Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Communication research in Nepal

– Nirmala Mani Adhikary

In case of Nepal, Adhikary's "Hindu Awadharanama Sanchar Prakriya" is the first significant research regarding studying communication from Hindu perspective. Written in Nepali, it presented a unique communication model based on the Sadharanikaran theory. It was first ever attempt from Bharatavarsha to propose a model of communication in diagrammatic form. And, so far, the Sadharanikaran model is the only model of communication in diagrammatic form proposed from the Hindu perspective.
"Prakriya" sought to study both of the verbal and non-verbal forms of communication from Hindu point of view. The research draws on Bharata Muni's Natyashastra for studying non-verbal communication and Bhartrihari's Vakyapadiya for studying verbal communication. Moreover, Natyashastra has been drawn for the concepts of Rasaswadana and Sadharanikaran.

The Mimamsa philosophy (one of the six mainstream or orthodox schools of Vedic philosophy) has been accepted as the guiding philosophy. Based on the Mimamsa viewpoint, it has been argued that communication in Hindu concept is not merely for the purpose of sending and receiving message. In worldly matters, the process is ideally for achieving mutual understanding and becoming Sahridaya. But it does not limit its goal up to that achievement. The goal of communication process covers worldly as well as spiritual matters and it serves as a means for attaining all of the four highest goals of human life (purushartha chatustaya) as envisioned in Hinduism: Artha, Kama, Dharma and Moksha.

Adhikary "Siddhanta" and Adhikary "Sancharko" both are abridged versions of "Prakriya" and "Sancharko" is more comprehensive than "Siddhanta." Adhikary "Gaira-Shabdik" also has been taken from the same source. It is entirely concerned with the non-verbal communication in Hindu concept. All of these works are in Nepali.
Written in English, Adhikary "Comparative" seeks to assess and analyze the fundamental differences between Aristotle's and the Sadharanikaran models of communication. The concept of communication process from Aristotelian and Sadharanikaran perspectives has been studied in terms of structure and scope of two models, human relationships in the process and the goal of communication. It has been established that these two models differ in all of the four aspects:
Aristotle's model has unrealistic linear approach due to which number of biases created and advancement of the communication discipline stained. But the Sadharanikaran model is non-linear and hence free from the limitations of Aristotle's model.

The scope of the Sadharanikaran model is too broad as compared to Aristotle's model. The latter is considered applicable to public speaking merely. But the former seems applicable for the study of all levels of communication from intrapersonal to interpersonal to mass. Its scope ranges even from the human communication to the attainment of Moksha. Thus it is in consonance with the Hindu worldview.
In Aristotle's model, the receiver is vulnerable to dominance and manipulation by the sender as he/she is passive. In the Sadharanikaran model, though the relationship is hierarchical the sender and the receiver are Sahridayas and thus are capable of experiencing satisfaction and joy. This model offers explanation of how successful communication is possible in Hindu society where complex hierarchies of castes, languages, cultures and religious practices are prevalent.
Finally, these two models differ vastly while setting the goal of communication. Aristotle's model has a highly specific and narrower goal of influencing or persuading the receiver as intended by the sender. The Sadharanikaran model, on the other hand, aims mutual understanding and becoming Sahridaya. Its goal covers worldly as well as spiritual achievements by encompassing all of Artha, Kama, Dharma and Moksha.

Finally, it has been argued that Aristotle's model cannot represent and describe the communication theory and practice of countries like Nepal and India. Rather, a comparative study of different concepts of communication is a must for the improved understanding of the process and the advancement of the discipline.


Adhikary, Nirmala Mani. "Aristotle's and the Sadharanikaran Models of Communication: A Comparative Study." An Independent Study Presented to the Graduate School of Pokhara University in the Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Philosophy. September 2007.
---. "Communication in Nepali Perspective." Space Time Today 13 January 2003.
---. "Hindu Awadharanama Sanchar Prakriya." Diss. Purvanchal U, 2003 (2060 B.S.).
---. "Hindu Awadharanma Gaira-Shabdik Sanchar." Sanchar Shodha Ra Media Paryavekshan. Kathmandu: Prashanti, 2007 (2063 B.S.). 139-180.
---. "Hindu-Sanchar Siddhanta: Ek Adhyayan." Baha Journal 2004 (Phagun 2061 B.S.). 25-43.
---. "Sancharko Hindu Awadharanatmak Adhyayan." Sanchar Shodha Ra Media Paryavekshan. Kathmandu: Prashanti, 2007 (2063 B.S.). 93-138.