A Youtuber, whose handle goes by the name of "Paras Official" have sparked outrage, especially amongst the North Eastern people for making ignorant, racist and demeaning comments about the people of Arunachal Pradesh.
In his video, he racially abused an elected member of Arunachal's state legislative assembly (MLA) Ninong Ering, calling him a 'Chinese.' He also made comments on the name and looks of the politician, which according to him weren't 'Indian' enough.
This was in response to a letter which the MLA addressed to the Union Government demanding to disallow the launch of the mobile game "Battleground Mobile India (PUBG)", a game which the gamer community is eagerly awaiting. The game, Ering reasoned, was designed to deceive the government and people, and thus should be banned in the country.
"Re-launching the game was a mere illusion and a trick to collect user data of the citizens, including children and transfer it to foreign companies and the Chinese government," said the legislator.
While commenting on the situation in his video, Singh can be heard saying, "Mujhe to nahi lagtha yeh (Ering) Indian hai (I don't think he's an Indian)" while referring to the MLA's Twitter profile picture. He then asks his viewers to see if Ering looks Indian, and then goes on to ask if Arunachal Pradesh people look like that.
The comments made by the young youtuber sparked massive outrage on social media. It hurt the sentiments of the people of Arunachal Pradesh, who saw it as an insult to their people, land and culture.
Several FIR's have been lodged against the Youtuber for his insensitive remarks in the Pasighat police station.
According to Arunachal Pradesh DGP R P Upadhyaya, Singh has been charged with "racial hatred," and the Cyber Crime Branch in Itanagar is investigating the case.
The All Arunachal Pradesh Students' Union (AAPSU) has also condemned Singh's remarks.
"The AAPSU strongly condemns the statement made by youtuber Paras Singh in which he has categorically defamed former union minister and present MLA Ninong Ering as a Chinese and has vaguely degraded the state's rich culture, its ethnic dresses and raised doubt over the territorial integrity of Arunachal Pradesh," union general secretary Tobom Dai said.
Halley K Jamoh, a Pasighat resident in the East Siang district, has filed a complaint with the Pasighat police station, requesting that Paras Singh be prosecuted under the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, and the Information Technology Act, 2000.
The Youtuber Paras Singh later issued an apology video. He apologized to the people of Arunachal Pradesh for making such insensitive racial remarks and asked for an opportunity to rectify his mistake. He also said that he has been in the receiving end of hate fuelled messages from people on the internet.
Meanwhile, MLA Ering said, "He is free to point out mistakes, if any, but the racists remarks are serious and something which needs re-thinking."
"When I was an MP, I've always been the one to ask the government to ban apps which are not in public interest. Moreover, games like PUBG are spoiling our Arunachalee children. This is not about us but their future," he said.
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