Similar to the New York Times, Washington Post ran a featured article on Nepal’s on-going elections in a biased manner. The ‘Nepal votes Thursday. China and India are watching closely.’ didn’t go well with the idea of Nepal being a sovereign nation and that India and China are its mere neighbors. The piece argued and emphasized that Nepalis are ‘voting’ to appease either India or China. In short, the article written by Vidhi Doshi (India correspondent for Washington Post) wrote it from the lens of India and US, treating Nepal as a satellite state, and putting a bad light on China.
This paradoxical nature of western reporting and India’s narrative of influencing western and Asian readers by making a crass remark is not the first time. In the past, the New York Times has run articles from the perspective of India. Why not? Does these western media outlets care to hire Nepali journalists who can actually write a balanced piece? Doshi and several foreign journalists in the past have made the same mistake–viewing Nepal through the lens of India and Western narrative–making a devil out of China. This, only, questions the editorial and journalistic position of influential media outlets like the Washington Post, New York Times, The Economist et cetera.
Assuming that Nepalis vote to be ruled by either India or China is not only a fallacious argument, but it also exposes the double-standard of western media and journalists from India. Even American media cannot uphold their journalistic values then the American Embassy and its projects in Nepal to strengthen Nepali democracy will become questionable. No one expected such imbalanced, skewed, and biased article from a respected media out like the Washington Post. The article was later edited after criticism from everyone including the editor who was interviewed for the article.
Damage is done. Even though the article was edited–Nepalis now know–that Washington Post sees Nepal’s election as a proxy war between India and China. It favors the former and opposes the latter. It’s time to reflect on who funds the Washington Post and why its editorial approach is pro-India (and why it didn’t bother to put a note saying the article was edited after widespread criticism from Nepalis). Meanwhile, Nepalis are voting and editing their own past and future for their own betterment.