides journalists with basic system for self-evaluation, self-limitation, self realization, regulation self-correction and self-control as they perform their duties. The code of ethics paves the way for the framework that facilitates journalists to deal with plenty of ethical questions and moral issues viz. conflict of inertest, ethical dilemmas, and so on.

As its pervasive connotation, it is not easy to define journalistic ethics. Ethics has to do with duty - duty to self and duty to others. Although it relates to obligations to others, it is private and personal[…]. In other words, media ethics concerns right and wrong, good and bad, better and worse actions taken by people working for media (Adhikary, 2008:289).

Media ethics is not any fixed set of rules or laws. Rather, it is defined as a process that evolves with the world in which the media operate, and on which the media reports. There are no fixed "right" answers. However, ethics is an important in the mass media profession that pervades the entire professional activity. Journalists as well as other professional communicators are right in the middle of all sorts of ethical concerns in the daily work environment. They have to decide what is the right – or at least the better – thing to do at every turn (Ibid).         

Ethics is not enforced by laws. They are understandings among journalists as to what is proper journalistic behavior. Some of these agreements are formulated in codes. The personal beliefs and, social and    cultural  backgrounds of journalists also constitute ethical commitments. Journalistic          codes of      ethics facilitate journalists to   mitigate conflict of interest, ethical dilemma and    improper acts.
 Development of Journalistic Ethics in Nepal

The journalistic ethics in Nepal seems to be come into being with the advent of the first Nepali newspaper Gorkhapatra in 1901. The then Rana Prime Minister Dev Shumser issued a decree on Baisakh 11, 1958 (April 23, 1901), which was popularly known as Sanad, that set certain standards as to what is to print and what is not to print in Gorkhapatra. It may be regarded as the first archetype of journalistic ethics in Nepal. However, this can also be termed as shield laws which were set to protect Rana rulers from media criticism.

This Sanad (decree) came more than two decades ahead of "Canons of Journalism" was issued. "Canons of Journalism" was adopted by American Society of Newspaper Editors (ASNE) in 1922.

Rana Prime Minister Chandra Shumsher established Gorkha Bhasa Prakashini Samiti (afterward it was named as Nepal Bhasa Prakashini Samiti) in 1970 BS. It was a regulatory body, which used to bring works of writers and poets under the strict rules. To make the functions of this regulatory body more effective, certain press related       provisions were added in the Muluki Ain (Civil Code). Section (Adalko mahal) five of the Muluki Ain has spoken about rules and that need to be followed by writers and poets while carrying out their professional activities. The press-related provisions were mainly focused on censorship and copyright issues.

After the fall of Rana oligarchic rule in 1951, several attempts seem to be made to prescribe certain ethical standards to be followed by media professionals. In this course, Nepal Government         formulated a Press Commission in 1957. The Commission   submitted a-18 point code in the form of suggestions to the governmen. This code of conduct had made ample of efforts to make journalists more ethical and professional.

In  his book Nepalko Chhapakhana ra Patrapatrikako Itihas, Grisma Bahadur Devakota has mentioned that on 7-11March 1967, the first conference of Nepal Journalists Association took place in Kathmandu and it issued a-22-point code of conduct. May be this was the first time in Nepal that professional organization of journalists prescribed code of conduct.

There was no any independent body like ombudsman to scrutinize performances of media in Nepal till late 60s.          The concept of a press regulatory body came into existence for the first time in Nepal in 2024 BS, which was known as Press Advisory Committee. Later, its name was changed as Press Advisory Council. It issued journalistic code of conduct in 1969. On 27 September 1970, a-11-member Press Council was formed to make it functional (Kafle, 2062:381 translated).

The Press Council, which was set up by the government as a statutory body to look into the matters of professionalism and performance of the media formulated and issued Code of Conduct in 1974. Mean while, it also raised issue of automatic cancellation of registration in the failure to bring mandatory minimum number of issues of newspapers (Kharel, 2001:125).

It is noticeable that most of the code of conducts issued before 1990, were overtly or covertly in favor of party-less Panchayat system and royal family. However, it does mean that those codes of conduct were not liberal and media-friendly.

