TODAY -

Remembering a People's Poet and Cultural Activist: Khutheibam Abdur Rahman
(2nd January 1935 - 11th September 2020)

Md. Chingiz Khan *



The Pangal community is one of the most disadvantageous communities in Manipur in terms of education, economy, society, polity and administrative affairs. Educationally, there is a bird's-eye perceptive that the Pangals are educationally backward in spite of showing high literacy rate considering both male and female literacy among the Pangals.

Their total population is 8.32 percent based on 2011 census against the 8.8 percent of 2001 census. According to the 2011 census, 80.33 percent of male Pangals are literate and 55.22 percent of female Pangals are literate.

If we compare these figures with the literacy rate of other communities in the state, the figures are still low with the percentage of male literacy which has surprisingly reached 80 per cent and become quite close to the state average.

This is just the nominal figure without reflecting the real positional status from the ground level. It is not exaggerated to say that in terms of literacy, the Pangal society is conceivably the least developed society in the state of Manipur. Their educational status was in colourless and dreary stage before the implementation of reservation-cum-quota system on 27th December 2006 in the state of Manipur which made a half-hearted change.

It is seemingly said that among the Pangals of Manipur, there are lesser number of writers, poets, scholars, civil servants, historians and intellectuals. Earlier, there were some poets, writers and scholars such as Maulana Rahimuddin, Kayamuddin Pukhrimayum, MA Janab Khan, etc. who are no more but their contributions in the Pangal society are being acknowledged and considered noteworthy.

Of these lesser numbers, Khutheibam Abdur Rahman, the poet, scholar and cultural activist, is not an exception but he is no more with us. It is a great and prodigious quagmire and fatality to the Pangal community in Manipur that left a vacuum that would not be able to fill up. He was born in 1935 at Keikhu village belonging to Kshetrigao Constituency, Imphal East District, Manipur.

He has, extensively and extraordinarily, written poems on different themes and cultural aspects of ethno-based historical account of Pangal community along with Islamic study in Manipur. He took admission in DM College, Imphal for Intermediate of Arts (IA) after having passed his matriculation from Churachand High School conducted by Guwahati University.

However, he was not able to pursue IA completely as he faced poverty-stricken financial constraints. He knew many languages such as Manipuri, English, Arabic, Urdu and Hindi. He held the post of Accountant Officer in Agriculture Department, Government of Manipur.

He was the founder member of Writers Union, Manipur and founder president of Islamic Cultural and Research Centre (ICRA) and some other associations also. He played a key role in the up-gradation of Khetrigao ME School to Junior High school.

As per the substantial records, he contributed three chapters in three edited books. Of these three books, one was published locally and the other two were published nationally. The first chapter written by him titled "The Culture of Manipuri Muslim (Pangals) and Meitei Influences" appeared in the edited book of Arambam Samarendra, Manipur and Meitei-Pangal, P. S. Printing and Stationery, Imphal, 1998.

He also contributed one notable chapter titled "The Meitei-Pangals" related to Pangals history and cultural aspects in an edited book of N. Sanajaoba, Manipur: Past and Present, vol. 4, Mittal Publications, 2005 though he was not a professional trained historian.

Lastly, he also contributed one chapter related to cultural aspects of Pangal community in the edited book of H. Dwijasekhar Sharma, The Other Manipur, vol. 5, Akansha Publishing House, New Delhi, 2013. The three articles are used monumentally by many research scholars in and outside Manipur.

It is clearly evident from MM Ahmed's book, Pangal Saknaibasing, part 1, published by Writer's Union, Manipur that he wrote some Islamic based literary books such as Roja in 1986, Yusuf-Zuleikha in 1987, Eid Ani in 1987, Muharram Amasung Karbalagi Lan in 1992, Islam in 1997 and others like Khangpham Thokpa Farj Khara in 2000, Khutwatul Wada in 2009, etc.

