Renowned international writer Prof Nehginpao Kipgen succumbs to COVID, many take to social media to condole his demise

By FrontierManipur | Published On 02nd May, 2021, 10:27 GMT+0530

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Prof Nehginpao Kipgen

Kipgen’s academic research focused on Asia with specialization in Southeast Asia and Myanmar while his general teaching and research interests include democratisation, global politics, ethnic conflicts and identity politics, human rights, refugees, maritime disputes, international organisations and government and politics of Southeast Asia.

TFM Representative, Kangpokpi

A renowned Kuki academician, a political scientist, a famous writer and a worldwide Orator in varied fields, Prof. Nehginpao Kipgen died of the dreaded COVID-19 Sunday morning at the national capital, New Delhi.

He was 46 and survived by his wife Hoipi and two sons — Lenchung David Kipgen and Thangmuan Bryan Kipgen. Prof. Nehginpao Kipgen is the son of (L) Mangkholen Kipgen and Nemnei Kipgen.

Born in 1975 at Teijang in Myanmar (Burma), an ambitious Nehginpao Kipgen came to Manipur and studied at Keithelmanbi Sainik School till Class III and at KT. Hr. Sec. School, Kangpokpi till Class VIII and completed his matriculation at Sangaikot in Churachandpur District while he finished his higher secondary at Imphal. Then, he went to America for his further studies. He came to India a few years back and served as executive director at Center for Southeast Asian Studies (CSEAS), OP Jindal Global University, New Delhi till he breathed his last Sunday morning.

His academic research focused on Asia with specialization in Southeast Asia and Myanmar while his general teaching and research interests include democratisation, global politics, ethnic conflicts and identity politics, human rights, refugees, maritime disputes, international organisations and government and politics of Southeast Asia.

He had presented papers and served as chair and discussant in several international academic conferences, including International Political Science Association (IPSA) and International Studies Association (ISA) while he was also a board member of (RC18-Asian and Pacific Studies) of IPSA.

Since 2013, Prof. Kipgen had served as a “country expert for Myanmar” for varieties of democracy (V-Dem), a collaborative academic research project of the Department of Political Science, University of Gothenburg (Sweden), and the Kellogg Institute, University of Notre Dame (USA).

He was awarded scholarships by Open Society Institute, New York; Prospect Burma, London; and the US State Department for his masters and doctoral programs. He is also a recipient of the International Writing Award from Earth Community Organization, Canada.

Kipgen had published four single-authored books in Routledge (Taylor & Francis), Oxford University Press, and Ruby Press; 24 peer-reviewed academic articles in Asian Journal of Social Science, Social Research, International Studies, World Affairs, Journal of Asian and African Studies, Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs, Ethnopolitics, Strategic Analysis, South Asia Research, Indian Journal of Political Science, Economic and Political Weekly, Asian Profile, Asian Affairs, International Journal on World Peace, and India Review. 

He had also published over 230 articles in various leading international newspapers and magazines in five continents – Asia, Africa, Australia, Europe, and North America.

He also appeared on British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), Radio Free Asia (RFA), Voice of America (VOA), ABC Radio National (Australia), Channel News Asia (Singapore), and India-based Lok Sabha TV, DD India, WION television, Beijing-based China Global Television Network (CGTN), ANC television (Philippines) and Sputnik International (Russia).

His dead body will be brought by road till Kangpokpi Town and his last rites will be held following strict COVID guidelines.

Prof. Kipgen’s family said that all formalities are mostly completed to transport his body from Delhi to Kangpokpi and his burial ceremony will be held at Kangpokpi town with adherence of COVID-19 protocols.

Social media platforms have been flooded with written and visual condolence messages on Sunday mourning the untimely demise of Prof. Nehginpao Kipgen.

Kangpokpi AC MLA, Nemcha Kipgen in her visual condolence messages said that the untimely demise of Prof. Nehginpao Kipgen is a great loss not only for his community, but an irreparable loss to the modern world.

