Monday, July 28, 2008

Nepali First Vice President (VP) - Parmananda Jha swears in Hindi to re-establish Hindi as a Lingua Franca in Madhes and Nepal

Parmanand Jha (Nepali: परमानन्द झा) is the Vice President of Nepal and a former Supreme Court judge. He hails from Mauwaha VDC-1, Saptari District.[1] Jha resigned as a judge in December 2007. He had not been proposed by the Judicial Council as a permanent judge at the apex court, following allegations of involvement in drug smuggling. Jha joined political life, becoming a member of the Madhesi Janadhikar Forum.[2] On July 19, 2008, Jha was elected vice-president of Nepal by the Constituent Assembly.[3] Jha had been nominated by the Madhesi Janadhikar Forum.[4] After the election, Jha vowed that he would work in an independent manner, free from party interests.[2]

Chief Justice Kedar Prasad Giri administered oath of office and secrecy to the Ram Baran Yadav first president at the presidential palace, Shital Niwas, Rastrapati Bhawan, 3:45 pm. Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala, inter alia was present. Yadav also administered oath to the vice president Parmananda Jha.[5][6] His swearing in caused controversy in Nepal, as he took the oath of office in Hindi, rather than Nepali or Maithali, his native dialect.

- Excerpts from wikipedia

Dear friends,

Here, I want to ask a question to the self proclaimed 'nationalists'. What is nationalism? Is it being anti something or is it being loyal to a nation? In my view, it is simply a love and sincerity towards the nation. Now, where does the controversy come regarding the doubt of Mr. Jha being a true Nationalist? I dont know how he disproved his loyalty to the nation. Did he sell some territories, or did he signed a secret bill, or did he sell the intelligence information to other countries? However, there are so many 'Nepalese', who speak in Nepali and have signed the 'unequal' treaties. Is nepalese language a bail to a crime, and hindi a non-bailable crime?

I dont think that language can be any means of proving nationality. Many national figures of different countries speak in national languages of other countries. Does that simply mean that they are 'sold and bought' for the countries whose national language was spoken? In recent Indian Parliament, Rahul Gandhi was observed speaking in English. Does that mean he sold his nationality and country's pride?

I would also like to remind my friends that, Language can never ever belong to any country. Language is only associated with communication and between people.

Also, as none of us can deny the fact that Hindi is a Lingua Franca of madhes/tarai. Personally me, I speak Maithili. But if i am to speak to a person speaking awadhi, I would prefer Hindi than looking stupid by discovering my own version of awadhi which i have hardly spoken. And speaking with tharus would be more complex. Therefore, i would expect the awadhi speaking guy or a tharu to speak in Hindi, because there would be comparitively less error in speaking and understanding Hindi than one trying the language that is relatively more 'difficult' to comprehend.

The non-madhesi people just pretend not to understand hindi. If the TV cable programmes and movies can be watched and enjoyed in Hindi, I dont think the speech/oath of 4 mins cannot be. Hindi can be understood by other nepalese (non madhesis) too. Therefore, to promote equality and non-partisan with any language and to show the neutrality, Mr. Jha did the right thing to use the language that could be understood my all the nepalese. Had he spoken in Nepali, the madhesis could not have understood. Had he spoken in Maithilee, the Pahadis, Tharus, and others must not have understood. Therefore, it can be argued that not Nepali, but Hindi is the language to fill the gap that exists between a pahadi and a madhesi. Hindi is the lingua franca of whole Nepal. And the beauty is that Hindi belongs to none.

I must remind here again that before the rule of King Mahendra, Hindi was the language used in Education, Courts and general communication. It was the doctrine of King Mahendra to alienate the madhesis by dominating Hindi and pushing the Nepali language as only official language. Thus automatically, the madhesis not knowing Nepali was alienated from communication to the state organs. This should be rectified at least now.

Therefore, I conclude that lets all not get disturbed by the fact that Hindi is the language of India. Some interest groups try to provoke this issue for their benefit. But once, if thought with patience and without being biased, we will know the logic.

Comments are welcome.


Anonymous said...

Mr. whoever you are.

nobody is arguing about chareshananda jha's selling or buying anything. Its the subject of national integrity that the vp has chosen.

Yes maybe half of nepal do understand hindi due to increased influence of india and hindi channels spewing "home destroying venomous dope of sas bahu serials. But that does not make up to the argument that it is okay to swear in hindi as most understand hindi.

even in india, where there are many federal states in their delhi parliament, MP's either speak english or hindi. Nobody speaks Nepali or any other regional languages even though they have recognized 2 mil indians whose language is Nepali.

