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Nepalese minister speaks Hindi, sparks controversy

world Updated: Jul 05, 2009 14:18 IST

The use of Hindi by a Nepalese minister, also a leader of a Terai-based party, sparked a controversy at a function in Kathmandu as the audience objected to him speaking in the language.

Minister for Education Ramchandra Pasad Kushwaha, of the Terai Madhes Democratic Party, spoke in Hindi language at a programme to sign an agreement between a Nepalese college and CG Manipal, an Indo-Nepalese educational joint venture.

The audience objected as soon as Kushwaha, who belongs to the Terai region, started speaking, prompting the minister to defend himself. Kushwaha said he had every right to speak Hindi which is a common language of Terai.

"You people didn't object when the previous speakers spoke in English, but why do you bother when I speak in Hindi?" said the minister at the event where Indian Ambassador to Nepal Rakesh Sood was also present.

Last year Vice President Paramananda Jha had taken the oath of office in Hindi language, sparking widespread protests
for several days.

CG Manipal, the educational joint venture between India's leading Manipal K-12 Education group and Nepal's industrial Chaudhary Group signed an agreement with the Campaion college, for acquiring 90 per cent of its share.

Campaion College is the first college to be acquired by the CG Manipal Group, which aims to cater 1,600 students in the first year by acquiring the management or assets of various colleges.