My elder brother Moirangthem Shantikumar Singh, IPS/IGP (Retd) passed away on 08/12/2020 at the age of 70 leaving all of us shocked and grief stricken. We could hardly believe that his life would end so abruptly. He was a fine human being-so social, so warm, so socially concerned and yet so dynamic. Death is a terrible experience. One is so disturbed and there is complete dislocation everywhere both emotionally and physically. Now I realize why death is considered as one of the crises in our life because of the intensity of disturbance. I was emotionally shattered from the moment he left us all but then I thought I should share some the best qualities of my beloved brother not only as a brother but as someone who was so warm and loving, so social, so creative and yet so active both mentally and physically - thinking so much about the present day problems with so much concern. He was always inquisitive and on the hunt for answers, if not solutions.
He was popular in the leikai, fondly addressed by one and all as “Ta-Shanti.” Ever since Covid pandemic started he used to discuss the various dimensions of the disease and various steps required to guard against it. He used to give tips on the dos and donts about the disease. He opened one Whatsapp group for the leikai to monitor the pandemic and persuaded me even to join the Group. He remained mostly at home and confined. That is why when he complained of fever on 12th /13th Nov, we could not believe that he had contracted Covid. Even he did not believe and as usual in his own style started consulting his friends circle including doctors - for home treatment. Little did we know that the evil would finally snatch him away from all of us so fast. In fact, the days following hospitalization on 21/11 till 08/12 - things really moved fast.
Every step was a big challenge, consulting Shija on the treatment, logistics from family side, looking for a better option of Doctor/hospital including mode of treatment - plasma therapy, Apollo Hospital in Delhi, Air Ambulance option and so on. Every single day was a nightmare but every member of the family fought hard for a way to save him. My extended family of younger sister and brother-in-law in Delhi, extended maximum support. My nephew from Pune who had just recovered from Covid also provided all the consultations required. The inexperience of Covid, the chaos and confusion of the pandemic, lack of facilities and worst of all-the protocol/SoP and the restrictions made things really worse.
My brother loved to be a little liberal and flexible in his dealings. Even though he belonged to the 1975 Direct Recruit MPS and retired as IGP as most of his batch mates did-he spent much of his career under suspension (more than 10 years) on flimsy grounds - including gate crashing at the official residence of then DC/Ukhrul during Holi celebration with Jawans of the Battalion he was serving which was later on dropped as there was no substance and DC himself had withdrawn the charges. Many including our own family would say that Police was not his best choice. Perhaps, he was the most misunderstood officer in the Police Dept yet he had special regards for the Dept. I remember when he was SP/Crime how he considered Crime Branch to be a very important wing of the Police set up. He did take up some initiative to digitize and streamline the Wing. He was an individual comprising many interesting characters-so social and so positive but definitely not a split personality. He hated corruption and vulgar shows of wealth. He disliked the elaborate arrangements in social and religious functions which are “unnecessary” according to him.
He was very keen in Manipur history particularly, post-war Manipur-the transfer of power and socio-political developments leading to merger of Manipur with India in the year 1949. The transformation of Manipur society from a feudal to a modern one and the various forces at work that time- did catch his attention which was echoed in some of his articles he had penned in the dailies and journals. In fact we had started meeting /contacting people including -Pabung Elangbam Sonamani of Loklaobung, Ibaibungo Arambam Lokendro, Uncle O Joy (Ex-MLA), late Dr L Chandramani in connection with our late father Moirangthem Gojendra’s 98th birth anniversary which fell on 21st April, 2020. He engaged me actively and took me around while meeting some of the eminent personalities. I still remember how he enjoyed when past history was unfurled while discussing with these personalities. Uncle Dr Irengbam Mohendro was adviser in all these efforts, as always. In fact my brother and I had planned for a family trip to England in consultation with Uncle Dr I Mohendro after the observation of father’s anniversary. However, things did not materialize due to the pandemic.
A journey too short yet so lively and full of contributions worth remembering from such a beautiful person. He lived live in the most beautiful way. He came and has gone after conquering our hearts but he will continue to be with us with such sweet and ever lasting memories as a loving chapter of history. May his soul rest in peace.