Prof. Nongmaithem Tombi Singh : A Profile


Prof. Nongmaithem Tombi Singh
Prof. Nongmaithem Tombi Singh

Name: Professor (Dr.) Nongmaithem Tombi Singh

Address: Keishampat Leimajam Leikai

Date of Birth: March 22, 1942

Father: (Late) Nongmaithem Brajabidhu Singh (10-12-1906 - 10-12-1984); He was a well-known Khol and Meitei Pung player and was awarded 'Badya Bhusan' by the Manipuri Sahitya Parishad in 1976; he was the President of the Manipur Manoharshai Sabha, Manipur; he was a teacher of Tabla in the Government Music College in 1960's and also passed 'Bisharad' in 1969 from Bhatkhande Sangeet Vidyapith, Lucknow.

Mother: (Late) Nongmaithem Ongbi Rajkumari Sanamatum Devi (December 16, 1912 July 2, 1997

Brother and Sisters (Siblings):

i) Nongmaithem Ningol Bimola Devi (eldest sister, known as 'Bimola Achoubi'; she is a well-known theatre actress and Modern Manipuri song artiste.

ii) (Late) Nongmaithem Ningol Ibeyaima Devi (second elder sister).

iii) Nongmaithem Ibohal Singh (elder brother).

iv) (Late) Nongmaithem Ibomcha Singh (elder brother).

v) Nongmaithem Deben (younger brother - a journalist).

Educational Qualification:

i) studied at Sega Road L.P. School - Keishampat Leimajam Leikai
ii) passed class VI from Keishamthong M.E. School
iii) Passed Matriculation Examination from RDS High School in 1961 (Gauhati University)
iv) Passed P.U.C. in 1962 under Gauhati University, Assam
v) Passed BA in 1965 from Gauhati University, Assam
vi) Passed M.A. in 1967 from Agra University
vii) Awarded Ph.D. Degree from the Manipur University in 1989.


Married to Thokchom Ningol Jamuna Devi from Singjamei Thokchom Leikai in 1967; Childrens :
i) N. Shashikanta Singh
ii) Dr. N. Sadhyarani Devi
iii) N. Somokanta Singh
iv) Dr. N. Anuradha Devi
v) N. Gandhi Singh

Prof. Nongmaithem Tombi Singh
Prof. Nongmaithem Tombi Singh


Was a Senior Lecturer in Manipuri Department, Imphal College, Imphal, Government of Manipur from 1967 to 1985; then joined as Associate Professor in Manipuri Department, Manipur University, Canchipur in 1985; became Professor from 1-7-1996; Retired from the service on superannuation on April 30, 2004 as Professor; now working as Guest Faculty; has produced nine Ph.D. scholars during his service time.

Activities in the Manipur University ;

Was a member of the Syndicate, Senate and Culture Co-ordinator; was a member of the Academic Council and a member of the Board of Studies, etc.

Literary and Cultural Institutions worked and associated:

i) Was the founder-member of the Naharol Sahitya Premee Samiti, Imphal in 1959 and was its General Secretary in 1968 and President in 1992 and 1996;

ii) Became an Executive Committee member of the Manipuri Sahitya Parishad, Imphal in 1964; was its General Secretary for two terms in 1983-84 and 1994-95 and its President in 2009-2012;

iii) founder-member of the Writers' Forum, Imphal in 1988 and was its President in 2001-2003 and presently serving as Advisor;

iv) Was the member of the Advisory Board for Manipuri of the Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi in 1972;

v) was a member of the General Council, Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi in 1997 ;

vi) Was the member of the General Council of the Manipur State Kala Akademi, Imphal;

vii) Was a member of the General Council of the Eastern Zonal Cultural Centre, Kolkata;

viii) Was a member of the General Council of the North East Zone Cultural Centre, Dimapur;

ix) Was a member of the K.K. Birla Foundation, New Delhi in 1994;

