Jarpum Gamlin, Founding Editor of Itanagar based daily Eastern Sentinel has been appointed as the new General Secretary of BJP Arunachal Pradesh. Eclectic Northeast interviewed him to know more about his take on the problems plaguing Arunachal Pradesh that has hindered the progress of the resource-rich State, opportunities for the youth of the State in the coming days, and more.
Many Arunachalee youths identify you as a role model and closely follow you. But they are also fazed by you being an ideologue of RSS. How do you balance the act?
Truly humbled by the compliment but more than anything else, I think youths identify themselves with me—my background and aspirations. It’s a greater responsibility when one is closely followed by youngsters.
To be called an ideologue is another big word but yes, I do subscribe to RSS ideology and have spoken for the organisation whenever queries or concerns arose in different platforms. Frankly, if one is true to the ideology of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), one doesn’t need to do a balancing act. RSS is not a religious institution rather a very well meaning socio-cultural organisation working towards nation building.
What influenced you to be associated with RSS?
Having grown up under the influence of the teachings of Swami Vivekananda in Rama Krishna Mission School, it is but natural to identify and work with an organisation that is closest to Swamiji’s ideas and ideals. Subscribing to advocacy for nationalistic feelings, respect for motherland and its flag, exhorting for national unity and working towards upliftment of the poorest of the poor, are all for nation building to make it a world power.
Fact that RSS has grown to be the world’s largest socio-cultural organisation in terms of membership and shakhas means that the vast majority of Indians haven’t been consumed by negative campaigns. It only shows that people themselves are reading about the RSS and not relying on secondary information disseminated by a section of media.
What is your take on the RSS’ stand on Beef? Will it ever materialise in the northeast?
RSS doesn’t prescribe people’s dietary habits therefore, the question itself is misplaced. I subscribe to RSS ideology and I do eat all kinds of non-vegetarian food except fish. That’s by choice. While some people of our region relish dog meat, but that doesn’t mean that we start killing and cooking dogs wherever we stay. Similarly, we can’t go to a Muslim dominant area to eat pork. We have to respect the sentiments prevalent there.
During one of his visits to this region, Madhav Sadashiv Golwalkar, also known as Shri Guruji, the second Sarsanghchalak of the RSS did say that sentiments of the majority must prevail. Please do remember RSS doesn’t get into one’s private life, never ever.
What’s your take on Gau Rakshak ?
I do not condone fringe elements claiming to be RSS men to stoke communal tension. Such organisations are trivializing the larger vision and ideals of RSS. No socio-cultural organisation, past or present, understand India and its rich legacies- history, geography and ethnicity better than RSS. Amidst such plurality, it has always stood up for national unity via tenets of tolerance and acceptance of diversity. RSS has been working towards preservation of our age old culture and tradition, not to change anything of it.
When we talk of this great nation’s culture, it is given that we are multi-religious, multi-lingual and multi-cultural with ethos of yore, binding us to accept and respect “individual choice and freedom”.
What do you think about the political instability in Arunachal Pradesh?
Arunachal’s political tale is not unique rather a similar pattern is visible across the country today with exception of those states which are self-reliant in terms of revenue generation.
Negligible revenue generating states like Arunachal has laid bare a bitter truth about political environment in the country today.
Bold headlines may appear to be of political instability but text or sub-text beneath is of bitter narrative of struggle to stay afloat when the party in power at the state belongs to other end of political spectrum at the Centre that controls fund budgeting and allocation.
With fund becoming the “beginning and end” of governance itself, the elected politicians have turned venal; traded like commodities.
Will people ever get a stable government?
Political instability in the frontier state has long been associated with funding by the central government.
In that sense, the new paradigm of budget allocation under Fourteenth Finance Commission of the “Niti Aayog” provides for greater financial support Arunachal Pradesh especially after the recognition of the forest cover area as an important parameter. Irrespective of party affiliation, an assured budget allocation has been outlined. This, I think, would provide political stability and strengthen democracy. If it happens, that would be real cooperative federalism.
However, let me add, the political culture must undergo a sea change too. The politicians ought to market “ideals and ideologies” to its constituents. It’s a sad commentary that we don’t hear politicians speaking about mission and vision of the party in private conversation or in public fora. Instead, in public, they talk about worth of projects in monetary terms and in private, they pay cash. Such unhealthy trend has to stop.
Read the full interview in Eclectic Northeast October 2016 Issue