Nepalese government opposes yoga guru Ramdev for broadcasting TV channels without asking permission

The Nepalese government will take action against yoga guru Ramdev’s two TV channels if they are found to be operating in the country without seeking permission and / or following due process, a senior official said on Sunday. .

Nepalese Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba and Chairman of the Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist Center Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda ‘jointly launched the two television channels – Aastha Nepal TV and Patanjali Nepal TV – in the presence of Ramdev and his close collaborator Acharya Balkrishna Friday.

The channels are intended to broadcast religious and yoga-related programs. However, the director general of the Nepalese Department of Information and Broadcasting, Gogan Bahadur Hamal, said that two TV stations never applied for registration and did not follow any legal procedure to start them.

“We will take action if we find out that the Patanjali Nepal and Ashtha Nepal channels owned by Indian yoga guru Ramdev and Acharya Balakrishna have built infrastructure to broadcast TV programs without completing any legal formalities and even registering,” said Hamal at PTI.

“We cannot believe the statement issued by Patanjali Nepal. We have formed a committee of inquiry to find out the truth. take the necessary measures, ”Hamal said.

However, Patanjali Yogpeeth Nepal said in a statement that he has already gone through a process of verifying TV channels with the office of the registrar of companies and the process has been initiated to obtain further authorization from the relevant bodies to operate the channels. of TV.

We did not actually broadcast the television channels, we only did technical preparation for them. We only opened the building of the TV broadcasting office, he said.

He said the TV channels – aimed at broadcasting programs related to yoga, Ayurvedic education, culture, literature and spiritual philosophy – would only start operating after due procedures.

Commenting on the development, Patanjali spokesperson SK Tijarawala said Aastha TV has a downlinking license in Nepal, valid until 2024.

Prime Minister Debuba launched on November 19, 2021 the trial program of two channels – Aastha Nepal TV and Patanjali Nepal TV – with country-specific content in the Nepalese language. He has 30 days to obtain commercial approval of this test program for full telecast, he said.

He said full broadcast will begin according to the procedure scheduled after December 19. due diligence by following the rules and regulations, ”he added.

Meanwhile, the Federation of Nepalese Journalists, an umbrella organization of local journalists, released a statement, claiming that the country’s law prohibits foreign investment in media and that the launch of TV channels by the Patanjali group was a violation. of the law.

“We want to remind the group concerned of the existing laws and rules which prevent the exploitation of television channels within the framework of foreign investments,” he said.

Posted on: Sunday November 21, 2021 11:11 IST

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