He wrote some other general literature books like Thammoigee Khollao in 1980, Pangalgee Khunung Eshei in 1986 (co-authored with Kayamuddin Pukhrimayum), Eraldubu Karino in 2002, Sahir-Salima Luhongba in 2004, Ngaklaba Punshi in 2007, Echel Amasung Khonjel in 2011 and Shoklaba Thammoigi Khollao (Poetry) in 2017.

He bagged many redoubtable and illustrious awards for his gigantic and boundless contributions in the field of Manipuri literature. He was the first Pangal among the Pangals of Manipur who bagged the literary award Sahitya Bhushan in 2003 conferred by Manipur Sahitya Parishad.

He was also awarded 'Writer of the year' in 2004 by Naharol Sahitya Premi Samiti, Imphal and obtained a Certificate of Honour for his commitment in literature in 2009 by State Central Library, Imphal.

He was also awarded ICRA Life Time Achievement Award in 2014 by both Writer's Union, Manipur and ICRA, Imphal. He was honoured by Senior Citizenship of Society in 2014. The last prestigious award which was accorded upon him in 2019 during the function of World Poetry Day is Gopal Sharma Award. This prestigious award was provided by Sahitya Thoupang Lup, Imphal for his immense contribution in literature.

He has been considered as one of the pioneering and spearhead figures in the field of Manipuri literature, folklore-based history and Islamic related study among the Pangals of Manipur. His ideas are deep and insightful concerning the history of Pangal community in Manipur. He presented many papers in many seminars and conferences regarding the cultural and poetical facets of Pangal community.

Starting as a son of true-blue social worker Sifatullah who took a responsible role for the setting up of Keikhu Balika Lower Primary Madrasa, his father's sense of steadfastness and constancy penetrated influence - ably in him that made him the undeniable pearl of Pangal society.

He has been considered as the first and foremost literary figure among the Pangals of Manipur. His ideas, in poetry and short stories, are assuredly creative and prototype in nature. When I met him for the first time during my research work for M.Phil, he was so warmheartedly cordial and his statements are soft that can easily be understandable but are deeper in meaning.

He helped and guided many young and dynamic research scholars who had keen interest in academics including the author of this short article himself while doing M.Phil in the Centre for Historical Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.

He invigorated opulently to the Pangal's field of literature and culture. He was also one of the prolific experts along with other experts such as Prof. Salam Irene, Dr. Imtiyaj, Abdul Hakim, etc., who helped in giving great inputs to researchers while making some questions based on Pangal's contributions to economy, polity, society, culture and administrative affairs of the state for inclusion in the General Knowledge of Manipur published by Ramesh Publishing House, New Delhi.

Those efforts were very fruitful and rewarding. Khutheibam Abdur Rahman and Kayamuddin Pukhrimayum wrote a path-bricking co-authored work such as Pangalgee Khunung Eshei that highlighted a deep sense of the past and contemporary societal norms that are in existence in the Pangal's way of life. This co-authored book is an acclaimed one and referred to encyclopaedically by many research scholars across the state.

The poet-cum-cultural activist, Abdur Rahman, is no more with us but his innovative ideas, ideological dedication scholarly and huge contributions in Manipuri literature will be everlasting ceaselessly and give a source of strength and galvanization for the forthcoming generations regardless of young and old scholars and activists.

His ideas will awake the "token intellectuals" who are discernible apologists to search and gain new scholarship. Through this article, I pay my humble tribute to him. His brilliance and inventiveness in the field of Manipuri literature is comprehensively knowledgeable and recognizable.


* Md. Chingiz Khan wrote this article for Imphal Times
The writer is a Doctoral Candidate, Centre for Historical Studies, School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi
This article was webcasted on September 18 2020.



* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of e-pao.net. We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.


