A Tribute to Reverend Malungchang Longvah

Ngatar Ruivanao / Pamkhuila Shaiza *

Reverend Malungchang (10th March 1939 - 20th September 2016)
Reverend Malungchang (10th March 1939 - 20th September 2016)
Photo Credit : : Ngatar Ruivanao

Tangkhul people lost an eminent scholar, a prolific writer, a great thinker, a soft speaker, and a great religious church leader in Reverend Malungchang today, who passed away at the age of 77 years at Ukhrul District, Manipur.

Born in the East District Ukhrul village, Sirarakhong, he studied from Sirarakhong Government M.E. School till sixth standard. Thereafter he matriculated from Ukhrul Government High School, and graduated from D.M. College Imphal in Bachelor of Arts. After graduation, he served as school teacher at Ruichumhao Memorial Christian High School and later at Sirarakhong Government High School in 1965.

However, he left the government job to pursue 'Theological Studies' in 1969, in United Theological College, Bangalore, and lived out the rest of his life serving God. He studied 'Bachelor of Divinity' from 1969 and completed in 1973. During his final years of BD in 1973, he met with road accident in Madras (now Chennai) fracturing the right leg, making him to spend more time reflecting on God, Christian way of life, and deeper thinking and analysis of the Old and the New Testaments of the Bible.

He openly testifies in all his writings about how this had a powerful and significant impact in his theological thinking and perhaps his understanding of God's mission. Not many people will know that it was the convoy of the then Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu that hit him. The government of Tamil Nadu took full care of him for three months during which he wrote his much appreciated BD thesis on 'The Kingdom of God' in the line of the thinking of Walter Rauschenbusch, one of the main proponent of social gospel.

Reverend Longvah seems to be not only inspired by Rauschenbusch but their life seems to synchronise since owing to their respective health problems, both resorted to writing books to share their theological conviction.

Upon completion of BD, he served as principal of Nagaland Children Home school from 1975 to 1976. From 1976 till 2005, he was a staff of Christian Institute for the Study of Religion and Society (CISRS) in Bangalore as the 'Regional Secretary' for the North-East India.

In 1980, he married Chonthingla Shangh from Shirui Village, who graduated from Union Christian College, Barapani, Shillong, and serve as teacher in government junior high school. In 1988, he was ordained as Reverend Malungchang Longvah within the Christian fold. His last Ministry work was working as a Pastor of Sirarakhong Babtist Church.

Besides being actively engaged in Christian religious work till his dead, Reverend Malungchang is a renowned author, and his works are available in English and Manipuri languages as well as in Tangkhul dialect.

His prominent works include Journey Happiness through Practice of Pure Love; Journey into Eternity; and The Church. His insights, together with Dr. Opendro Laishram on Journey Happiness through Practice of Pure Love deeply reflects on how believing in the existence of the living God and obeying the words of God can make people to attain self-satisfaction and true happiness.

His reflection on service to humanity that allows the attainment of pure joy and happiness also brings out the social perspectives of the beloved Reverend and Scholar. His scholarly and religious articles also explore topics like the search for truth and how belief and faith can cater towards representing truth and inner tranquillity.

His writings and thoughts transcended general thinking of many Christian preachers, rather reflecting more deeply towards inner search for happiness and peace through truth.

The works and writings of Reverend Longvah may not have enjoyed popular readership but it needs to be read by the church and the congregations as we would find in it traces of his thinking that challenge us for a larger mission to humanity. His silent contributions towards the church through his writings needs to be appreciated.

He left behind, his wife, a son, two daughters, and one grandson.

* Ngatar Ruivanao / Pamkhuila Shaiza wrote this article for
S. Ngatar Ruivanao works as Lecturer in Calvin Institute of Theology
Pamkhuila Shaiza works as Research Analysts in Project Guru and can be contacted at pamshaiza(AT)gmail(DOT)com and @ShaizaPamkhui (Twitter)
This article was webcasted on September 21, 2016.

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