The saffron man, now playing the Jai Ho tune

The saffron man, now playing the Jai Ho tune

He portrayed himself as ‘The  Man of the People’ (MP)  with a slogan of ‘New Change’. He was placed among the top 5 opposition MP’s reviewed by their peers in the treasury bench based on high benchmark in debates, discussions and decorum and was placed among stalwarts like L.K. Advani. He was also chosen as the best young MP by a national English fortnightly magazine.

You might have guessed who is being referred to here; he is none other than our own dynamic and prolific leader, the youth icon Kiren Rijiju.

Born on the 19th of November 1971 to a leading family of Shri Rinchin Kharu and Smt. Chirai Rijiju, he is a resident of Nafra, West Kameng district, Arunachal Pradesh. His father himself was the first pro-term speaker of Arunachal to give oath to the Members of the first State Assembly.

Kiren Rijiju graduated from Hansraj College, New Delhi and following that, he studied law at the Campus Law Centre, Faculty of Law, University of Delhi. He married Joram Rina (now Rina Rijiju) in 2004. She is a graduate from Lady Shri Ram College for Women, New Delhi and a gold medalist from Arunachal University besides being a lecturer in History in Dera Natung Government College, Itanagar. She bore him two daughters and a son whose names are Jajey Rijiju and Nathey Rijiju and Sancho Rijiju.

He was an active social worker since his school days; he led various social movements as a social worker and student leader. He was also a member of the youth and cultural team which participated in the Festival of India in USSR in 1987. He has visited many countries in the Middle East, Europe and the US as a member of various Parliamentary delegations. His hobbies include playing badminton and cricket; he was even named the best athlete in his school and college days and he has participated in the National games.

Rijiju was nominated as a member of the 14th Lok Sabha of India to represent the Arunachal West constituency of Arunachal Pradesh, which is the fourth largest Parliamentary constituency in India and has held the post of National secretary of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). His concern was not just about becoming an MP but rather about bringing about a ‘political change’ in the state. His slogan of ‘New Change’ was appreciated by everyone.

‘A leader knows the way, goes the way and shows the way’ penned by Maxwell stands to be true until the firebrand politician who managed to put Arunachal in the big picture jolted BJP at both the national and state level to play the tune of Jay Ho on August 24th  2009. His joining the Congress has been approved by AICC president Sonia Gandhi.

On Rijiju joining the Congress, there was mixed reaction from every section of society as the people believed that he could be the man to ‘bring revolution in the arena of Arunachal politics’. Everyone had a feeling that a true leader has emerged who knows the way, will go the way and show the people the true way. For the people it too was all air and sound, alike every other leader. Some termed him as ‘Once Pied Piper of Arunachal, now playing the Jai ho tune’. While others termed politics a third class game etc. Others say that as Swine flu is gripping the world so too is the loyalty shift flu gripping Arunachal Pradesh.

Maybe the greatness of the scriptwriter has been revealed as he has been able to turn the tale around in such an unexpected way. Well, not every field is green every time. Seeing the present scenario of the BJP at the center, it’s not green at all.

Rijiju described his joining of the Congress as a homecoming as he was initially groomed by the Congress but his role and dreams will remain the same, no matter what party he is in. He also said that the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) Hindutva ideology had a ‘very negative’ impact in the North East where its relevance was almost negligible. The problems and sentiments of the people of the North East were not understood by the BJP leadership. “I tried my best to make the leadership realize the intricate problems of the region, but they simply failed to understand,” the former BJP leader said.

‘I realized that the Congress party was the best option to work for the development of the northeast. I am committed to carrying forward my agenda for overall socio-economic progress of Arunachal Pradesh and the whole of the region,’ the former MP from Arunachal Pradesh West constituency said.

The BJP, however, had some harsh words to say about Rijiju and termed him a betrayer.

Whatever the case may be, the words of Rijiju will be missed by all especially those words that won the heart of almost every youth as well as the older citizens regardless of their political affiliations. People will surely miss the promising and convincing, sweet and full of energy, confident and most of all the irony of those miraculously delivered words of Rijiju.

However, the people of Arunachal Pradesh believe that the state needs more of Mr. Rijiju, if there are more legislators like him; Arunachal Pradesh would be surely be having a better political atmosphere, though many would argue this point.

 C. B. Namchoom