…In the aftermath of the restoration of multi-party system multi-party democracy in April 1990, the government promulgated a separate Press Council Act in 1992, which defined specifically the principles, functions and responsibilities of the Council (Adhikary, 2008:344).

An important dimension of this Act is that it has equipped Press Council Nepal (PCN) with quasi-judicial rights arranged for hearing of complaints from the distressed parties for violation of the codes and their settlement. If the complaint proves to be true, then PCN may compel the journalists or his/her media to publicly apologize with the person or the institution or ask them to publish a written apology. However, the Act has remained tight-lipped on the procedure to lodge complaints against wrongdoings of electronic media.

A year after its formation of this Act, PCN issued a code of ethics for Nepalese journalists. Some months later, the Federation of Nepalese Journalists (FNJ), the single-largest body of journalists in the country, issued its own code of ethics in 1993. Since this gave the impression of rivalry between the two bodies, officials from both sides started talks on forming a unified code in January, 1999, FNJ and PCN officials joined hands in drawing up a unified code of ethics. This code of ethics does not prevent journalists from becoming active member of political parties (Kharel, 2007:137).

The code of conduct issued by the PCN in 1992 has spoken about different ethical aspects including respecting communal harmony, addressing grievances upon the publication of baseless news, safeguarding confidentiality of news sources, refraining from misusing the profession for self- benefits and the more.

Being a new entry in the media landscape of Nepal, community radios didn't have a collective set of code of conduct before 2002AD. Since its establishment in 2058 BS, Association of Community Radio Broadcaster Nepal (ACORAB), an umbrella organization of community radios in Nepal, drafted code of conduct and brought it to discussions with its the member radios. According to Raghu Mainali, ACORAB's founding chairperson, ACORAB issued code of conduct in 2004 for community radios.  In 2007, it was revised as 'Code of Conduct for Community Radio 2007'.

After the advent of the much talked Loktantra in 2006, it was felt that the existing journalistic code of conduct should be changed to address the changed socio-political environment and to cover media dimensions including broadcasting and online media. PCN, with the consent of the FNJ, amended and revised the Code of Journalistic Ethics in 2008.

With the political change of 2006, Nepal headed towards the election of Constituent Assembly. This was a much awaited historic event for Nepalese people, which drew much more media attentions – both nationally and internationally. Some of the professional media organizations issued code of conduct targeting the Constituent Assembly. The Election Commission has allocated chapter four of the Code of Conduct on Election to Members of the Constituent Assembly, 2064 (2008) for code of conduct to be followed by the mass media. It deals with duty of correcting false messages, provision of providing political parties with free-air-time in proportion to the candidate fielded by the political party, respecting tacit period of election canvassing, maintaining records of any information published or broadcast.

Targeting the Constituent Assembly of 2008, Association of Community Radio Broadcaster Nepal (ACORAB), Broadcasting Association of Nepal (BAN) and Kathmandu Valley FM Broadcasters' Forum jointly issued a six-point (with 10 sup-points) code of conduct. This code was named as ‘Election Code of Conduct for Radio Broadcasters, 2008’. As its preamble describes, it is based on the codes of conduct of the Association of Community Radio Broadcasters Nepal, Press Council Nepal, the Election Commission and the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) as well as the current laws.

Along with the above-mentioned codes of conduct, different media organizations like Nepal Press Institute, Equal Access Nepal have issued media-related code of conducts over the times. But, its implementation side largely seems to be out of picture. May be its poor implementation is largely obstructed by our socio-economic condition.

 Challenges Ahead:

Ghatna ra Bichar (Event and Thought), a current affairs program of Radio Nepal, was brought to an end at the time of Constituent Assembly in 2008. The Election Commission had ordered to stop that program. The reason behind it was media monitoring report of the Election Monitoring Unit of Press Council Nepal, established especially for Constituent Assembly. The report had indicated that Ghatna ra Bichar is presenting politically biased news and views.

This is rarest of the rare incident in the Nepalese media landscape. Most of the media are going unchecked and unchallenged in terms of their behavior while practicing their profession.