LATEST IN E-PAO.NET
  • Sajibu Nongma Panba Shopping : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 12 Apr : Govt of Manipur
  • Importance of film preservation: Cine Dialogue
  • Decline in number of Cinema Halls
  • Moment With My Pen :: Poem
  • Michelangelo in my drawing room
  • Get vaccinated call
  • Nongpok Ningthou Phoudamba #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 11 Apr : Govt of Manipur
  • COVID-19 : Impact in Manipur :: News Timeline
  • Sajibu Cheiraoba (Meitei New Year Day) :: Book
  • Golden Jubilee of Manipuri Cinema : Report
  • Think it differently
  • 2nd wave poses an increasing danger
  • Interesting twist to pending ADC elections
  • Yaoshang Sports @Laipubam : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 10 Apr : Govt of Manipur
  • Of Nambul River & Prof Rajendra Ksh #2
  • Lok Adalat at various places in Manipur
  • Covid-19 Survey : for science community
  • A Slave or A Master ! :: Poem
  • Spiritual flight journey
  • Workshop on NEP at Lilong
  • Old Manipuri Movie #2 : eRang Classic
  • COVID-19 Status 09 Apr : Govt of Manipur
  • Yurreipem, Zingyo, Changton: eMing
  • can the dignity of menstruation be increased
  • Incentivize vaccination for success
  • Need for Flexible Education in Manipur
  • MoU with Film Heritage Foundation
  • Unwanted deafening silence
  • Hun : Thadou biggest cultural festival
  • COVID-19 Status 08 Apr : Govt of Manipur
  • Licypriya addressed UN Youth Forum 2021
  • Status of women in the 21st century
  • ..we will fail to achieve Health For All
  • Monolith at Manipuri cinema Golden Jubilee
  • Complaint filed to MHRC on Sanaton death
  • Indifference to the fast spread of virus
  • Abridged Translation of Sanamahi Laihui #2
  • COVID-19 Status 07 Apr : Govt of Manipur
  • Ningtham Kummei @JNMDA #2 : Gallery
  • Career in Poultry Science
  • Form independent investigation commission
  • Need of actions to control air pollution
  • Politics surrounding call for ADC polls
  • Nongpok Ningthou Phoudamba #1 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 06 Apr : Govt of Manipur
  • Journalists' Sports Meet #2 : Gallery
  • COVID test a must for all incoming flight
  • World Autism Awareness Day 2021
  • Architects @ Makok Technologies, Keinou
  • Bridge :: Poem
  • Second wave spreading swiftly
  • Yaoshang: Cooking Competition : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 05 Apr : Govt of Manipur
  • World Veterinary Day, 2021
  • What is it in the name? Famous 'Michaels'
  • The Last Night :: Poem
  • Rehabilitating drug users
  • When Money matters, sincerity is out
  • Cultural Fest of Manipur #1: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 04 Apr : Govt of Manipur
  • Mai-Own : Produces from Manipur #3: Gallery
  • 'Manipur Model' of Homestays gets booster
  • Manipur Lokayukta: Today's Imperative
  • Second wave could delay economic recovery
  • Give teeth to war on drugs
  • Thabal Chongba @Bamon Leikai #2: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 03 Apr : Govt of Manipur
  • The Joy of Easter Sunday
  • What's happening in Myanmar
  • Easter : A strange & unique celebration
  • For One To Faithful :: Poem
  • Executive member : Physics Academy NE
  • Abridged Translation of Sanamahi Laihui #1
  • COVID-19 Status 02 Apr : Govt of Manipur
  • Relief @ Rajaimei, Senapati : Gallery
  • The Ultimate Sacrifice
  • ST demand may become redundant
  • Addiction to drugs & alcohol
  • NHPC visit 510 MW Teesta-V
  • Creating space for super spreader
  • Day 3: Yaoshang Sports Meet : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 01 Apr : Govt of Manipur
