Nepal Police have arrested popular rapper VTEN (Original name: Samir Ghising) from Jawalakhel today.
According to the police, police arrested him for his derogatory songs, especially popular rap song, ‘Hami Yestai Ta Ho Ni Bro’. The song which has over 18 million views, uses profanity, is insensitive to several social issues, however what probably drew the ire of Nepal Police is him claiming that ‘he has a good time drinking at the police station’. Similarly, he also posted an image of himself on Facebook, wherein he adorns the uniform of a Traffic Police Officer and seems engrossed in sorting some ‘weed’ – with a cigarette in his mouth.
The arrest comes a day after the Home Ministry warned the public against producing/singing derogatory content. A few days ago, Nepal Police had taken another singer Durgesh Thapa into custody for similar charges. In a song he released on YouTube, he was seen wishing viewers ‘Happy Tihar, Happy Tihar, Chiso Beer’. He was released after he deleted the video.
We are uncertain if Nepal Police will ask VTEN to delete his video and other social media content too.
Erosion of Freedom of Expression?
Meanwhile, the developing situation has the nation debating over a crucial topic – ‘freedom of expression’. Many believe the artists have the right to express themselves without constraint – and that what they are expressing are usually the ‘state of the society’. According to them, what they are saying calls for an ‘introspection rather than an intervention’.
On the other hand, a group are claiming that such derogatory content have an adverse effect on viewers, and that the government is right in intervening.