It is not the matter of speaking or understanding, you are free to speak whatever language you know or is comfortable in, nobody is stopping that. The only anger against VP is that, after being nominated to the prestigious post of VP, he is above any party he is not bound to follow any INSTRUCTIONS. He is expected to act as a uniting factor not the dividing factor (look at what he has done, bringing the whole country to a standstill) everybody knows what will happen with such a stupid act.

And madhesi brothers should be aware of the political chal khels going on in the Madhes in the name of communal uplift.

what if all the newar, rai, limbu, kirat and all the other nominated representatives start discussions at constituent assembly meetings in their own languages. They all speak Nepali.

Why do only forum leaders have to speak in Hindi, what are they trying to prove???

Mahesh said...

I want you to read carefully the section of Interim Constitution that elaborates on Political Parties. If I am not mistaken, Part 18 in English (Part 19 in Nepali):

Article 141.3:
“Political Parties with the objectives contrary to the spirit and norms of the preamble of this constitution shall not be considered qualified for the party registration.”

Article 142.4: “The Election Commission shall not register any political party if any Nepali citizen is discriminated against becoming a member of the political party on the basis of religion, caste,tribe, language or sex or if the name, objectives, insignia or flag of such political parties is of a nature that it would disturb the religious or communal harmony or of the nature to divide the country, or such party constitution or rules are for purposes of protecting and promoting a party-less or single party system of governance.”

An objective interpretation of these articles will make region, caste, and ethnicity based political parties like MPRF, TMDP, and NSP automatically unconstitutional, therefore prohibits from registering in the Election Commission. These parties are disturbing “communal harmony” and seeking to “divide the country.” Part of their names is “Madhes” or “Madhesi,” which directly discriminates people of other regions and language. Their objective of making Hindi language as an Official Language of Nepal contradicts with the Preamble or “Prastawana,” the core of the Interim Constitution: “sovereignty, integrity, independence and dignity of the country.”

In summary, according to the Interim Constitution, there cannot be a political party on the basis of region, language, tribe, class, caste, or gender. Also, there cannot be a party with a name and objectives that discriminates or divides Nepali people and country on the basis of region, language, tribe, caste, or gender. Finally, there cannot be a political party that compromises or weakens “sovereignty, integrity, independence and dignity of the country.” Parties like MPRF and TMDP must be automatically nullified. But this does not mean that other political parties are not weakening “sovereignty, integrity, independence and dignity of the country,” so they all must be temporally suspended by the Election Commission. All political parties should be notified of their violation of the Constitution and should be given an opportunity to correct their behavior within a time limit if we are expecting a law abiding nation in the aftermath of the April Movement. Or else, the country will forever remain a lawless territory run by vigilantes like it has been until this time, and Nepal should lose its status as a nation in the United Nations.

Mahesh said...

First, is there any country in the world that allows another language spoken by some 200, 000 people, a small percentage, of that country, to take oath of office? (That number of Hindi speakers is Upendra Yadav’s, not mine). Is there a country in the world where a language of fringe percentage has become “official language” at the federal or central level?
Now, does Indian Parliament allow an elected MP of Nepali origin , either from Aaasam, Sikkim, or Darjeeling, to take oath of office in Nepali language? No, never.
How about Bengali, the 2nd most popular language of India, with about 100 million speakers? Even a Bengali cannot take oath of office in Bengali at the central government.
Bengali or any state language is not given an official language status at the central level. State languages like Bengali or Tamil, etc. are official only at the state level. Even in Bengal, Bengali language is not allowed for court proceedings at High Court : They must be carried out in Hindi or English, the only two official languages of India at the central level.

In other countries, you find a similar provisions. For instance, in the United States Spanish speaking people number over 40 million, more than Nepal’s entire population. Does USA allow an elected official to take oath of office in a language other than English? Let us say Joe Lieberman or Bill Richardson becomes Vice President. Does America’s Constitution allow them to take oath of office in Jewish or Spanish language? No. Explain to me why.
Forget about Federal level. Does America allow a native American or Japanese-descended governor or state senator in Hawaii to take oath of office in their mother tongues despite they have majority in Hawaii? No.

Why should Nepal allow Parmanand Jha to take oath of office in Hindi? There is only one official language (=language permitted to use in Government offices) in Nepal at the central level: That is Nepali. You cannot be allowed to do Government businesses in any other language, Newari, Maithali, Tamang, Limbu, or Hindi, before you change the constitution. And oath taking is Government business.
Can Nepal financially afford to keep all Government documents and do its official work in 60-70 ethnic languages of Nepal? Not even the world’s richest country cannot afford to do this. America keeps Government documents in only one language. Does America issue Driver’s license in Spanish or Chinese or any minority language (there are more Chinese speaking people in America than Hindi speakers in Nepal)?

