I will continue my music career: Komal Oli
Born and brought up in Tikari of Dang, in Province 5, Oli has recorded 879 songs with Radio Nepal, where she spent 20 years as a news anchor before quitting the job a year ago.
She emerged as a popular folk singer in 1997 when she sang the song Malmalkiri Junkiri, which was collected by her mother. Since then, she has won several medals for her singing and speaking talents. She has won gold medals five times in folk song singing competitions. She had topped the debate competition held in Japan, leaving participants from 46 countries behind. She was decorated with the Dakshin Bahu Fourth and Trishakti Patta Third before the 2006 Jana Sewa Saba in the Republican set-up. This multi-talented singer has also bagged the Youth Excellence Award of Nepal Jaycees, Chhinnalata Music prize and Gopal Youth Music Award.
Recently, Oli was elected to the National Assembly on a UML ticket from Province No. 5. She is the first artiste of Nepal to make it to parliament.
Oli, who was in Dang with a busy schedule this week, managed time to give a written interview to Amarendra Yadav of The Rising Nepal.
A popular folk singer and stage artiste of Nepal, you have been elected to the National Assembly representing the entire artistes of Nepal. How do you feel to be the first such lawmaker in the federal parliament?
It is true that our parliament earlier had no representative from the sector of arts and music. I am, therefore, definitely happy. I think the entire art and music sector must be very happy because now I will be representing them in the parliament.
Now I will raise not only political issues in the parliament, but also relevant topics related to arts and music. A country will be prosperous only when the art and culture of that country flourishes. I will sincerely work for the dignity and development of the art and music sector. I urge all creators to initiate a debate and discussion on the problems and burning issues of the sector. Upon their suggestions and recommendations, I will try my best to resolve the problems faced by the art and music sector.
Normally, only experienced and senior politicians get elected to the National Assembly, the Upper House of the bicameral parliament. But you have started a career in politics as a National Assembly member. What will be your role in the National Assembly?
I have been working in the social sector since long. I have reached this position by serving in this way or that way in the state system. I may not be familiar and aware of all the issues. I will hold consultations with the experts on those issues. Most importantly, I will contribute my utmost efficiency and expertise on the procedural and policy issues as required by the Constitution.
I think I am well aware in what direction the country, as a sovereign and independent nation, should be steered. I am extensively holding deliberations with concerned senior personalities on some issues I am not clear about. That is why I am presently busy in developing a list of tasks that I will have to accomplish as a National Assembly member. This is a great opportunity to demonstrate my maturity. This time again, all of those elected in the parliament are highly experienced. However, most of them have been elected for the first time in the Upper House.
As a National Assembly member, I will be more aware about the direction our society is heading. I do not believe there is something called experience in politics, because politics isn’t a game. Greece elected Tsipras, France elected Macron as their president, whereas the United States elected Trump. That is to say, age and number of years you’re in politics do not count in experience. Because politics is obviously for the people and the betterment of the society and the country. As a parliamentarian, I will be honest with my duty and my work in the Assembly.
What should be the priorities of the House of Representatives and the National Assembly? What is your view regarding their roles?
The House of Representatives and the National Assembly are jointly called the federal parliament. Therefore, the two assemblies, I think, must focus on three aspects. Firstly, concrete acts and laws, which are required for the success of federalism, should be formulated to distribute the rights among the centre, provinces and local levels as per the spirit of the Constitution.
Secondly, a suitable atmosphere and policy should be developed for building economic structures for social justice, equality and a prosperous Nepal.
Thirdly, Nepali society should be culturally transformed by owning all languages, arts and cultures and enhancing them.
The journey to socialism would be easy and comfortable by doing these things. We should prove the beautiful existence of our diligence, commitment and influence in front of other countries by driving our country on the progressive path.
Now you are a lawmaker. Will you give continuity to your singing career even after becoming a National Assembly Member? You may even become a minister. Will you be able to to sing amidst the masses dancing on the stage as a sitting minister?
Music is my worship. It is my passion and addiction. It is my obsession as well. I will be singing until my physical existence. I cannot live without singing. Managing my busy schedule, I will continue my music career. I will deliver speeches in front of the people, and I will also sing for them if they demand that. Singing will be more attractive. People may like it more.
You were elected a central committee member of the Rastriya Prajatantra Party by securing popular votes. Thereafter you tried to contest the election for mayor in Dang. But you were denied the ticket. After the local polls, you suddenly joined the CPN-UML quitting the RPP. Do you think that your decision to desert the RPP and join the UML was right? What were the reasons for quitting the RPP?
I analysed the willpower and long term-effects of the ideological and pragmatic strengths of the political parties after entering active politics. I was confident that I would be successful in politics due to my devotion and dedication to the arts and social work. So, I joined the CPN-UML that is compatible with my talent and vision, through which I want to serve the people and the country as an active politician.
I had three major reasons to join the UML rather than quit the RPP. The first was the UML’s stand on nationality. Second, it has a clear vision on how to make Nepal beautiful and prosperous. And third, its roadmap on social and cultural transformation. I entered the UML, concluding that only these agendas of the UML would enhance the status of the country. I am not one who regrets his/her decision. I was absolutely right when I decided to enter the UML I am wholly satisfied with my decision.
It is said that there are groups and sub-groups in the CPN-UML. As a newcomer in the party, which group of the UML will you join?
The party is a fraction of the people. People’s multi-party democracy is my foundation and guiding principle. I will focus all my efforts on transforming the fractions of the party into a unified force.
Have you anything more to share with the people and fans?
I’m indebted to the love you’ve showered on me. I request them to help me in the coming days too, warn me, love me, make suggestions to me and help me in need.