-  Saturday 15 August 2020

    Nepal launches new king-free national anthem

     -  AFP

    Aug 04 2007 - Nepal launched its new national anthem on Friday, a song notably making no mention of the nation's embattled monarch, King Gyanendra.

    The snub comes as the king's future hangs in the balance after fiercely republican Maoists ended their 'people's war' last year and entered government.

    "The old national anthem which praised feudalism has been killed," Prithvi Subba Gurung, Nepal's Minister for Culture and Tourism, said at the launch of the national anthem.

    The lyrics by 30-year-old lawyer Pradeep Kumar Rai were chosen in December.

    But the panel selecting the national anthem only recently decided on the tune by popular composer Amber Gurung that resembles traditional Nepali folk music.

    "I congratulate the song writer and music composer on behalf of the Nepal government for giving us a new national anthem that represents the diversity of Nepal," the minister said at the launch of the anthem.

    The one minute six seconds tune was played to ministers, government officials and media in a packed auditorium at the parliament complex.

    The old national anthem lauded the monarchy with the lines: "May glory crown you, courageous sovereign ... his majesty the king, our glorious ruler, may he live for many years to come."

    But the new anthem drops any mention of the king and focuses on the diversity of the Himalayan nation.

    "We are Nepali, the only garland with hundreds of flowers," the anthem starts out.

    Gyanendra came to the throne in tragic and bizarre circumstances in 2001 after an apparently drunk and drugged crown prince massacred most of his family including his father and mother, the king and queen.

    His unpopularity deepened after he sacked the government and seized direct control of the Himalayan nation in February 2005, saying the government had failed to tackle a bloody Maoist revolt and was corrupt.

    Nationwide protests in April last year organised by political parties in tandem with the rebels forced the king to restore power to parliament and left 19 people dead.
    Since then the king has been stripped of most of his powers.

    His future will be decided after a crucial poll in November to elect a body that will rewrite the country's constitution and determine the fate of Gyanendra and his 238-year-old Shah dynasty.

    Source : AFP
    © FRANCE NEPAL info

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