Most importantly, language use is not mere means of communication only. Language is associated with culture, nation, and national identity. Nepal and Nepali people are less active to produce basic necessities and accessories for their life and, thus, submit to Indian products and television media without complaint. Independence does not come from such inactive and submissive habits. Nepali people have to strive for independence, not just from India but from the rest of the world. This does not mean isolation. Production is participation. Only by producing our own we can participate in the world. Otherwise, we will forever remain mere consumers (slaves), at the mercy of other nations. For independence, Nepal must begin from some place. And that some place could be language. Resistance to Hindi may help us eventually find an exit out of dependence on India, though it may be uneasy at the beginning.
And language, as I said above, is not just means of communication. Language is the means of producing daily necessities like food, transportation, and information technology as well as accessories of life like literature, television and films. Language in broad sense is in our DNA. What is DNA if not coded message written in a particular language?

More than anything else, language is instrumental in the production of knowledge. Language is a way of looking at the world. Every language is unique in its own way to produce knowledge, which means each language is capable of producing valuable and different knowledge. The question is not respect or disrespect of another language. The question is the danger of losing a language. In the long run, Nepali language may face risk of disappearance because of the domination and wholesale acceptance of Hindi in Nepal. The result would be not only we will lose our national identity but also a mode of production of knowledge. Statistics show that 1 language is disappearing in every 14 days from the earth. Death of a language is death of particular way of producing knowledge. A language dies if it is dominated by another powerful language, especially if that domination happens from the neighboring language. So, English may be more powerful than Hindi, but Hindi is the most powerful language that is in our nearest neighborhood to dominate the life of Nepali and other ethnic languages like Maithali and Bhojpuri, etc. You should read how a language of weaker nation and community dies and think if Hindi, the language of powerful India, nor a language of any ethnic group in Nepal, is in any danger of extinction, and whether we should allow Hindi domination in Nepal at the cost of losing Nepali and other ethnic languages, and National identity. Also, Nepali has been lingua franca between all other ethnic languages, not just one or two that you mention? Here is the link for further reading about language extinction:

sivesh said...

Hindi is more viral disease that will eventually kill Maithali and Bhojpuri than other languages of Nepal because of their closeness.
If all Maithali and Bhojpuri speaking people in Terai start speaking in Hindi, the languages of Terai will disappear in a generation or two.

In order to protect Maithali and Bhojpuri, Terai people must resist Hindi as much as they can and speak their own languages.

Upendra Yadav’s proposal to make Hindi an official language of Nepal will kill Maithali and Bhojpuri.

mana said...

VP Parmanand Jha said in a statement yesterday: “I took the oath in Hindi mainly because it is...the mother tongue of two per cent population of the Tarai.”

This supplements the 2nd comment made by Mahesh above.

Bibek Paudel. said...

First of all, this blog seems ill motived because I can see many comments deleted. Well, best of luck and then you post such a kind of a blog to wikipedia. Well, that is not what wikipedia is for. Free software/standards/document authors don't accept that because their toil wasnt meant to be misused thus.

If you argue Hindi should be the lingua franca again, we could well argue that examinations and education in Nepal should be controlled from Benaras again. Why not?

One good thing Paramananda Jha has done is that he has united all the non-Madheshis. The Rais, Limbus, janajatis, dalits, Bahuns, Chhetris, Sherpas, Bhotes and numerous other groups in Nepal including the professional groups are in one side and the groups represendte by MJF, TMLP and Sadvawana Party are on the other side. According to their definition (as I read in a book of Rajendra Mahato, only Maithili, Awadhi and Bhojpuri speaking people can be called Madheshis), the non-madheshis are in one side and some 20- 30 lakhs madheshis are in other side.

Best of luck with your support to the mission of Jha but this is not going to succeed unless there is an ethnic war (cleansing of identity or existence) from either of the sides.

If you are educated enough or aware enough, wake up !

Jay Nepal !

Anonymous said...

VP Jha is a pride of Madhesh since he did the right thing to bring forward our language, culture and clothes to the forefront. I recommend him for the Nobel Prize.

Mukund Mohan said...

Why cant anyone take oath in Hindi in Nepal.

And its very sarcastic for some people to say that Mr. Jha should have taken oath in his Mother tongue Maithili.

Its not at all an unknown fact how supressed is Maithili in Nepal. Maithili people are not allowed to join Army. Mr. Jha would have definately faced some criticism even if he would have used Maithili.

