The Nepal government will take action against yoga guru Ramdev’s two tv channels if it is discovered that they’re being operated within the country without taking permission or following due procedures, a senior official mentioned on Sunday.
Nepal’s Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba and Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist Centre chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ collectively launched the 2 TV channels – Aastha Nepal TV and Patanjali Nepal TV –in the presence of Ramdev and his close aide Acharya Balkrishna on Friday.
The channels are meant for broadcasting spiritual and yoga-related programmes.
However, Director General of Nepal’s Department of Information and Broadcasting Gogan Bahadur Hamal mentioned that two tv channels have never applied for registration and didn’t observe any legal process to begin them.
“We will take action if we found that Patanjali Nepal and Aastha Nepal channels belonging to India’s yoga guru Ramdev and Acharya Balakrishna have built infrastructures to broadcast the television programmes without fulfilling any legal formalities and even having registered,” Hamal said to PTI.
“We can’t believe the statement issued by the Patanjali Nepal. We have formed an investigation committee to find out the truth. If they have made any preparation regarding operating the television channels from Nepal without our permission and without following due procedures, we will take necessary action,” Hamal mentioned.
However, Patanjali Yogpeeth Nepal mentioned in a press release that it has already gone by a verification process for the tv channels from Company Registrar’s Office and the method has been initiated for additional permission from the bodies involved for operating the tv channels.
We haven’t actually broadcast the television channels, we’ve only made technical preparation for the same. We have only inaugurated the television broadcasting office building, it mentioned.
It mentioned the tv channels – geared toward broadcasting programmes referring to yoga, Ayurvedic training, tradition, literature and religious philosophy – will begin working solely after the due processes.
Commenting on the event, Patanjali Spokesperson S Okay Tijarawala mentioned that the Aastha TV has a due license for downlinking in Nepal, which is valid till 2024.
“Prime Minister Debuba inaugurated the trial run of two channels – Aastha Nepal TV and Patanjali Nepal TV – with country-specific content in the Nepali language on November 19, 2021. It has got 30 days’ time to get commercial approval for this trial run for full telecast, he said.
He said that full broadcast will start as per the due procedure after December 19.
“Information & Broadcasting Ministry of the Government of Nepal has already acknowledged the truth that this inauguration of the 2 channels – Aastha Nepal TV and Patanjali Nepal TV – is as per due diligence following the principles and rules,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Federation of Nepalese Journalists, an umbrella organisation of local journalists, issued a statement, saying the country’s law prevents foreign investment in the media and the launching of television channels by the Patanjali group was a violation of the law.
“We want to remind the group concerned about the existing laws and rules that prevent operating TV channels under foreign investment,” it mentioned.