Two weeks after being arrested for making racist slurs against former Arunachal Pradesh MP and incumbent Congress legislator Ninong Ering, Youtuber Paras Singh has claimed to have a change of heart.
In an exclusive interview with Ahmedabad Mirror, he said, “I realise that I made a great mistake and hurt the sentiments of people from Arunachal Pradesh and the Northeast, but now I will give my best to win back their hearts.” Singh claimed that his two-week stay in the North Eastern State has helped him learn about the people and the State. He also expressed surprise at the love and care he received from the people in Arunachal Pradesh.
“I know the people of Arunachal were very angry with me because of the thoughtless statements that I made in one of my videos and I am very embarrassed about it. This made me think that the people here would be very upset, but once they got to know me and my story, everyone treated me so well. Each and every individual that I met during the past two weeks and while my stay in the jail here were very kind. Everyone taught me something new and something good about the state,” the Youtuber added.
During the interview, Paras Singh acknowledged that he was earlier ignorant about Arunachal Pradesh and its people. He said, “I thought Arunachal was a small state after looking at the map but now I realise that it takes anywhere between 1-2 days to travel from one district to the other. While I was in jail, I was given books through which I came to know that the locals here speak 24-26 different languages and people from all across the country live and work here including those from Punjab.”
He also said that Congress legislator Ninong Ering had tried to visit him in jail but couldn’t do so, owing to Coronavirus guidelines. “I spoke to Ering sir via a video conference and he was like a fatherly figure. He said I am like his grandson and that he forgave me for my mistake. This has had a big impact on me,” he added. Paras also tried the local cuisine of Arunachal Pradesh and vowed to make videos on a Youtube channel about his experience in the State.
The Youtuber also emphasised on the need for a chapter about North East in NCERT textbooks. “There are many people like me who do not know about Arunachal Pradesh and the Northeast and I’ll give my best to change that by making videos about the region as well as that of other places. What I can say for now is a maximum of 2-3 days is enough for one to understand the people and their culture here,” he said. Paras Singh was released on bail on a personal bond of ₹10,000 and is expected to reach Ludhiana in a couple of days.
YouTuber Paras Singh controversy
On May 25, Punjab police had arrested popular YouTuber Paras Singh after a case was registered against him for making a racist slur against Ninong Ering in one of his videos.
Paras had called Ering a non-Indian and Arunachal Pradesh as part of China. It was after the Congress legislator wrote a letter to PM Modi, asking to ban the re-launch of PUBG Mobile India’s new avatar Battlegrounds Mobile India. The Youtuber was then brought to Itanagar on May 27. He was also given lessons on Arunachal Pradesh’s history and culture and was taught about the international border separating India and China. Paras has now been sent to judicial custody.
The ignorance displayed by the popular Youtuber in his video rekindled discussions about racism and ignorance about the people of North-East India. During interrogation, he told the Special Investigation Team (SIT) to make the video controversial to generate more views and income. He conceded that he was enraged after MLA Ering sought for a ban on PUBG, since it implied low revenue for him.
Paras who was interrogated by the SIT of the state police had revealed that the controversial video was made by him to gain widespread attention and views, so that his monetary income could be maximised. According to the police, the YouTuber was enraged after reading the letter sent by MLA Ering seeking a ban on PUBG, as banning the online game would have meant loss in income for him.