Itanagar: “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,” an emotional Paras Singh was heard saying on Saturday.
YouTuber Paras Singh, who is now out on bail after getting arrested last month for making racial remarks against senior Congress MLA Ninong Ering and the people of Arunachal Pradesh, said that his two-week stay has given him the opportunity to learn a lot of good things about the state and its people.
Speaking to Arunachal Mirror, an Itanagar-based digital media house, Paras said he had never imagined that he would get so much love and care from the people of 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,” Paras said.
Social media influencer Paras who goes by the name ‘Paras Official’ on YouTube had in one of his videos posted in his channel last month termed “Ering as a non-Indian and Arunachal Pradesh, a part of China”.
Paras had made the comments while reacting to a letter addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi by Ering recently wherein he had appealed to the latter to ban the relaunch of PUBG Mobile India’s new avatar Battlegrounds Mobile India.
Ering, also a former Lok Sabha member, had reasoned that the game was aimed at deceiving the government and citizens and should be banned in the country.
Paras, while commenting on the development in his video was heard saying that Ering does not look like an Indian and Arunachal was a part of China.
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.
Paras said he had very little knowledge about Arunachal Pradesh, its people and the state’s size prior to this.
“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 said.
Paras said besides meeting people and learning several amazing facts about Arunachal, he also got a chance to taste the state’s cuisines. “I ate bamboo shoot for the first time in my life and also other local dishes which were all very tasty,” he said.
With regards to MLA Ering against whom he had made the racial comments, Paras said the legislator came to meet him at the jail but he was not able to do so because of the COVID-19 restrictions.
“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,” Paras said while adding that Ering asked him to visit places like Tawang and Ziro to learn more about Arunachal and promote it.
Paras said once he is home and the Covid situation improves, he would make videos of his experience in Arunachal and how lovely the people here are and share it among his subscribers.
“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 in enough for one to understand the people and their culture here,” the YouTuber said.
He also appealed the Arunachali people to also self-promote their place, culture, food, etc, as much as they can so that the entire country knows about the state’s potential.
He also wished that there was a chapter in the school text books that told more about Arunachal and the northeast.
For now, Paras said, all he wants to do is go home and meet his mother.
“I’ve hurt my mother a lot and she’s in a lot of tension. I didn’t realise this while I was in jail but now I’ve come to know that she faced a lot of trouble because of me,” he said.
Paras, who was facing a jail term, was granted bail on Friday by the CJM court here.
The court allowed Paras’s plea for bail on execution of a personal bond of Rs 10, 000 and set other conditions, including not permitting him to leave the country.
He is expected to leave for Ludhiana, Punjab, his hometown in a couple of days.
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