Voting for Nepal’s constituent assembly election got over in November last year. But thousands of Nepalis are voting again these days. And they are rooting for just one contestant.
She is Teriya Magar, an 11-year-old from Rupandehi district of Nepal bordering Uttar Pradesh, who has reached the finals of Dance India Dance L’il Masters-3 on Zee TV.
Teriya’s performances on the dance reality show have not just impressed judges they have turned her into a celebrity in her own country.
Newspapers, websites and TV channels in Nepal have been carrying reports on her success in the show. She has a Wikipedia page and many groups have sprouted in social networking site11-year-old s in her name.
With the finals slated for June 21, thousands in Nepal have now begun voting for Teriya online to make her win the show. Some internet cafes are providing free access to Zee TV’s site so that more people can vote.
"A Nepali girl has made the country proud and we want her to win by providing our services for free," Rudradev Pandey, proprietor of Unique Communication in Kathmandu told Setopati, a Nepali news site.
Pandey who runs his business in the capital’s busy Bagh Bazaar area has set up a camp where laptops with free internet access are provided to anyone who wants to vote for Teriya. The camp will continue till June 21, the day of the finals.
People voting for Teriya at a free internet camp at Bagh Bazaar in Kathmandu. (Photo: www.setopati.com)
This isn’t the first time Nepalis have voted for contestants in Indian reality shows. Votes from Nepal played a crucial role in Prashant Tamang
winning Indian Idol’s third season in 2007.
The former policeman from Darjeeling couldn’t make a mark in India after the win. But he is a successful singer in Nepal and has acted in several Nepali films as well till date.
Teriya unlike Tamang belongs to Nepal. She is a class V student of Peace Land School in Rudrapur. Her mother runs a canteen in the same school and her father is working in Dubai.
There have been others from Nepal who appeared on Indian reality shows in the past. Most prominent of them being Nihita Biswas, the Nepali wife of criminal Charles Sobhraj, who took part in Bigg Boss in 2011---but all of them had failed to reach the finals.
Hindi soaps and reality shows are very popular in Nepal and sometimes their contents evoke strong sentiments. Indian entertainment channels were blocked for a few days in September last year following protests by a Maoist faction over Zee TV claiming Buddha was born in Nepal in its serial on the religious leader’s life.
In its promos for the series the channel had claimed that the founder of Buddhism was born in India. It later acknowledged that Buddha was born at Lumbini in Nepal.