The Protest against Nepal’s Vice President


The Supreme Court today issued show cause notices to Vice President Paramananda Jha and Office of the Prime Minister and the Cabinet to clarify why the Vice President took the oath of office and secrecy in Hindi. A single bench of Justice Damodar Prasad Sharma directed the defendants to furnish an explanation in seven days. Considering the immunity provided by the constitution to the head of the state, the bench, however, did not issue any notice to President Dr Ram Baran Yadav, who administered the oath to the Vice President. Dr Yadav had read out the oath text in Nepali but Jha did his bit in Hindi. The bench added that there was no need to issue any stay order to prevent the Vice President from carrying out his duty as demanded by the petitioner, as the Vice President works only when the President was not there. Advocate Bal Krishna Neupane moved the court on Friday challenging Jha’s act as unconstitutional. Neupane has sought apex court’s order to annul his oath and ask him to take fresh oath in Nepali as per the interim constitution.


Even as students across the country have protested vice president Parmananda Jha for taking oath in Hindi language, he has defended his action. Talking to BBC Nepali Service, Friday, VP Jha said that Hindi is also a mother-tongue of (some community) in Nepal. “As per the census, there are around 200,000 people whose mother-tongue is Hindi,” VP Jha said. He also rejected accusations that using Hindi language would, in any way, undermine nationality and integrity. Although he himself is a native Maithili speaker, VP Jha said he chose to take oath in Hindi because it was a common language understood by Maithili, Bhojpuri, Awadhi and other lingual groups of Madhes region. Responding to the filing of a writ petition against his swearing in Hindi at the Supreme Court, VP Jha – who is a former judge – said he would abide by the court decision. He, however, claimed that his taking of oath in Hindi language had not breached the interim constitution. sd Jul 26 08


A writ petition has been registered at the Supreme Court Friday against Vice President Parmananda Jha for taking oath in Hindi instead of the national language Nepali. Advocate Bal Krishna Neupane filed the writ at the apex court demanding rejection of the oath taken by Jha and asking him to re-take it in Nepali language or be expelled from the post. The offices of the President, Vice President and Prime Minister are the opponents of the case filed today. Students have been demonstrating against Jha for taking oath in Hindi though he is a Maithili speaker. Few parties in the parliament have also opposed the action. ia July 25 08


Vice President Parmananda Jha swearing in a tottering Hindi has not only invited ire from student and small political outfits but is now starting to be seen as an act of defiance against the nation with a senior Maoist leader claiming it to be against the interim constitution. CPN (Maoist) spokesperson Krishna Bahadur Mahara on Friday said that VP Jha taking the oath of office and secrecy in the national language of India has undermined Nepali nationhood and termed it “objectionable”. Mahara, who was attending a public screening of a movie based on the people’s war at the Biswojyoti Theatre in Kathmandu, also said VP Jha should have instead taken the oath in his mother-tongue (which is Maithali) or the national language of Nepal and said that the party would protest against this unfortunate incident. Mahara, the Minister for Information and Communication – who has resigned from the cabinet but whose resignation has not yet been approved – also said that the issue of VP Jha swearing in Hindi also cropped up during the 25 party meeting held, Thursday. Talking about the race for government formation, Mahara said that his party would stay in the opposition if the Nepali Congress, UML and MJF didn’t agree to the condition advanced by them–breaking of NC-UML-MJF alliance, formulation of common minimum programme and guarantee of government stability for two years. July 25 08


There were minor demonstrations across the country against the newly elected Vice President Parmananda Jha for taking oath of office and secrecy in Hindi language during the President and Vice-Presidential swearing in ceremony at Shital Niwas Wednesday.

Student organisations affiliated with different parties staged demonstrations in various parts of the capital Thursday against Vice President Jha taking the oath of office in a “foreign language”. They demanded that VP Jha publicly apologise for this. Similarly, locals of Gajuri in Dhading district barred vehicles from plying on the road by imposing transportation strike Thursday. They were apparently enraged by Vice President Jha taking oath in Hindi. They also said that this was a matter of grave concern which has put at risk the sovereignty of the country. Likewise, Chure Bhawar Ekata Samaj, a party which claims to work for the people of hilly origin living in the Terai, also obstructed traffic for more than an hour in the East-West highway passing through Saptari district. The transportation strike had caused a long traffic snarl in the highway, causing a great problem for passengers. In Butwal also local youths chanted slogans against the newly elected VP and blocked traffic in the major roads and intersections. There were reports of protests in Makwanpur, Rupandehi, Nawalparasi, Dadelhura and Tahahun also. President Dr Ram Baran Yadav, clad in the national custom, had taken the oath of office and secrecy in Nepali. However, when he administered the oath of office to his deputy Jha, who was clad in a dress many identify with Indian parliamentarians, the latter preferred to take it in Hindi, raising eyebrows among the high-level dignitaries and political leaders present there.According to an independent statistics, only 0.05 percent of people living in Terai speak Hindi. The majority of the people there speak Bhojpuri, Maithali, Avadhi and other local dialects. However, Madhesi leaders prefer to mostly speak in Hindi during the parliamentary proceedings saying that it is a “lingua franca” in Terai. July 24 08


Amid a ceremony filled with pomp, newly elected President Dr Ram Baran Yadav and Vice President Paramananda Jha were sworn in at the presidential palace, Shital Niwas, Wednesday afternoon. Clad in Daura Suruwal, president Dr. Yadav was sworn in by Chief Justice Kedar Prasad Giri. He received a guard of honor from Nepali Army (NA). As per the constitution he is the supreme commander of NA. Subsequently, he visited the Office of the President and officially took over his duty as the first president of republic Nepal. Briefly talking to journalists at his office, President Yadav said he would dedicate himself to institutionalisation of republic, timely drafting of new constitution and maintain peace and communal harmony. President Yadav then administered the oath of office and secrecy to vice president Parmananda Jha who was clad in Dhoti-kurta. Jha took oath in Hindi language. Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala, acting chair of the Constituent Assembly K.B Gurung, ministers, heads of foreign diplomatic missions and heads of constitutional bodies were also present at the swearing ceremony. Top leaders of political parties and members of CA were also present on the occasion. Missing in action, however, was Maoist chairman Prachanda. Jul 23 08


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