Despite the ethical limitations set by the code of conduct, journalists and media houses have been overlooking bedrock values of journalistic ethics. For this reason, the provisions have largely remained ineffectual as most of the media houses seem to be indifferent towards it.

Responsible factors to it could be 'corporate arrogance' of media houses, anarchy-infected mind-set of journalists, compulsions created by socio-economic conditions or political transitions.

This is the age of diversity, which has become problematic too in the media landscape. The already existed partisan newspapers are now accompanied by partisan radios. Some of the FM radios have appeared in the media landscapes with a certain political thought. The questions are: Does the age of diversity accept such a media practice? Can a media be a political mouthpiece in the name of openness and diversity?

It is obvious that political affiliation of journalists, corporate interest of the media houses, and donors' interest in media have already put question marks to credibility of the media. This situation can give unprecedented power in the hands of media tycoons.

Future Steps:

The Nepalese media are at a legal and ethical crossroads. Which way they should go? They may have realized along with media experts and scholars that press laws and codes of conduct alone never resolve media issues. They have to discover a normative vision in tune with their culture (Kharel, 2001:100).

The nature media and technology are changing fast. They have come up with new scopes and challenges in the media landscape. The emergence of online media as well as new dimensions of radio and television has been seeking different sets of rules and regulations.

Cyber crime, networking, chain broadcasting, are some of the issues that emerged out of aforesaid media. These issues are so vast that they need separate sets of code of ethics to deal with. General sets of code of ethics seem to be impractical to deal with those vast areas.

Most importantly, ethics is solely a moral issue.  And, observing ethics is the only way for media to develop itself.

Works Cited and consulted:

Adhikary, N. M.. 2008.  Communication, Media and Journalism An Integrated Study. Pp. 289-295. Kathmandu: Prashanti Prakashan.

  Chhetri, A, Thapa, M, Panta, S. (2002). Patrakaritama Mahila Prashna. Pp. 69-95.Kathmandu: Nepal Press Institute.

Code of Conduct for Community Radio 2007. 2007. Kathmandu: Community Radio Broadcasters Nepal.

Dahal, K. 2058 BS.Amsanchar Ra Kanun.Kathamdnu: Nepal Press Institute

Devakota, G. B.. 2059 BS (Third Edition). Nepalko Chhapakhana Patrapatrikako          Itihas.         Kathmandu: Sajha Prakashan

Kharel, P.2007. Dimensions of Communication. Pp.131-141. Kathmandu: Nepal Association of Media Educators (NAME).

  Kharel, P. (Ed).2001. Media Practices in Nepal. Kathmandu: Nepal Press Institute.
Kharel, P.2005.Sounds of Radio Broadcasting. Pp. 59-63. Kathmandu:Nepal Association of Media Educators.

 Kumar, R. 2003 .Patrakaaroun ki Aachar Sanhita. Outlook 2 (1): 10.

Mainali, R. 2008 (First English Edition). Radio Pledge. Kathmandu:  Radio Knowledge, Community Radio Support Center (CRSC) Nepal Forum of Environmental Journalists (NEFEJ)

Mencher, M. (1999) Reprint. Basic News Writing (3rd Edition). P.404. New Delhi: Universal Book Stall.

Press Council Nepal. (2003). Code of Journalistic Ethics- 2003 (Amended and revised).

Press Sambandhi Kanun Samkhhipta Parichaya (Press Related Laws: A Brief Introduction)

Yogi, B. ( 2003, August 12).  'Media power with responsibility'. The Kathmandu Post.


Election Commission. Accessed on July 10, 2009.

Press Council Nepal.  Accessed on August 25, 2009.

Press Council Nepal.  Accessed on August 25, 2009

[Courtesy: MBM Anthology of Media Ethics (2009). With a slight revision.]

Sunday, March 4, 2012

दुराडाँडामा आशाको त्यान्द्रो

 -यमबहादुर दुरा

गाउँघर रित्तिँदै गएको बेलामा मेरो जन्मथलो दुराडाँडा पुग्दा यसपटक मलाई बेग्लै अनुभूति भयो । गाउँघरमा चहलपहल बढेको पाएँ । गाउँमा पाखुरामा तागत भएका तन्नेरीहरु त खासै भेटिएनन् । तर त्यहाँ बचेखुचेका जे जति जनशक्ति थिए, तिनमा एकप्रकारको उत्साह भेटियो । गाउँघरको हराउँदै गएको कान्ति फेरि फर्किएजस्तो लाग्यो । उनीहरुको ओंठमा मुस्कान फक्रिएको देख्दा कोइलाखानीमा हीरा भेटिएजस्तो लाग्यो ।

लमजुङमा हालसालै शुरु भएको नयाँ पदमार्गको उद्घाटन समारोहमा भाग लिन दुराडाँडा पुग्दा मेरो मनमा उत्साहको सञ्चार  भयो । ठाउँ-ठाउँमा स्वागतद्वार उभ्याइएका थिए । गाउँ छाडेर सुखको खोजीमा देशका अन्य भागमा पुगेका गाम्ले दाजुभाइहरु त्यतिबेला गाउँमै भेटिएका थिए । उनीहरु लागीमिली काम गरिरहेका थिए । उनीहरुको उपस्थितिले गाउँघरको सहकाल फर्किएर आएजस्तो लाग्यो ।

काठमाडौंबाट बाटो लाग्दा मेरो साथमा तीनजना पत्रकार थिए-किशोर पौडेल (एबीसी टेलिभिजन), उद्धव थापा (आर्थिक अभियान)  र अनुप ओझा (द काठमाण्डू पोष्ट) । बाटोमा खाजा खान र भात खान पृथ्वीराजमार्गका होटलहरुमा पस्दा पुरानै अव्यवस्था र महङ्गी कायमै देखियो । त्यहाँ हामीबीच ठट्टा पनि चल्यो -' बाबुरामले अनुगमन टोली खटाउन छाडे, क्यारे ।' 

काठमाडौंबाट खत्रीठाँटी पुगेपछि दुराडाँडाका लागि अर्को बस समात्नुपर्ने थियो । चितवन बन्दले हामी मुग्लिनमा डेड घण्टा जाममा परेका थियौँ। परिणामस्वरुप खत्रीठाँटीबाट दुराडाँडाका लागि बस छुट्ने समय टरिसकेको थियो । भाग्यवश, त्यस दिन दुराडाँडा जाने बस निर्धारित समयमा छुटेको रहेनछ । हामीले बस भेट्टायौं । सिट प्याक भएकोले छतमा बस्यौँ ।  किशोर पौडेल भिडियो क्यामेरा नै लिएर छतमा बसे । अप्ठेरो बाटो । त्यसमा पनि  भिडियो क्यामरा लिएर छतमा बस्नुपर्ने अवस्था । क्यामरा फुट्ने हो कि भनेर चिन्ता लाग्न थाल्यो । मैले उनीतिर फर्केर भनें, 'क्यामरा फुट्ने हो कि?'  तर उनले मलाई उल्टै ढाडस दिए 'केही हुँदैन ।'

छतमा यात्रा गर्दा रुखका हाँगाबिंगाले हामीलाई थुप्रैपटक झापड लगायो । एकपटक रुखका हाँगाले मेरो टोपी नै खसालिदियो । भूइँ चुम्न पुगेको मेरो टोपी किशोर पौडेलले ल्याइदियो । यात्राका यिनै अनुभवहरु मनमा सजाउँदै घरमा पुग्यौँ  । हामीलाई देखेपछि आमा-बा निकै खुसी हुनुभयो । नहोस् पनि किन ! आधुनिकताले निम्त्याएको शहरबास र व्यस्तताले  वर्षमा मुस्किलले तीन चार पटकमात्र उहाँहरुसँग भेट हुने गरेको छ । बहिनीले ढिँडोरोटो पकाएकी थिइन् । भोक र थकाइले चुर भएकोले बेला त्यही ढिँडोरोटो पनि हाम्रा लागि   मिष्टान्न भोजनमा परिणत भयो । घरैमा उत्पादित बिदाइ बिजुलीपानीले करामत देखाउँदै थियो । साथीहरुका बोली लरबराउँदै थियो । उनीहरु छिट्टै निन्द्रादेवीको शरणमा परे ।

