Rishi Dhamala is one of the most popular and at the same time, one of the most controversial Nepali journalists. His ‘glorious’ journalism days started a couple of years ago when he interviewed the Nepalese national cricket team skipper, Paras Khadka. When the episode hit the internet, Dhamala started to trend for all the wrong reasons. The whole interview was such a disaster that it was too painful to watch. The one particular question he asked Khadka that brought him all the ‘fame’ was, “When will Nepal win the World Cup?” Like seriously, he actually wanted him to tell him when exactly will Nepal lift the prestigious cup.
And then the infamous episode of Priyanka Karki’s interview on his show ‘Dhamala Ko Hamala’ took place where he was seen asking her all the unprofessional and inappropriate things on national television – from asking her about her clothes to extremely personal questions about her broken marriage. And of course, then the another episode of the show had him asking Reecha Sharma about her physical relationships with her ex boyfriend who had recently got engaged. That’s not it yet, he asked Jyoti Magar about her virginity, yes ON NATIONAL TELEVISION. Like, duh!
Moving on, Rishi Dhamala along with his wife Aliza Gautam appeared on the latest episode of Jeevan Saathi, a talk show hosted by Malvika Subba.
[The part we’re talking about here starts at 18:30].
The much awaited episode — awaited because of a short teaser of the episode that had been making rounds on social media this week — aired last night (Friday) on Himalaya TV; and has also been released online. The episode starts with Malvika asking the couple about their love story, marriage and the regular stuff. It takes quite an interesting turn when the talks about Rishi Dhamala’s busy schedule and profession start.
Malvika brings up the topic as she asks, “I have a question, and our audience, too, must be curious about it. You invite a lot of guests on your show ‘Dhamala Ko Hamala’ and a lot of people, especially the youth, criticize the way you ask questions. Is this your ‘funda‘ (USP), or is it the script, or that’s the kind of journalism you like.?”
“I want the kind of journalism that the public wants”, Dhamala answers. “If 5 million people watch my show, 10000 of them will criticize me. If 10 million people watch the show, 15000 of them will criticize me. But I have to practice journalism for the public.”
“But I think the problem lies in sexism. When you invited the lady guests on your show, the way you asked Jyoti Magar and Reecha Sharma about their personal lives. For Instance you asked Jyoti Magar about her virginity; and asked Reecha similar kind of questions. What do you exactly get after getting answers to questions like those”, Malvika questions again. “I’m a hardcore feminist. Isn’t that a little too personal?”, she continues.
“I respect women and I believe women should be respected in the society. If there’s no respect for a woman in a house, that family would never prosper”, Dhamala then replies.
“But I have to ask what the public wants to know. The people ask me to ask Jyoti Magar those questions while interviewing her. I receive a lot of such messages and so I have to ask such questions”, he further says.
To which, Malvika replies, “Now, if the public wants to know how many times Rishi Dhamala and Aliza have sexual intercourse; I can’t ask you that question. You know what I mean. Shouldn’t there be a thin line? When do we cross that?”
“There is ethics in journalism. It has its values and morals. The interview with Reecha Sharma had become extremely popular. She told that she lived with her boyfriend for seven years. I never used that word. I just asked her if they had what they have after getting married”, Dhamala then answers, trying to defend himself.
“But you meant the same”, says Malvika.
“But I did ask it respectfully”, answers Dhamala. “We should give the public what they want.”
In short, Malvika Subba does bring up the topic that should have been discussed but Rishi Dhamala being Rishi Dhamala, tries to get away with it saying what he always says, “Janata janna chahahncha.” But hopefully, he does keep in mind what she said to him and stop asking ‘dumb’ questions to his guests.
Great job, Malvika. We love you!