  • Journalists' Sports Meet #1 : Gallery
  • World Autism Awareness Day 2021
  • Cut Money: The Virus of Illfare in Welfare
  • Vigyan Vidushi : Physics for women students
  • Mulling over the absolute
  • Arrest of former Salai Chairman
  • Yaoshang Nakatheng Chatpa : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 31 Mar : Govt of Manipur
  • Manipur Champion in Natl Thang-Ta C'ship
  • Yaoshang Pichakari : Gallery
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn the Manipuri script
  • We are all Human ! :: Poem
  • Adequate nutrition for productive society
  • ADC elections assured, but when? ATSUM
  • Thabal Chongba @Bamon Leikai #1: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 30 Mar : Govt of Manipur
  • April Calendar for Year 2021 : Tools
  • Marathon Race- Kanglei Sports: Gallery
  • Paradise found. Paradise made.
  • AR organises anti drug awareness campaign
  • Fire @ Shirui, Ukhrul [Mar 29] : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 29 Mar : Govt of Manipur
  • Yaoshang MeiThaba @Kwakeithel: Gallery
  • Relief at Rajaimei & Tumuyon Khullen
  • Mask up to beat the second Covid wave
  • Yaoshang MeiThaba @Bamon Leikai: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 28 Mar : Govt of Manipur
  • Promotion of science @Senapati : Gallery
  • In need of a savior: the wailing of Myanmar
  • Science Awareness Programme at Senapati
  • World Sleep Day 2021 #2
  • AR interacts with ex-servicemen
  • Journalists' Sports Meet- Opening : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 27 Mar : Govt of Manipur
  • Film Preservation & Archiving Workshop
  • Fullmoon :: Poem
  • Appeal for assistance to Myanmar victims
  • Holi colour can cause dangerous side-effect
  • Training Program on Mushroom Cultivation
  • On Equality
  • Saroi Khangba @Imphal #2: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 26 Mar : Govt of Manipur
  • Mai-Own : Produces from Manipur #2: Gallery
  • War on drugs & sports movement
  • Yaoshang (Holi) Festival :: Book
  • Will advances in TB outweigh Covid-19 ?
  • Expecting Rs 14567 crore from the Centre
  • Still making waves in the the year 2021
  • War on Drugs: The uncheck loopholes
  • Junior Men & Women Hockey : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 25 Mar : Govt of Manipur
  • Account Assistant @ Amber & Arthur, Imphal
  • Principle of Self Determination & Peace
  • A Poem's Story
  • NDPP delegation visited Assam
  • Climbing cases in the last few days
  • Human Rights issues & Tangkhul Women #4
  • COVID-19 Status 24 Mar : Govt of Manipur
  • World Water Day Water
  • The Night :: Poem
  • Demand to book Lamhainamdi incident
  • Five Films for Freedom, LGBTIQ+ campaign
  • Touch stance with look at past 'mistakes'
  • For a little bit more
  • Mai-Own : Produces from Manipur #1: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 23 Mar : Govt of Manipur
  • Lamjing Meira Episode 1 - AMAND Ladies
  • World Sleep Day 2021 #1
  • Science Awareness Program at Wabagai
  • Towards Special Agricultural Zone in Manipur
  • Office Bearers- Manipur Soccer Futsal Assn
  • Of forest and water in the world
  • Chingu Paokhollei Leirang - Ingellei
  • COVID-19 Status 22 Mar : Govt of Manipur
  • Manipur: Team champion, Natl Bodybuilding
  • One Midsummer Dream :: Poem
  • Public auction theory & policy
  • BJP likely to retain Assam
  • Imagination: Not a child's play
  • Climbing cases across the country
  • TAPASYA Foundation day #1: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 21 Mar : Govt of Manipur
  • Of Nambul River & Prof Rajendra Ksh #1
  • Khengjang-Yangoulen Fish Conservation