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भोलिपल्ट विहान हामी पुरानकोटतिर लाग्यौँ  । घरबाट एक घण्टा जति हिँडेपछि पुरानकोट गाउँमा पुग्यौँ  । पुरानकोट थाप्लोतिर पाइला नाप्दै गर्दा विदेशी पर्यटकहरु पनि भेटिए । थकाइका सुस्केरा फ्याँक्दै करिब १ हजार ९ सय मिटर पुरानकोटको थाप्लोमा पुगेपछि आँखाले मनोरम भूदृश्य तनतनी पिउन थाल्यो । उत्तरतिर दन्तलहर खोलेर मुस्काएका हिमश्रृखला, पूर्वतिर गोर्खा,  दक्षिणतिर तनहूँ र नवलपरासी र पश्चिमतिर कास्कीका मनमोहक भूतरेलीहरु सिनेमाका 'लो सट एंगल' र 'हाइ सट एंगल' का दृश्यहरुझैं आँखा वरिपरि देखिन थाले । यद्यपि तुँवालोको घुम्टो ओढेकी प्रकृति खुल्नुपर्ने जति खुलेकी थिइनन् ।

पुरानकोट थाप्लोमा भग्नावशेषको रुपमा रहेको यशोब्रह्म शाह र उनकी रानीको बेग्लाबेग्लै दरबारलबारे गुरुप्रसाद ढुङ्गाना, दामोदर अधिकारीलगायतका स्थानीय जानकारहरुले दिएको जानकारीले हामीलाई इतिहाससित रुबरु गरायो । त्यस घडीले मलाई मेरा गुरुजनसँग पनि रुबरु गरायो । वर्षौंदेखि अलगथलग हुन पुगेका मेरा गुरुहरु लालबीर गुरुङ र बुद्धिबहादुर गुरुङ भेटिए, त्यहाँ । गुरुहरुसँगको भेटघाटले मन फुरुङ्ग भयो । उहाँहरु मलाई बाल्यकालमा शिक्षा दिने गुरु हुनुहुन्छ । उता पुरानकोटका गुरुङसेनी चेलीबेटीहरुले प्रेमपूर्वक दिएको भुटेको मकै, लट्टे, मह र अचारले तन र मन दुवै पुष्टिँदै थियो ।

पुष्टिएको  तन र मन लिएर पुरानकोटको थाप्लोबाट तलतिर झर्यौँ , 'रक क्लाइम्बिङ वाल' को उद्घाटन कार्यक्रममा सहभागी हुन । 'रक क्लाइम्बिङ वाल' उद्घाटन स्थलमा थुप्रै स्थानीय बासिन्दाहरुले अघि नै भरिभराउ भएको रहेछ । सूचना आयोगका तत्कालीन सचिव सुरेशमान श्रेष्ठ, नेपाल सरकारका सहसचिव कृष्ण रानादेखिका गन्यमान्य व्यक्ति र विदेशी पाहुनाहरु 'रक क्लाइम्बिङ' को रोमान्चक दृश्यमा रमाउन ढुङ्गे पहरामा आँखा जोतेर बसिरहेका थिए । 'च्वाइस इन्टरनेसन' का निर्देशक क्रिस जोन्सनले रक क्लाइम्बिङ वालको उद्घाटन गरेपछि त्यहाँ बेजोडसँग  सिठी बज्न थाल्यो । लगभग १ सय ६० फिटमाथिको ढुङ्गे पहराको टुप्पोबाट दुई युवा तुलबहादुर गुरुङ र राजकुमार गुरुङ डोरीको साहराबाट तलतिर झर्न थाले । त्यस क्षणलाई जीवन्त बनाउन भिडियो क्यामरादेखि मोबाइलसम्मको प्रयोग फोटो खिच्नेहरुको भीड नै उर्लियो ।

