KATHMANDU, June 6: Music is an irrevocable part of everybody’s life. We have music for every emotion, including igniting passion for one’s country.
There is a certain spark in some patriotic songs that give us goose bumps and cause tears to well up. Although there are no certain criteria for songs to qualify as “patriotic,” but aren’t they supposed to evoke emotions of listeners for the country and its people?
Such songs often talk about the struggles of people, sacrifices of martyrs, cultural diversity and unity. Given the state of historic glory, transition and instability, Nepal too has many old and new songs that relate to these issues, and their views on Youtube are very high indeed.
Singer, composer and lyricist of the freedom campaign song titled Chipleti, Lochan Rijal opines, “Lyrics of national songs play a huge role in influencing people. I believe that it shapes their psychology. Therefore, the lyricist has to honest so that people can relate to it and be touched by it.”
However, most Nepali youth these days seem to know the newer patriotic songs than the old ones. Prakriti Sharma, 18, a student in Australia says, “I love Mero Desh by Nepathya. It reminds me of home.”
Similarly, Sharif Shrestha, 18, an A-Level graduate, opines, “If any patriotic song is catchy and has a message, I listen to it. Patriotic songs don’t just come out of compositions alone, it’s related with deep emotion for the country.”
Sharif’s favorite song being Hami Nepali by Abhaya Subba, he added, “I heard this song for the first time at a Peace Candle Rally in Mangal Bazaar last year, which I had participated in. I like it because it reminds me of that day, which was full of aspirations and nationalism among hundreds of youths which is rare in a modern pop number.”
Another A-Level student, Neesha Suwal, 17, shares, “I love the song Malai Pyaro Lagchha Mero Desh by Jems Pradhan. It reflects my feelings, no matter where I go, for my nation will always count.”
Bibek Joshi, a 22-year-old electronic engineer based in Kathmandu, explains the influences of patriotic songs on him. “I can feel blood rushing rapidly through my veins.” His favorites include: Paschim Kohi Purba Ghar, Gaunchha Geet Nepali by Nepathya, Yo Mero Topi and Baneko Chha Pahara by Gopal Yonjan.
Bibek adds, “I’m quite upset with those involved in music who have come up with patriotic songs but with depressing lyrics. I believe we need more songs like Gaun Gaun Bata Utha sung by Raamesh and Raayan, to have a long-lasting influence on the minds of youth than some few pathetic sounding patriotic songs.”
17-year-old Rajina Bajracharya, who recently passed out from Chelsea International Academy, appreciates songs by Karna Das, saying, “I particularly like his Thula Thula Mahal Hoina and its video too. Listening to patriotic songs is exciting but not all such songs instigate patriotism,” adding, “The songs needn’t emphasize that we don’t have peace in our country. This is in bad taste. Some of the current patriotic songs sound like mere commercialization.”
Nepali youth sure do know Rato Ra Chandra Surya’s remix and Je Gara Jaso Gara, both by 1974 AD. Their patriotism, through these particular songs, can sure be heard during civil society demonstrations and rallies and are also close to the hearts of Nepalis living abroad.
However, of late, there are some patriotic songs with depressing lyrics in vogue, such as Shanti Lukau Kahan? sung by various popular artistes and penned by industrialist Basant Chaudhary and Mero Desh Dubnalagyo sung by Satya and Swaroop Raj Acharya and penned by Dr Bhola Rijal. Such songs risk evoking hopelessness about having brighter future of the nation and give up on positive thinking.
However, these songs, though depressing also reflect the ongoing political turmoil in the country which has left the public with no choice but to be pessimistic.
Music, like every other art form, is inspired by society and songs like these, including the ones that spread the message of hope, denote the general tone of the current Nepali society.