“Deeply sad to hear about the untimely demise of Prof. Nehginpao Kipgen, renowned academician and executive director, Centre for Southeast Asian Studies, Jindal School of International Affairs. Extend my heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family. We have lost a great soul”, the MLA posted in her facebook post.

The Kuki Inpi Manipur (KIM) also mourned the untimely demise of Prof. Nehginpao Kipgen while expressing heartfelt condolence.

In its condolence message, KIM said that it is with immense grief and unspeakable sorrow that we learned of the passing of Prof.  Nehginpao Kipgen, due to COVID-19, on Sunday. 

On behalf of all the concerned communities, and all of our federates or frontal organisations, we send our deepest condolences to the late Professor Nehginpao Kipgen’s family, and also his colleagues at the OP Jindal Global University.

The Kuki Inpi Manipur, shared your anguish and mourns with you all, in these difficult times of grief and sorrow. Needless to say, the entire Kuki community is deeply saddened by the sudden and the untimely demise of Prof. Nehginpao Kipgen, who at the time of his passing, held the post of executive director of the Center for Southeast Asian Studies (CSEAS), Jindal School of International Affairs, 

OP Jindal Global University, it said.

It also stated that Prof. Nehginpao Kipgen was an inspirational teacher, a great political thinker and a brilliant  writer, who analysed politics in books and on television with incredible intelligence, insight and wit. He was the intellectual heart of the Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Jindal School of International Affairs, OP Jindal University. His facility for making complex arguments accessible to audiences of all kinds was unparalleled.

It continued that Prof. Nehginpao Kipgen was one of the finest political scientists of his generation and 

his loss will be keenly felt by those of who knew and worked with him. 

Prof. Dr. Nehginpao Kipgen was also a recipient of many awards for his stellar scholarship. He was also a country expert on Myanmar, whose immense knowledge of the political intricacies of the land is simply unmatched.

His sudden departure has left a void, which no one else will be able to fill. His tragic death is indeed a loss, not only to the teaching fraternity, but to the whole community, it added.

The Kuki Inpi Manipur also recalled the extraordinary and remarkable life of Prof. Nehginpao Kipgen, who overcame the challenges of life, and excelled in his chosen profession.

He was someone, who wholly devoted his life in the sincere pursuit of knowledge and excellence, and who during his time with us, had selflessly illuminated our lives with the brilliance and radiance of his scholarship, it said and added that Kipgen will be greatly missed! May his memory be a blessing, and may his legacy be a source of continual inspiration for each and  one of us, especially for the generations to come.

“Nothing more shocking to hear that my fonding friend and Kuki renowned academician plus worldwide orator in varied fields mostly in promotion of democracy, Nehginpao Kipgen is no more. I extend my heartfelt condolences and share the grief and sorrow of the bereaved family. May his soul Rest In peace,” Khaimang Chongloi, president KIM posted in facebook post.

Lamtinthang Haokip also mourned the untimely demise of Kipgen and posted in facebook post, Prof. Nehginpao Kipgen, a renowned Kuki political thinker and intellectual, is no more. He breathed his last early this morning after going through a hard time fighting COVID pandemic for the past few days in Delhi & NCR. Heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family, he added. 

Many individuals, friends, relatives and various civil society organisations including KSO-GHQ, KSO Delhi NCR, Thadou Inpi, HTC Moreh, TSA Sadar Hills, Kuki Lawyer Association Manipur, etc also expressed condolence and mourned the untimely demise of the professor while Satkai Chongloi, Kuki Inpi, Paotinthang Lupheng, KSO-GHQ, DL Haokip and Jangmang Guite from Kuki Reformation Forum, Kuki footballer and Kuki Gospel artistes also sent a visual condolence message.

Meanwhile, Government of Manipur, Home Department has also issued No Objection Certificate to transport the body of Prof. Nehginpao Kipgen from Delhi to Manipur subject to adherence to necessary COVID-19 protocols.

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