त्यतिबेला नै पुरानकोट एक युवा निकै हर्षित हुँदै पत्रकार अमृत भादगाउँलेलाई फोन गर्न थाले । केही वर्षअघि पुरानकोट पुग्दा अमृत भादगाउँलेले 'रक क्लाइम्बिङ' लाई सपना भनेका थिए रे । त्यस सपना पूरा भएको जानकारी दिन अमृतजीलाई फोन गरेर उनी भावुक मनोभावमा वायुतरङ्गमार्फत छताछुल्ल पोख्दै थिए । हुन पनि पुरानकोटको रक क्लाइम्बिङ तान्द्राङकोट-पुरानकोट पदमार्गको मात्र नभई नेपालभरिकै पदमार्गहरु गहना ठहरिन पुगेको छ ।
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पुरानकोटको भव्य कार्यक्रमपछि बिदाइका हात हल्लाउँदै हामी तुर्लुङकोटतिर लाग्यौँ । झमक्कै साँझपरेपछि तुर्लुङकोट आइपुग्दा जाडोको जवानी बेजोड ढङ्गले बढिरहेको थियो । जाडोले हामीलाई सेक्नुसम्म सेक्यो । तर हामी जाडोसँग डराएनौँ । ठाउँ ठाउँमा मुढा जोतिएका थिए । आधुनिक भाषामा भन्नुपर्दा त्यहाँ गाउँले शैलीको 'क्याम्प फायर' गरिएका थिए । त्यतिमात्र कहाँ हो र!  कोदाकॊ खाँट्टी बिजुलीपानीले पाहुनाहरुको भित्री कम्मल बनेर जाडोको दोहोलो काढ्न तम्तयार थियो । त्यहाँ उपलब्ध तातो-तातो चिया र तातो पानी पनि जाडोलाई निस्तेज बनाउन प्रयासरत थिए । खानपिनपछि चलेको नाचगानले त जाडोलाई झनै पर धपाइदिएको थियो । 

विहान खाजा खाएपछि पर्यटक र पत्रकारहरु फोटो खिच्न र गाउँघर डुल्न व्यस्त देखिए । दुराडाँडामा जन्मेकी प्रसिद्ध लोकगायिका बीमाकुमारी दुराको गीतमा उल्लिखित तुर्लुङकोटको लाँकुरीबोटको तस्बिर खिच्नमा व्यस्त थिए,पत्रकार किशोर पौडेल । बिडम्बना नै भन्नुपर्ने हुन्छ, इतिहास रच्न सफल त्यो लाँकुरीबोट रहेको चौतारी बाटो खन्ने बुल्डोजरको निर्मम आक्रमणको निसाना बनिसकेको छ । त्यो चौतारी थोते र कुरुप बनेको छ । 

लमजुङ तुर्लुङकोट
सरर हावा चल्यो लाँकुरीको बोट

बीमाकुमारी दुराको कोइलीजस्तो स्वरले उरालेको त्यो लाँकुरीबोटको भौतिक अवस्था गीतजस्तो सुन्दर छैन, अहिले । बीमाकुमारी दुरा, कृष्ण गुरुङ, कृष्णसुधा ढुङ्गानाजस्ता लोकप्रतिभा र पाखुरामा जाँगर भएका गाउँले युवाहरुको अनुपस्थितिमा त्यो लाँकुरीको बोट एक्लो छँदैथियो, त्यसमा पनि भत्कन लागेका लाँकुरी चौतारीको दुरावस्था देखेर भित्री मन गहिरो गरी दुख्न थाल्यो । हामी खिन्न भएको मन लिएर 'तुर्लुङकोट गढी' हुँदै तुर्लुङकोटकोटको थाप्लोतिर लाग्यौँ  । उकालो लाग्दा देखिएका आँखाको अघिल्तिर नाँच्न आएका मनोरम प्राकृतिक भूदृश्यहरुले दुखेको मनलाई विस्तारै ओखतीमूलो गर्न थाल्यो । चौतारीको बेहाल देखेर चिमोटिएको मन विस्तारै निको हुँदै गयो । तुर्लुङकोटकोटको थाप्लोमा बाह्रमासे घाँटु, सोरठी, भजन र ठाडो भाकाका खालहरु जमेका थिए । तान्द्राङकोट-पुरानकोट पदमार्ग उद्घाटनको अवसरमा यसप्रकारको सांस्कृतिक एवम् सांगीतिक जनमघट आयोजना गरिएको थियो । यसप्रकारको जमघटमा मिसिन पाउँदा मन फुरुङ्ग भयो । बाल्यकालका सम्झनाहरु ताजा भए । पानी परेपछि  फूलहरु ताजा भएजस्तै ।

