By Harsha Man Maharjan
Friends, here is introduction of my dissertation, my supervisor rejected. He thinks that it is inappropriate to write dissertation in the first person. Please go through it and write your opinion:
From Proficiency Certificate Level classes in my college I came to know about development communication and development journalism. These concepts caught my heart- I honestly believed that they were important. At that time I heard about Hamro Gaunghar, a column on development journalism published in Gorkhapatra by Kishor Nepal. He started to write this column in 1976. And this column was synonymous to development journalism and development communication for me. That’s why I earlier decided to do my masters thesis on this column. The most of these columns were available at Tribhuwan University Central Library (TUCL). With zeal, I xeroxed about 100 columns of Hamro Gaunghar and took an in-depth-interview with Kishor Nepal, contributor of the column, at his office in Battisputali. I even consulted with Lal Deua Rai, who taught me Development Communication in R.R college. He requested to come with a special question related to the column. And I started to read those columns.
Going through the columns I realized that there were limitations of Hamro Gaunghar. Even Kishor Nepal accepted this during the interview. Gorkhaptra was a state-owned media institution, and he had to sanitize his column. This column usually contained praises and less criticism of government. What was the reason? It had to accept government policies and plans-especially National Communication Services Plan 1971 which had a slogan: ‘Communications for Development’.
This plan is available in press council’s book Prakashan ko Digdarshan. It began planed and systematic development communication in Nepal. It brought six governmental communication institutions and six semi-governmental communication institutions in a network. (Sharma 1980). We can hardly find a document on Nepalese mass media more comprehensive than this plan. It is unprecedented.
Now my interest sifted to this plan. I decided to delve into how, why and what about the plan and went through articles written on the subject. A question related this plan which I encountered during my exam made me more curious about the plan. I was unprepared for this question and I had no option then to leave it in the exam. Now I was dead sure to do my thesis on the subject. I discussed a lot about this plan with my colleagues Sharad Ghimire and Pratyoush Onta at Martin Chautari where i am working. Consultation with these people helped a lot to polish my topic.
I started to search the literature on the plan. Earlier I have thought that some body must have done studies on the plan. Alas! I found no comprehensive study on the subject. It was difficult for me even to trace people who worked on the taskforce to prepare the plan. My study fills this gap.