x) Was the Editorial Advisory of the National Book Trust, India in 1998;

xi) Was a member of the Eastern Regional Translation Centre of the Sahitya Akademi, Kolkata;

xii) Was the founder-member and Secretary, the Critics' Forum Manipur in 2000's;

xiii) Was the member of the Expert Board of the Manipur State Award for Literature, Government of Manipur in 2009-12;

xiv) Was the Secretary of Guru Tarunkumar Foundation in 1996;

xv) Was the Vice-Chairman, Jawaharlal Nehru Manipur Dance Academy, a Constituent Unit of the Sangeet Natak Academy, New Delhi in 2010-2014;

xvi) President, Research Centre for Manipuri Performing Arts, Imphal;

xvii) Was the Secretary of Hijam Ongbi Rajkumari Sanajaobi Memorial Trust, Imphal in 2000;

xviii) Consultant, D.V. Crafts, Moirangkhom, Imphal etc.

Prof. Nongmaithem Tombi Singh
Prof. Nongmaithem Tombi Singh


Was the Editor of 'Sahitya' published by the Manipuri Sahitya Parishad, Imphal in 1985, and the founder-editor of 'Sahityagi-Pao' published by the Writers' Forum, Imphal in 1991.

Editor of Souvenirs and Books:

i) Joint Editor, Souvenir of Kavi Chaoba Birth Centenary Celebrations in 1995;

ii) Joint Editor, Souvenir, Birth Centenary Celebrations of poet H. Nabadwipchandra Singh in 1997;

iii) Editor, Souvenir, The Tercentenary Celebrations of the Birth of Khalsa in 2000;

iv) Editor, Souvenir, The Birth Centenary Celebrations of Guru Atomba in 1986;

v) Co-Editor, Souvenir, The 45th Annual Session of the Manipuri Sahitya Parishad, Imphal in 1980;

vi) Editor, Souvenir, Seminar on Classical Manipuri Dance in 1982;

vii) Editor, Souvenir, Guru Amubi Birth Centenary Celebrations in 1986;

iii) Editor, Souvenir, The 5th Imphal Book Fair in 1996.


i) Was the columnist of the daily Manipuri paper - 'Khollao' for 7 years from May 1, 1972 to February 6, 1979; his pen-name was 'Khongnangthaba';

ii) Was the columnist of the 'Imphal Free Press' (Manipuri Edition) for one year from March 7, 1998;

iii) Now, a popular columnist of the Manipuri daily - 'Poknapham' for 30 years starting from 1986; the name of the feature is called 'Chumna Yengba', the pen-name is called 'Nongmai Pandit': so he is also known as 'Nongmai Pandit' in the literary and cultural circle of Manipur;


The following books in Manipuri have been published.

i) 'Manipuri Sahityada Anouba Meetyeng Ama' (Essays on Manipuri Literature and Theatre) in 1985 ;

ii) 'Manipuri Sahityagi Wareng Khara' (Essays on Manipuri Literature) 1994;

iii) 'Meitram Bira Singh; Punshi Wari' (Biography), 2000;

iv) 'Shaktam Macha Macha' (Profiles), 2001;

v) 'Atoppa-Khonjel' (Co-edited, An Anthology of Modern Manipuri Poetry), 1993;

vi) 'Manipuri Short Stories' (Co-edited), 1996;

vii) 'Manipuri Short Stories' (Member of Editorial Board, An Anthology of Manipuri Short Stories in English), 1996;

viii) 'History of Manipuri Literature' (Co-edited), 2001;

ix) 'Mahakavi Anganghalgi Sheireng' (Compiled and Edited), 2009;

x) 'The Selected Essays of Minaketan' (Edited), 2009 ;

xi) 'Manipuri Theatre: Khomjinba Wareng Khara' (Collection of essays on Manipuri Theatre), 2008;

xii) 'Gandhirigi Meetkhum Phee' (A collection of Manipuri poems), 2015.