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शहरप्रतिको बढ्दो मोह गाउँमा अवसरहरुको अभाव आदि कारणले दुराडाँडा प्रतिपल खाली  बन्दै गएको छ । अहिले मणि हराएको सर्पजस्तै कान्तिहीन बनेको छ, दुराडाँडा । हुन त  दुराडाँडाको यो अवस्था नेपालका अधिकांश गाउँबस्तीहरुको साझा कथा पनि हो । थुप्रै सामाजिक सांस्कृतिक एवम् ऐतिहासिक निधिहरुबाट सजिँदै वैभवशाली विगत बोकेको यो ठाउँ विसर्जित हुनु र बिरानो बन्दै जानु दुर्भाग्यपूर्ण अवस्था हो । यस्तो लाग्छ, हामीले ममतामयी भूगोल र वैभवशाली इतिहासलाई सनैसनै बिर्सदै गइरहेका छौं ।

दुराडाँडा शाहवंशीय राजसंस्थाको उद्गम विन्दु हो । खजे दुरा र उनका तत्कालीन सहकर्मीहरुले दुराडाँडामा शाहवंशीय राजसंस्था स्थापना गरेको इतिहास छ

सांगीतिक निधिको कुरा गर्दा प्रख्यात लोकगायक देउबहादुर दुराको जन्मथलो पनि हो, दुराडाँडा ।  वि.सं. २००६ साल भएको हलो क्रान्ति र त्यसको लगत्तै शुरु भएको शैक्षिक एवम् सामाजिक क्रान्तिका दुराडाँडाले थुप्रै चर्चा र प्रशंसा बटुल्यो । एक समयमा  दुराडाँडा एउटा राम्रो शैक्षिक गन्तव्य बनेको थियो । त्यहाँ छिमेकी जिल्ला र लमजुङकै अन्य भागबाट विद्यार्थी झुत्तिने गर्थे । आज शून्य बन्दै गएको दुराडाँडा त्यही थलो हो, जहाँ वि.सं. २००९ र २०१० सालमा क्रमशः 'राजनीतिक सम्मलेन' र 'शैक्षिक सम्मेलन' आयोजना गरिएका थिए । ती सम्मेलनमा देश सुधारका निम्ति घोषणपत्रहरु जारी गरिएका थिए । सामाजिक एवम् राजनीतिक चेतनाको दीयो बाल्ने दुराडाँडा कुनै समयमा आकर्षणको केन्द्रविन्दु थियो ।

क्रमिक रुपमा बिरानो र शून्य बन्दै गएको दुराडाँडामा अहिले आशाको त्यान्द्रो पलाएको छ । दुराडाँडाकै मेधावी व्यक्तित्व विष्णुहरि अधिकारीले अघि सारेको पर्यटन, समाज कल्याण र समाज विकाससम्बन्धी अवधारणाले हालको रिक्ततालाई  चिर्न  सहयोग गर्छ भन्ने आशा पलाएको छ । उनले अघि 'तान्द्राङकोट-पुरानकोट पदमार्ग', 'होम स्टे' विद्यालय सुधार र समाज सुधारका अन्य कार्यक्रमले विस्तारै गति लिँदै गएको छ ।  यसमा अरुको पनि सहयोग र समर्थन मिल्यो भने यो ठाउँ पुनः गुल्जार बन्नसक्छ । आशा गरौँ, यसले दुराडाँडाको हराएको सहकाललाई फेरि फर्काएर ल्याउनेछ । यहाँबाट बसाइँ सरेर जानेहरु फेरि यतै फर्किउन् । दुराडाँडाले यही पुकारा गरिरहेकी छिन् ।

 (तस्बिर: किरण न्यौपाने)

[साभार : नागरिक (फागुन २०, २०६८ ) । सामान्य परिमार्जनसहित । ]

[अद्यावधिक: २०६९ ।०२ ।०३, २०७१।०३।१०, २०७१।०३।११ ]