Its even more sarcastic for few people to say that Maithili or Bhojpuri or Avadhi people should go to India if they want Hindi. Who are you to suggest this? We have been living in Tarai area for milleniums. Its our land. And we are not the people of Indian Origin. And we have all right to accept any language. Arent we guys looking at English now a days. Compared to Hindi its much more foreign language for us. Infact Hindi resembles Nepali more than Maithili. These two language are using same lipi. We are the actual people of Madhya-Desh. Because of some political reasons we are in Nepal. So are Nepalis in North Bengal and other parts of India.

There are instances where Indian parliamenterians have used language other than Hindi or English. And what bullshit is talks of percentage of people who know Hindi in Nepal. There have been atleast 20 instances where Indian parliamenterians have used Sanskrit for oath taking. The percentage of people who speak Sanskrit within India is almost zero and number of people who understand it is 0.001%, far less than the percentage of people who either speak Hindi or understand hindi within Nepal.

Leave out Sanskrit Indian Parliamenterians have used Tamil, Bengali, Punjabi, Kannada and many other languages for oath taking. Nobody ever objected to it. Infact, very very few people knows it because nobody is angry at someone using some language. Nobody tries to come in the way of anybodys freedome. Infact those people have been hailed as heroes in their respective regions.

If Nepali people in India can be more Indian than Nepali why cant an Maithili or Avadhi or Bhojpuri people in Nepal be more Nepali than Indian. Lets look forward for a plural society where we have place for everyone and where a DHOTI is accepted as First citizen of the country. If we fail in this nothing can stop us from disintegrating.

Jha sital said...

He is not good person for this movement.And also he could not be able to handle this position either. Nither as a Vice president.

Anonymous said...

he told his ppl can understand him . then what about rest of ppl.

then he should have taken oath in every lang . cuz i can't understand what he said.

did he said i suck my own dick

reticent said...

As a Madhesi, I agree with the popular belief that he should have taken the oath of office in Nepali. You talk about nationalism but his act is also an explicit display of ultra-nationalism, fanatical regional loyalty. He can show how much he loves Madhesh and Madhesis by his actions instead of words uttered in Hindi that does not prove that he is with us.

Anonymous said...

biharis fuck off from Nepal

Anonymous said...

As a response to your blog, yes maybe the VP has done absolutely nothing wrong by taking the oath in Hindi, however it is good to point out that by doing so all he did was divide the nation. His job is to unify us. Instead he has divided us from the start of his oath. He should retake the oath in Nepali and let this matter end as soon as possible. I doubt he's got anything to loose.

pushpa raj said...

the indian politicians are using the madhes issue of nepal as a card, they are trying to interfere in nepali politics, but i regret to say that the people of madhes do not understand this, what did he obtain or gain by taking the oath in hindi?
nothing he gained. if he would have taken the oath in nepali, he would heve been regarded as national hero like ram baran yadav. ram baran yadav, though he hails from madhes he preferred to take the oath in nepali, and all the citizens are happy and glad to have prez like him.

kcjha35 said...

all the mother fucking pahadis get fucked by urselfs

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Anonymous said...

How much do I love him? Well. Fuck! He should've died the other day instead of his mother. That much.

Anonymous said...

He should die.

Khil Raj Regmi said...

He should be hanged till death. Madhese people speaks Maithali language not Hindi. Maithili is Nepals 2nd official language. Maithili originated from Janakpur,Nepal. Bhojpuri is also a type of Maithili. But not Hindi. We are Nepali not indians. Madhesis are also Nepali not indians.

Divyasanu Pandey said...

Mr Mahesh! Indian Parliament allows to take oath in Nepali, Bengali etc. You should correct yourself. Any member of parliament can take oath in any of the 22 languages of 8th schedule which includes not only Nepali, Bengali and Assamese but even Sanskrit. Moreover, if a person whose mother-tongue is Nepali wants to have a take part in any open parliamentary debate, he is always allowed to speak in Nepali.
See, my mother tongue is Bhojpuri and I find no problems with Hindi. Actually the greatest poets and grammarians of Hindi were Bhojpuri and Awadhi Speakers.
Further, I would very regretfully submit this to you that I find this treatment of hindi done by you people really very absurd, childish and narrow-minded act. We, the pepple of India, are so proud of great works done by Nepali kings,poets and people, we see you as our own brother. We have given Nepali a status of Rajabhasha which is equivaent to the status of Hindi in India. But I don't understand why you have this much problem with Hindi.
May be you aren't correct with your information!! Please correct it. And, since you have accepted democracy, accept it fully and positively with any narrowmindedness.
I ,being a Bhojpuri speaker, don't find any threats from Hindi and so is the case with Nepali. The biggest threat is English.
Hope you will see this as I am replying after about 7 years.
We all are your own brothers, howsoever badly you treat us, we shall always be ready for your help whenever necessary without any want to get something in return.
May god bless you! May he enlighten your path!