xiv) Hijam Gunogi Sahitya Neinaba, Chief Editor, Hijam Guno Foundation, 2016;

Radio Plays:

Wrote Radio Plays and broadcast them in the All India Radio Imphal. Some of them are

i) Jananeta Irabot (1996, September 30: the play has been broadcasting every year on the birthday of the Jananeta Irabot);

ii) Jahera (a Radio Serial in 13 episodes based on the novel 'Jahera' by Mahakavi Anganghal Singh), the first broadcast was on October 3, 1992;

iii) Thawanmichak Amana Kenkhiba (based on the story by N. Kunjamohan Singh;

iv) Mahak Langpheida Shikhare.

Critical Introduction:

Wrote many critical introductions to various books (both original and critical works) written by different writers. So far, more than 20 books have his critical introductions starting from 'Leichillakki Thaja' (An Anthology of Manipuri Short Stories published by Naharol Sahitya Premee Samiti, Imphal) in 1967.


i) Was given the best script award for the topic 'Moibung' (Conch) at the 11th UGC-CEC Educational Video Competition Award 1996 produced by AVRC, Manipur University, Canchipur;

ii) 'Theatre Critic of Manipur' by Kalakshetra, Manipur at Rupmahal Theatre, Imphal on October 7, 2002;

iii) 'Tongbram Oja Chaoba Singh Sanagee Medal 2002' by Manipuri Sahitya Parishad, Bishnupur Branch for the book 'Saktam Macha Macha' in 2002;

iv) Honoured with special Felicitation by Rupmahal Theatre, Imphal on 23-01-2003 at its Diamond Jubilee Celebrations;

v) 'Residence Professor' (Monorary) of Chorus Repertory Theatre, Imphal for two years in 2001-2002 ;

vi) 'Seram Achou Mana' by Manipuri Literary Society, Imphal in 2009;

vii) 'Meisnam Oja Tombi Critic Award' by Manipuri Sahitya Parishad in 2009;

viii) Honoured with "Chandrasakhi Laishram Gold Medal in Literature' by Sahitya Seva Samiti, Kakching on January 15, 2014;

ix) 'Manipur State Kala Award for Literature' (Critical Works: 2012) for the book 'Manipuri Theatre: Khomjinba Wareng Khara) on February 13, 2015;

x) 'Life-time Achievement Award' by Manipuri Sahitya Parishad, Assam in 2016,

Seminar, Lectures:

Attended many seminars, symposiums held in Manipur and outside the state; presented many papers on different topics connected with literature, theatre, dance and music, etc.; was Moderator and President of the different functions ; Gave 'Dr. Kamal Memorial Lecture' organised by the Manipuri Sahatya Parishad, Imphal; Many articles have been published in different journals, etc.

Memorial Lecture:

i) Gave memorial lecture on 'Mahakavi Anganghal and Modern Manipuri Literature' on July 28, 2003 organised by the Mayailambi Integrated Development Organisation, Samurou;

ii) Gave Dr. Kamal Memorial Lecture on 'Protest in Manipuri Literature: A Study of Dr. Kamal's Devajani', organised by the Manipuri Sahitya Parishad, Imphal.

Outstanding Contribution:

He is a distinguished and outstanding scholar and critic in the field of Manipuri literature, theatre and culture. He is the most popular and longest professional columnist of Manipur. His critical writings and observation (in books, seminar papers, articles, newspapers, columns, etc.) reflects his deep knowledge of understanding in various areas of Manipuri literature and culture and provide a commendation scholarly engagement.

An active activist and organiser, his long association with various literary and cultural organisations has given a profound impact in the development and progress of Manipuri literature. His tireless engagement and encounter with many writers and scholars of this region is a source of inspiration and encouragement to the younger generation of Manipur. An erudite scholar and a role model for contemporary Manipuri literature.

* Daniel Chabungbam provided this information to
This article was posted on November 07, 2017.

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