Noted Manipur-based historian, litterateur and scholar Gangmumei Kamei, who had also served as a minister, passed away in Imphal on Thursday following protracted illness. Kamei was currently a member of the North Eastern Council (NEC).
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Born on October 21, 1939 in Imphal, Kamei, who had specialised in the history of the North-eastern region, and more particularly of Manipur, had served as a professor of History in Manipur University, and was also elected president of the Northeast India History Association (NEIHA) in its Kohima session of 1986. As president of the Manipur History Society and coordinator of the Centre for Manipuri Studies & Tribal Research of Manipur University he had guided several major research projects in history.
Author of several books and a large number of research papers, Kamei’s most well-known books are: A History of Modern Manipur (1826-2000), A History of Manipur: Pre-colonial Period, On History and Historiography of Manipur, History of Zeliangrong Nagas: From Makhel to Rani Gaidinliu, Ethnicity and Social Change, Lectures on History of Manipur.
A historian of national repute, Kamei was also a member of the Advisory Committee of the Anthropological Survey of India (1984-87), and a member of the ICSSR panel on Tribal Studies. In 2010 he was awarded the Platinum Jubilee Samman by the Manipuri Sahitya Parishad for his contribution to history and tribal culture. He was also awarded a National Fellowship by Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla in 2010-2012.
He hailed from the Zeliangrong community which is spread across Manipur, Nagaland and Assam, and was also into active politics and public life, having founded the Federal Party of Manipur in 1993. He was also elected to the state assembly twice, in 1995 and 2001, and had also served as a minister on two occasions.
In 2013 Kamei joined the BJP, to contest as the party’s candidate for Lok Sabha from the Outer Manipur constituency in the 2014 general election. In July 2015, the Narendra Modi government appointed him as a member of the NEC.