Decoding Nepali Celebrities’ New-found love for politics

November 11, 2017 08:59 AM Sumit Pokharel


Every powerful individual wants to expand and spread her/his influence to other spheres. Similar is the case with several notable Nepali actors and other celebrities as they have been showing an increasing inclination toward politics of late. Why does a celebrity want to join politics? What aim could such people have? Sumit Pokharel of My City interviewed three Nepali celebrities to know about their understanding and personal experience of politics. Below are summarized excerpts of the conversations.

Nir Shah Actor/ Director

How do you feel about the current political scenario in Nepal?

We have been living in political uncertainty for quite some time now. We don’t really know how the country is going to turn out after some years. We have new, young and capable political representatives now and the country has been decentralized. Let’s hope positivity and prosperity, but only time will show the result.

What about celebrities joining politics?

Celebrities would mainly join politics with the mentality of social welfare. We have seen many popular celebrities who wouldn’t normally require any other platform to continue their relevance join politics, and that’s essentially because they want to do something for the country, or at least that’s what I think.

A celebrity joining politics faces majorly the challenge of time management and flexibility. They would often mix up politics with their former platform. As politics and film/music industries are stark different, celebrities need to discipline themselves in accordance to the platform they’re in. 

What do you dream for Nepal?

There are roughly two types of politics: one concentrated solely in getting power and another is being faithful in service of the nation. My only dream for the country is that the latter type of politics overcomes the former and results in a harmonious society. If such a day comes, it’d be a victory for all Nepalis who want to live in peace and tolerance. 

Keshab Bhattarai Actor

How do you feel about the current political scenario in Nepal?

The fever of politics has gripped Nepal as the elections to the House of Representatives and State Assemblies are nearing. It’s not only about the celebrities, but even the general public has tried their hands in politics this year. Everyone’s personal motives behind joining politics obviously differ, so I don’t want to generalize. Nevertheless, it’s actually an interesting time in national politics as people from various sectors can now raise their voices more effectively as they have representatives in the government who can speak on their behalf.

What about celebrities joining politics?

It is not a bad thing that celebrities are also vying for a taste of power, but the problem lies in them being superficial. Truth be told, many celebrities that have joined politics are encountered jumping bandwagons every time they feel insecure about not getting what they’d desired from a particular party. The failure to get your desires fulfilled might lead one to a join a different ideology, but doing so could also get you labeled as an opportunist. I’m not trying to imply that celebs can’t drive the country effectively, but being superficial about such an important platform is not the best way approach. 

What do you dream for Nepal?

It’d be quite dim to desire a change in our country because the public’s desires and needs are of no concern here. But if I had to tickle the blue whale, I’d want Nepal to be free from corruption.

Komal Oli Singer

How do you feel about the current political scenario in Nepal?

Politics is arguably one of the most important and powerful fields in terms of a country’s status of development. I believe one won’t be able to help in development activities from other fields as effectively as from the country’s politics. Right now, Nepal is in a political transition and implementation of the newly promulgated constitution would bring an end to this instability. The upcoming elections have given hope to people that we are up to achieving political greatness. 

There are mainly two sorts of people we see in politics: one that have always had politics as their sole occupation/interest and always strived for higher seats and power before anything else, and the other that are originally from other sectors like music, film, art and others who generally strive for the country’s development and prosperity more than anything else. 

What about celebrities joining politics?

There definitely are going to be personal reasons for a celebrity to switch her/his profession, but I personally feel the most common reason is to serve the country. I, as a singer, have been to every nook and crannies of the country where people mostly ask me where Nepal is headed in terms of development and when would we achieve development on par with other neighboring countries. This has been one of the major factors that have led to me being a part of Nepali politics.

A politician who doesn’t have much experience about different platforms barring politics itself would be quite straightforward. I, formerly a singer, am able  to bring the experiences I had in those fields to politics so as to raise opinions and voices better.

What is your objective behind joining politics?

The primary reason that I joined politics was to make improvements in the national music sector and to let artists get the recognition they deserve. I’ve been involved in the music sector ever since I can remember and so, I can see the dents and holes in the field. I would like to mend those dents. But music isn’t the only field that needs development. Having said that, I am also aware about the social, religious and other issues that are prevalent in our country, and I want to change them. 

What are the challenges you face in politics?

Politics is dry; it isn’t as entertaining as other platforms like music. Thus, I do face hardships in this sector, one quite new to me. When I was a singer, I used to attend musical concerts in a car, finish them, and return home in the car. The situation has changed now. I want to go to my village and listen to the villagers’ opinions. I want to them to share their day-to-day life with me. I attend different clubs and meet different politicians. This takes a lot of physical as well as mental effort, and you’re going to have to deal with all the challenges. I also get stressed of course, but this was the path I chose, and I am getting what I wanted: experience. 

What do you dream for Nepal?

It would be hypothetical to demand, but if I could change one thing about this country right now, it would be the sole system of Nepali politics. This isn’t the way a country and its politics should be run if development is the need. I’m sure most people will agree with me.

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