I’m back from researching Nepal’s beautiful anthem. Although it turns out I may have to return there soon. Two things make me think the anthem may not last:
Baburam Bhattarai, the country’s Prime Minister, said this to me: “If we had had our own way, we would have created a better anthem… Everything is temporary in the world, nothing is absolute.”
(Dr Bhattarai, a Maoist, is currently trying to negotiate a new constitution for the country. It’s six years overdue. He’s also perhaps the only prime minister globally who puts his CV online. It has a “countries travelled” section)
I met a lot of people who want a return to monarchy and the old, royalist anthem. Gyanendra Shah, the former king, may have been thrown out by a popular uprising, but “at least he wasn’t corrupt.”
Saying that, the real story of the anthem is to be found in this packet of biscuits:
The explanation for that will have to wait.