  • Workshop on NEP 2020 at Manipur Univ
  • Cyclist Philem Rohan reached Bengaluru
  • Delhi Citizens extend solidarity with Myanmar
  • Create ADCs first ultimatum
  • Saroi Khangba @Imphal #1: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 20 Mar : Govt of Manipur
  • Measures to contain COVID-19 in Yaoshang
  • Science Education @ Chandel : Gallery
  • Consultants @ The Property Geo, Imphal
  • The Myanmar crisis & our options
  • Whither Homeland... :: Poem
  • Course in Kinanthropometry
  • Awareness of science education in SC school
  • Understanding value of 'Time' & 'Money'
  • Human Rights issues & Tangkhul Women #3
  • Book- 'Critics forum Manipur' : Gallery
  • Realization in the dark :: Poem
  • 39th Orientation Program at MU
  • Gauri Healthy Heart Mission at Kakching
  • State of democracy in Thailand : Discussion
  • Disturbing reports of deaths
  • Stop sand mining from River bank
  • Sharungbam Rameshor: Yuva Puraskar
  • COVID-19 Status 18 Mar : Govt of Manipur
  • Brewing Bio Entrepreneurships in Manipur
  • Mayasvi festival of the Tsou of Taiwan
  • Accountants at R-Square Design
  • Myanmar Memories
  • Staring at second wave of the virus
  • Inauguration and Launching Galore
  • Shopping List for Shivaratri #2: Gallery
  • Causes & solutions of unemployment
  • Where Fate Leads :: Poem
  • 'Dry fish' from Chittagong
  • Education for CWSN
  • ST demand: Gearing up for stir
  • Gadgets matters
  • Houses @Yangkhullen, Senapati : Gallery
  • World War II, INA & Manipuri Literature #3
  • Is there a perfect referee in football ?
  • Naga Peace Process :: News Timeline
  • The way to equal future
  • The magic of Coriander in skincare
  • From a high of 426 to zero
  • So far so good
  • My memories of Imphal from 1941 #20
  • COVID-19 Status 15 Mar : Govt of Manipur
  • Mushroom training @MayangImphal: Gallery
  • Periodic, free & fair elections #2
  • Hinges and his beloved :: Poem
  • Meetei tribe wont grab land of hill tribes
  • Four years in office & looking ahead
  • 4 years of citizen centric govt
  • Human Rights issues & Tangkhul Women #2
  • COVID-19 Status 14 Mar : Govt of Manipur
  • COVID-19 Status 13 Mar : Govt of Manipur
  • Eco-Tourism @CheiraoChing : Gallery
  • International Day of Action for Rivers
  • Save Myanmar, Save Humanism
  • 6th webinar 'Career opportunity in IT Industry'
  • Civil Services Examination 2021
  • Stand of others on ATSUM's demand?
  • Rih-Ngai Fest @Kakhulong : Gallery
  • Solution to surging congestion in Imphal
  • The paper once I valued most :: Poem
  • Jobs at Trueblue Taxi Imphal
  • Twelve profits of office
  • Kerala could repeat electoral history
  • ADC election should not be undermined
  • Shopping List for Shivaratri #1: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 12 Mar : Govt of Manipur
  • Shivaratri - The night of blissful awareness
  • Aries Haoneo Kuki - new song release
  • Moreh : India's Gateway to ASEAN
  • Career option as makeup artist
  • Webinar on 75 Years of India's Independence
  • Training Program on Mushroom Cultivation
  • Need to save environment: Green Manipur
  • Banning of Thabal Chongba
  • Imphal City from Nongmai Ching #2: Gallery
  • Aries Haoneo Kuki : Singer Profile :: eRang
  • Mega Book Sales @MU : Gallery
  • Featured Front Page Photo 2021 #1: Gallery
  • Karanjid Ahongshangbam: JEE Mains Topper
  • Mova Cave @ Hunpung, Ukhrul #1: Gallery
  • Bongbal Kholen, Kpi District #1: Gallery
  • COVID-19 vaccination [Jan 16] #2 : Gallery
  • Downloadable Manipuri Calendar :: 2021
  • 'Zehara' - Manipuri Movie :: eRang Classic
  • SPONSORED ADS