Saturday, December 09, 2006

Nepal's Road to Another New Constitution

Read Nischal Nath Pandey's article on NepalNews yesterday. He talked about the "Constitution Making Process in Nepal." It was generally a good piece of writing and I had to agree with Mr. Pandey on most of his tenets.

However, as far as the success or failure of the constitution goes, it's all about changing the mindset. We have heard the same SPA leaders say over and over again that the 1990 constitution was the best in the world. Now that same constitution is a failure. So the question is, did the constitution fail or did the politicians fail the constitution? And, if it is the latter, what guarantee do we have that the same politicians will not fail the new constitution?

Keshav Poudel had a nice piece, also on NepalNews (reprinted from Spotlight), about Nepal's Constitutional journeys.

It seems to me as if everyone is worried about Nepal, except Nepalis. The Indians are worried, the Americans are worried as are the Brits and the people at the UN. And all we do is ask those external players what we need to do. In such a scenario, what is there to convince us that the SPAM leadership will not use the new constitution as a means for them to deflect their prior mistakes and massive errors of judgment?

Constitution is just a piece of paper. What makes it work is an inherent belief in its spirit and fundamental values of good governance. The big questions is does SPAM know that. Their past actions make me believe that they don't care. However, for the sake of Nepal and the Nepali people, I hope that they have learned from the past.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

The New Nepali National Anthem

राष्ट्रिय गान
सयौं थूंगा फूलका हामी, एउटै माला नेपाली
सार्वभौम भइ फैलिएका, मेची-महाकाली ।

प्रकृतिका कोटी-कोटी सम्पदाको आंचल
वीरहरुका रगतले, स्वतन्त्र र अटल ।

ज्ञानभूमि, शान्तिभूमि तराई, पहाड, हिमाल
अखण्ड यो प्यारो हाम्रो मातृभूमि नेपाल ।

बहुल जाति, भाषा, धर्म, संस्कृति छन् विशाल
अग्रगामी राष्ट्र हाम्रो, जय जय नेपाल ।
No matter what your political affiliations are, you have to agree with me on one thing. The new national anthem of Nepal is indeed a masterpiece. Within 46 words, the poet has successfully encompassed everything that Nepal is about – the history, the people and the geography.

Byakul Maila should be commended for producing this masterpiece. I have to admit that when I first heard about the new Nepali national anthem being selected, I took it as another politically motivated decision and the end product would be crappy. But kudos to the selection committee as well. This is a very well-balanced writing.

Many, including myself, will be sad to see Sriman Gambhir go. I don’t care much about the words, but the tune was good and was something I grew up humming. And when I think of the Nepali national anthem, that will probably always be the first tune that comes to mind. But part of that sadness is the paradigm that is set in my mind. If I step out of it and think openly, the current words are much more meaningful to us as Nepalis, than the previous ones. Nepal is definitely not about the king and monarchy alone. It is about Nepal and the Nepalis.

You have to appreciate something that deserves to be appreciated. The new Nepali national anthem has excellent wordings. It will be interesting to see what kind of melody and music will give it the final form. If the composer does as good a job as the poet, we have ourselves a great national anthem.

Updated - October, 2007: Not only does it read great, the evergreen Amber Gurung has done full justice to the musical composition as well. I personally think it was not necessary to repeat the first two lines, but it sounds great! See for yourself: