Kiren Rijiju (born 19 November 1971) is an Indian lawyer and politician from Arunachal Pradesh. A member of the Bharatiya Janata Party, Rijiju is the current Minister of State (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports and Minister of State in the Ministry of Minority Affairs of India.
Kiren Rijiju was born on 19 November 1971 at Nakhu near Nafra in West Kameng district of Arunachal Pradesh in India. He was born to a leading family of Sri Rinchin Kharu and Smt. Chirai Rijiju. His father himself was the first pro-tem speaker of Arunachal to give oath to the Members of the first State Assembly.
He was an active social worker since his school days and led various social movements as a social worker and student leader. As a member of the youth and cultural team he participated in the Festival of India in USSR in 1987. He has widely visited many countries across the world as a youth leader as well as member of various Parliamentary delegations. He was named the best athlete in his school and college days and participated in the National Games.
Kiren Rijiju is considered the face of Bharatiya Janata Party in North East India. He served as a Member of Khadi and Village Industries Commission from 2000 to 2005 at a very young age of 29. Kiren Rijiju has been appointed as India’s new Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports in 2019. Kiren Rijiju is arguably the most iconic political leader from the State of Arunachal Pradesh and North East India in recent times; he is often being referred to as the “voice of North East India” He occasionally writes articles on security & socio-economic issues.
In the 2004 general election, he was elected as a member of the 14th Lok Sabha, representing the constituency of Arunachal West in the Indian Parliament, which is the fourth largest Parliamentary constituency (in terms of Area) in India. He was one of the most outspoken Parliamentarians in the 14th Lok Sabha. Rijiju entered the Lok Sabha for the second time in 2014 from the Arunachal (West) constituency of Arunachal Pradesh in India.
During 2004-09, Kiren Rijiju was placed among the top 5 opposition MPs 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 many national news agencies and magazines.
In the 2009 general election, Rijiju was defeated by a very thin margin of 1314 votes by the Congress candidate under very controversial circumstances which witnessed massive violence amidst allegation of polling booth capturing by Congress Party.
In the 2014 general election, Kiren Rijiju was again elected as a Member of Parliament in the 16th Lok Sabha, representing the Arunachal West constituency. Kiren Rijiju defeated Takam Sanjoy of the Indian National Congress by a margin of 43,738 votes. Immediately he found a place in Narendra Modi‘s first best of 45 Council of Minister’s list as Minister of State for Home.
Kiren Rijiju said during the 2017 Rohingya refugee crisis that “Rohingyas are illegal immigrants and stand to be deported”. He also stated that “India has absorbed maximum number of refugees in the world so nobody should give India any lessons on how to deal with refugees”.
His wife is Joram Rina Rijiju; they were married in 2004. She is a graduate from Lady Shri Ram College for Women, New Delhi and is a gold medalist from Arunachal University. She is an Assistant Professor teaching history at Dera Natung College, Itanagar in Arunachal Pradesh.