KANGPOKPI, May 2: Renowned Kuki academician, a political scientist, a well known writer and orator in varied fields, Prof Dr Nehginpao Kipgen died of the dreaded Covid this morning at New Delhi.
He was 46. He is survived by his wife Hoipi and two sons Lenchung David Kipgen and Thangmuan Bryan Kipgen. Prof Dr. 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 this morning.
His academic research focused on Asia with specialization in Southeast Asia and Burma/Myanmar while his general teaching and research interests included democratisation, global/world politics, ethnic conflicts and identity politics, human rights, refugees, maritime disputes, international organizations and Government and politics of Southeast Asia.
He had presented papers and served as chair and participant 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.
From 2013, Dr. Kipgen served as a 'country expert for Burma/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.
Dr. 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.
Dr Kipgen 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 (Phillipines) and Sputnik International (Russia).
His body will be brought by road till Kangpokpi Town and his last rites will held following strict Covid guidelines.
Prof. Dr. Kipgen's cousin brother, Sehbem Kipgen, said 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 to COVID-19 protocols.
Social media platform has been floated with written and condolence messages today with many mourning the demise of Prof. Dr. Nehginpao Kipgen.
Kangpokpi AC MLA, Nemcha Kipgen in her visual condolence message said that the untimely demise of Prof. Dr. Nehginpao Kipgen is a great loss not only for his community but for the modern world.
"Deeply sad to hear about the untimely demise of Prof. (Dr.) 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 on her Facebook post.
The Kuki Inpi Manipur also mourned the untimely demise of Prof. Dr. Nehginpao Kipgen and in its condolence message, said “it is with immense grief and unspeakable sorrow that we learned of the passing away of Prof. (Dr.) Nehginpao Kipgen, due to Covid-19, today.”
It also stated that Prof.(Dr.) 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.
Dr. Nehginpao Kipgen was also a recipient of many awards for his stellar scholarship; he was also an expert on Burma/Myanmar, whose immense knowledge of the political intricacies of the land is simply unmatched.
The Kuki Inpi Manipur also recalled the extraordinary and remarkable life of Prof. (Dr.) Nehginpao Kipgen, who overcame the challenges of life, and excelled in his chosen profession.
Dr. Lamtinthang Haokip also mourned the untimely demise of Dr. Kipgen.
Many individuals, friends, relatives and various civil society organisations including KSO-GHQ, KSO Delhi&NCR, Thadou Inpi, HTC Moreh, TSA Sadar Hills, Kuki Lawyers Association Manipur, etc. also expressed condolence and mourned the untimely demise of the Professor while Dr. Satkai Chongloi, Kuki Inpi, Paotinthang Lupheng, KSO-GHQ, Dr DL Haokip and Dr Jangmang Guite from Kuki Reformation Forum, Kuki footballer and Kuki Gospel artistes also sent condolence messages.
Meanwhile, Government of Manipur, Home Department has issued a No Objection Certificate to transport the lifeless body of Prof Dr Nehginpao Kipgen from Delhi to Manipur subject to adherence to necessary COVID-19 protocols.