Update on Aug 3, 2007: Latest on National Anthem.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Sisters and Brothers, Fathers and Mothers, Sons and Daughters (of Nepal):
“सयौं थुङ्गा फूलका हामी एउटै माला नेपाली
र्सार्वभौम भई फैलिएका मेची महाकाली…”
Time has come to sing our song. If the Council of Ministers approves the song, the above mentioned lines will be the first and last lines of our new national anthem. As we are preparing ourselves for a new Nepal, it is obvious that we are living bad memories behind. The national anthem that praised the biggest landlord (bhupati) of Nepal, the resident of Narayanhitti palace, has already been declared null and void and just today a new song has been approved by a team that was formed to select new national anthem for new democratic Nepal.
According to a report by Kantipur journalist Ganesh Rai the National Anthem Selection Task Team has finally selected poet Byakul Maila’s song as the new National Anthem of Nepal. The Team coordinator and culture expert Satyamohan Joshi said that the new National Anthem was selected from a total of 1272 different songs submitted to the team from across the country.
“We have completed the job assigned to us by the ministry,” said Joshi. He also said that the new National Anthem was selected without knowing the name of its writer. “As per the guidelines given to the selection team, code numbers were given to all the songs we received and we selected one among them. We came to know the name of the composer only after the anthem was selected,” he said. The Team had held a number of interaction programmes across the country to seek suggestions about the new National Anthem.
The first two lines of the new National Anthem read as follows:
‘Sayaun Thunga Phoolka Hami Eutai Mala Nepali
Sarvabhaum Bhai Phailiyeka Mechi Mahakali…’
(From hundreds of flowers, we are one garland Nepali
Sovereign we are spread across Mechi Mahakali)- Unofficial Translation
The new National Anthem is two stanzas long and each stanza has four lines. There are altogether 47 words in the new National Anthem.
Talking to ekantipur after the selection of the anthem, Minister for Tourism, Culture and Civil Aviation, Pradeep Gyawali said, “The way the song of an indigenous and remote area’s writer has been selected has added further charm to it.”
Gyawali further said that the anthem selected by the NASTT would be submitted to the Council of Ministers, which would then “finalise” it.
Poet Byakul Maila whose real name is Pradeep Kumar Rai was born in the Hilepani village of Okhaldhunga district 34 years ago. Rai who holds a Bachelor’s degree in Law and a Master’s in Public Administration has been serving the Nepali literature for the last one and a half decades. He has written dozens of songs, poems, Haikus and is also the editor of Nepali Geet Sangraha (a collection of Nepali songs) and literary magazines like Barbhanjyang. He had actively participated in the April Movement.
“The song which has been selected (as the new National Anthem) as my song,” an emotional Rai said, “is not my song. It’s an expression of the feelings of the human sea that rose during Jana Andolan II.”
The previous national anthem (Shreeman Gambhira Nepali Prachanda Pratapi Bhupati) music composed by Bakhatbir Budhapirthi and written by Chakrapani Chalise was adopted in 1899. The national anthem had widely been criticized as it was just a melody praising the monarchy.
The restored House of Representatives in its May 18 House Proclamation declared the existing national anthem null and void.