Thursday, July 24, 2008

Presidential Election and Oath Taking Drama in Nepal

If anybody correctly predicted the presidential election outcome of Nepal, please let me know the name and I will take a big bow. Not only the outcome is completely unforeseen and to the extent irrational but also the political drama that went along with it.

Nepali diaspora is abuzz with how both president and vice president are Madheshis. It's also abuzz with vice president wearing Dhoti/Kurta and swearing in Hindi. Let me first talk about both of them being Madheshis.

A day before the last day of nomination, I, like most of Nepalis did not even know about Parmanand Jha. All of sudden he was a VP candidate with a fair shot. There came three Rams, all Madheshi, as presidential candidates when it was supposed to be Nepal, Koirala and Prachand. To me, Rams and Jhas are nothing but the result of egotistical clash of these political chieftains. Prachanda does not want to see Koirala as pres, Koirala does not want to see Prachand as pres, Nepal can not agree with Maoist on all terms. So they are like, "Look, we are not going anywhere, let's make best out of it. We lost big time in Terai during election so why not nominate Madheshi as our party candidate. This will let parties from Terai (MJF and TMDP), vote in our candidate's favor. This will not only show that we care about their cause but will also split votes among different parties in next election as a result MJF and TMDP will not be as big as they are now." If I am mistaken on my analysis, give me any other valid reason why the big three parties each would nominate Madheshi as their presidential candidate? After all these are the same people and parties which failed to recognize the very agreement on Madheshi's demand they had made in February this year. I am a Madheshi so why am I cribbing about it? Should not I be rejoicing the fact the first Pres and VP are both Madheshis? Unfortunately, I am not very happy about it for a President should be Pro-Nepali not Pro-Madheshi or Pro-Pahadi, he should be respected by all sect of people and the foremost, he should have a vision and wisdom to unite people. I would have liked to see a name which Nepali people relate to as being a Nepali rather than a Madheshi or Pahadi.

The next big event was VP Jha taking his oath in Hindi. I am a Jha so I would rather he take his oath in Maithili which is native tongue of most of Jhas but I would have liked him to take his oath in Nepali, the official national language. Any other language, be it Hindi or Maithili or English, it's all the same for speaking in Hindi does not make anybody pro Indian as speaking in English does not make anybody pro-American or pro-British. To make a fuss about Hindi is making more mockery of oath taking ceremony which could not have been more farcical. Is not there usually a protocol that need to be followed for these events? What does current Nepali constitution say about it? If constitution and protocol don't allow anybody to take oath in Hindi then Mr. Jha needs to take oath again otherwise people need to stop making big deal of this. I agree it's more of a symbolic thing but one should judge him and the Pres not by the language they use to take oath but by their deeds to make Nepal a healthy and prosperous republic country, by their contribution towards creating a constitution which we all Nepali deserve.

I think it's a mockery of CA election that the party which bagged the highest number of votes does not have it's candidate as Pres or VP. I hope it does not get worse. I hope that next government is headed by Maoists. I hope that Dr. Ram Baran Yadav and Parmanand Jha understand the role of Pres and VP respectively. I hope that CA members understand that their role is to help write a constitution, not to be part of power sharing game. I hope that Nepal gets a constitution which treat all Nepali equally and all Nepali have equal opportunities regardless of their ethnicity. I know that my hopes are wishes of all of you and may your wishes come true.


Dhanakar said...

I as a Hindu hardly have any difference in singing glory of Mother seeta in Maithili, Nepali and or Hindi(its Bhojpuri dilect spoken in Nepal), I feel maithili is not only the most ancient langualge of Nepal ,it is also most rich and as such had HE President and HE VP would have taken oath in Maithili, it would have been NATURAL..It is not a matter of good or bad or superiority of one's language over others but one should have non-inferiority (a statistical jargon) for his/her mother tongue with which we are sick all over...

Speaking in one's mother tongue is speaking from heart and is a tongue of poor who know only one language and in this way that is respect to even a Nepali/Tharu/other language speaking poor citizen of any country..

AND THAT HOLDS GOOD FOR OUR DRESS TOO...MAITHILS HAVE A distinct dress which need respected in both countries..

Dr. Dhanakar Thakur
Antarrashtriya Maithili Parishad

Jhakkash said...

Dr. Thakur,

It gives me an honor to have your comment on my blog for I have admired the work you have done for Maithil people and Maithili language.

My comment is not regarding whether it's in Maihili or Hindi. I like it when people speak their mother tongue and I am a big proponent of it because it implies that you are proud of your culture and tradition. My comment is more about the protocol Nepal has for these kind of events. If there is no restriction on language in the protocol, then this matter is blown out of proportion. Otherwise, oath needs to be retaken.

aAkaR said...

thank you very much for your words in my blog..
It's nice you too from sarlahi..
anyway, keep visiting my blog, espacially
it's my prime blog called Aakar..
thank's once again..

aAkaR said...

yeah, I like this post...
"First of all we are Nepali" . We are Nepali because there is Nepal.

"राष्ट्रपति भन्ने पद कुनै जाति, कुनै क्षेत्र अनि कुनै भाषि को मात्र हैन, यो त सम्पुर्ण नेपाली को साझा हो अनि राष्ट्रिय एकता को प्रतिक हो ।" साथै संविधान मा पनि सरकारी काम काज को भाषा नेपालीभाषा लाई मानिएको छ ।

राष्ट्र,राष्ट्रियता,राष्ट्रिय अखण्डता भनेको कुनै सानो कुरो होइन । यहाँ सम्पुर्ण देश कै प्रतिष्ठा जोडिएको छ, राष्ट्रपतिसँग, तर राष्ट्रपति आफैँ नै संविधान उल्लघंन मा अगाडि छन् । एउटा कुरा मलाई, यी नेताहरु मन पर्दैन, अहिले पनि यीनिहरुले जातियता को राजनिति गर्न खोजेका छन्, त्यसैले पनि अहिले नेपाली सामाजमा समस्या उत्पन्न भएको छ मुख्यत: पहाडे र मधेसी भन्दै । हामी पहाडी मधेसी भन्दा पनि पहिले नेपाली हौँ, अत: हामीसँधै नेपाली नै रहिरहन सकुँ ।

सवाल हिन्दी वा कुनै पनि भाषाको सम्मान र अपमानको होइन । सवाल कसैले जानेको भाषा प्रयोग गर्न पाउने कि नपाउने भन्ने पनि होइन । सवाल उपराष्ट्रपति जस्तो देशको दोश्रो सर्बोच्च पदमा पुगेको व्यक्तिले जुन संविधानलाई मानेर उ त्यस पदमा पुग्यो र जसको प्रमुख कर्तव्य मध्ये संविधानको रक्षा गर्नु पनि हो, उहि व्यक्तिले संविधान विपरित गएर विदेशी भाषामा सपथ लिन पाईंदैन् भन्ने हो । कुनै पनि देशको शासन व्यवस्था संविधान, ऐन, नियमले चल्छ । व्यक्तिको ईच्छाले होइन । यस्तो गम्भीर विषयलाई भाषिक स्वतन्त्रताको नाममा मानिसहरुको ध्यान अन्तै मोडेर चरेशानन्द झाले जे गरे ठिक गरे भनी वकालत गर्नु हाम्रो मुर्खता मात्रै ठहरिनेछ ।