Ramesh Prasad KhanalNepalese Ambassador to Germany
Gurus and their dedication
When I joined NPI in 1985 to be one among its first batch of about thirty trainees, I had not imagined that it would ultimately help shape my ideas on writings and presentations. After all, it just was a 10- month course run by a newly-registered institution and initially conducted in what looked like a desolate and dingy campus room. I was a law student in the campus located next door, but was carrying dreams of being a journalist who could write news reports and articles that could shake up a highly conservative society of Nepal!
I vividly remember the days when we spent evening hours trying to learn ABC of journalism. In the latter part of the course, I got practical lessons on journalism and reporting style as an intern of the English daily, The Commoner, which was edited by a seasoned journalist, Gopal Das Shrestha. It was a short stint of two months. But today, when I look back to those exciting and hectic days at The Commoner’s newsroom located in downtown Naradevi, I naturally remember my guru Shrestha. He actively taught and guided me about the responsibility a journalist should bear while reporting about events, writing articles and conducting interviews. I learnt as much as I could from him the art of making the stories readable, and always keeping the public interest in mind. GD Shrestha— a staunch nationalist —has left lasting imprints in my psyche by shaping my ideas and understanding of the country and its national interests.
As we see the mass media today, it is not confined to newspaper, radio and television. Instant interconnectedness and messaging services have turned the universe into a global village. But when I passed the Public Service Commission examinations in 1988 and made my entry to what was then Nepal’s foreignservice, I had not anticipated the NPI training would be very useful or valuable. Now it is different. “Better informed and to inform” has been a hallmark of my diplomatic career, spanning over 25 years.
Traditionally diplomacy is regarded as a discrete subject, rarely discussed in the public forum, and mostly conducted in a discreet manner. It appears diplomacy has now been taken to the door steps of public, through media using both existing and newer technologies. Foreign ministries all over the world now tend to set up mechanisms providing adequate and enhanced access to the media-persons who represent the common people.
Would I have handled today’s media queries efficiently and confidently if I did not have idea about the assertive style and inquisitive posture of journalists? Frankly, it would have been difficult. Where then did I get the level of confidence that I possess today? Undoubtedly, it was from NPI and its team of dedicated tutors. I am grateful to them all.