Violence coverage irks kids

KATHMANDU: Experts and intellectuals have warned that excessive media coverage of abduction and murder had a negative impact on children’s psychology.

Dr Bidhya Dev Sharma, professor and head of department of psychology at the Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital, said children had been traumatised by the media bombardment of criminal activities in the country.

“The audio-visual media has created a fearful environment by divulging every gory detail of abductions and murders. The media seems to have no regard for their social responsibility,” Sharma told The Himalayan Times.

Sharma opined that the television channels should blur footage of violent incidents. “Children may become the victim of mass hysteria, if the media continued to fetishise violence,” he added.

Ram Hari Dhakal, a sociologist, said, “Frequent murders and abductions will lead to social destruction, while criminals will begin to employ modern and sophisticated weaponry to commit crimes.” With several groups and communities demanding self-autonomy, the feeling of “ethnocentrism” had taken roots in the Nepali society, he said.

Suprabhat Bhandari, president, Nepal Guardian’s Association, stressed that the state and the police department should handle the turbulent situation in a responsible way. “The government should be able to ensure security to its people,” he said. He said they had urged the Prime Minister to create a secure environment for children and to amend laws regarding heinous crimes such as murder and abduction.

Umesh Shrestha, principal of Little Angles School said the culture of suspecting everyone had been developing in the country. The school has asked the students to carry their identity cards all the time while in school.

Kyurisha Maharjan, an eighth grader at AVM School, said Khyati’s murder had left her terribly traumatised. She said she frequently recalled the news about Khyati’s murder.