Nepal Samacharpatra caught up with Parmanand Jha this week and asked him about life after the Hindi oath row. Translated excerpts:
Parmanand Jha: I haven't been outside my house since 30 August. Like at Bahadur Bhawan earlier, I still meet various people, but at my house. I feel like I'm in a state of house arrest somewhat like the democratic leader of Burma, Aung San Suu Kyi. People are even bombing my house now. I'd be beaten up if I left my house.
How does it feel being holed up at home like this?
I am very relaxed. I've no worries and no complications. I haven't felt the need to go out but in any case I haven't been forbidden from doing so. And my pension as a judge has been enough for two meals a day.
Why aren't you leaving home? Are you humiliated that the government has removed the flag and security from your home?
Not at all. It's better not to have a flag that's a matter of debate waving uselessly atop your home and car. Even though the government has removed the national flag, the same flag will honour my dead body as the first Nepali vice president. And as far as my post is concerned, I am still the vice president. I was elected by six hundred and one CA members, until and unless those members decide otherwise, noone can expel me from the post.
If you were not retaking the oath in Nepali, why did you make the President and the Prime Minister wait for hours on 30 August?
I had met President Ram Baran Yadav twice and Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal thrice to make my stance about retaking the oath clear. Even when the Madhesi parties suggested I retake the oath in Maithili, I'd flatly refused, fearing another controversy. And on 30 August itself, I called a press conference at 1:30PM to announce that I was not retaking the oath. After all this, I see absolutely no reason for them to have waited. It was just a ploy to put the blame on me.