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Red StrainsMusic and Communism Outside the Communist Bloc$
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Robert Adlington

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780197265390

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197265390.001.0001

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Class Love and the Unfinished Transformation of Social Hierarchy in Nepali Communist Songs

Class Love and the Unfinished Transformation of Social Hierarchy in Nepali Communist Songs

Chapter:
(p.283) 19 Class Love and the Unfinished Transformation of Social Hierarchy in Nepali Communist Songs
Source:
Red Strains
Author(s):

Anna Stirr

Publisher:
British Academy
DOI:10.5871/bacad/9780197265390.003.0019

Nepal's twentieth-century tradition of leftist music, known as pragatisil git or progressive song, developed musically during the 1960s and 1970s along with state-sponsored nationalist genres meant to serve as musical representations of Nepali identity. The differences were primarily in the lyrics: pragatisil git's leftist themes were deemed too incendiary for a regime that forbade political organization. Composers writing songs for the national radio were encouraged to produce love songs, deemed apolitical and therefore safe. At first glance, communist pragatisil git avoids themes of love, in stark contrast to mainstream folk and popular music. Yet, while themes of romance are indeed absent from most Nepali communist music, a closer look demonstrates a strong concern with other forms of love and sentiment. This chapter focuses upon the theme of class love, examining how it is imagined to be socially transformative, and how it has changed through different communist parties' imaginings.

Keywords:   Nepal, folk song, communism, Manjul, class love, Khusiram Pakhrin, pragatisil git, Maoism, ethnicity

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