Dr. Ram Baran Yadav in Official Uniform
President Dr. Ram Baran Yadav and VP Paramanda Jha both come from the south-eastern plains of Nepal.
Both of them speak Maithili as their first language.
Both belong to what they call “Madhesi” community.
Because of the extreme heat during summers, people of the Terai or Madhes wear light and loose clothes like dhoti, kurta, pyjamas, lungi, etc.
On the occasion of the swearing in ceremony on July 23, the President accepted to put on the hitherto existing formal governmental “Pahadi” dress: the “Daura Suruwal and Topi”.
The Vice-President chose to represent himself in his own “Dhoti Kurta”.
The President took his oath of office from the Chief Justice in the official language Nepali.
When the President was swearing in his deputy, the VP took his oath by translating the President’s words into Hindi.
The event being the swearing-in ceremony of the first President and VP of Republic Nepal was naturally aired through Live Telecast by the national TV.
Why did the VP take his oath in Hindi instead of the official language Nepali, or his own mother-tongue Maithili?
The country is agitated over VP’s “Hindi-Obsession”. Not only people from the hills, but the Terai/Madhes people and some even from the Mithilanchal regions of India like Darbhanga wished that the VP Jha should have taken his oath in Maithili.
Maithili is Nepal’s second largest spoken language after Nepali. However, there are other major languages like Bhojpuri, Tharu, Awadhi, Rajbanshi, etc that are also spoken as mother tounges along the southern plains.
Some Madhesi leaders argue that Hindi, being the most understood language in the whole of Nepal’s Terai, should be recognized as the official language of Nepal. Others see such arguments as nothing more than another facet of “Indian Imperialism”.
The political parties have been harboring the Pro-Indian or Anti-Indian sentiments among the Nepalis – the most dreaded apprehension being what they call the “Sikkimization” of Nepal.