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Rajkumar Shitaljit Singh was a short story writer, scholar, journalist, educationalist, poet, essayist and novelist from Manipur. He is credited with being the father of Manipuri short stories. He made significant impact on the Manipuri literary landscape. He was the recipient of the President of India’s medal for teaching in 1967.
Life and literary career of Rajkumar Shitaljit Singh:
Rajkumar Shitaljit Singh was born on August 18, 1913. He was a noted writer. He has written poems and short stories in Manipuri language. He is a purist and moralist. His approach to writing is moral and religious. He had strong feelings about Vaishnavism. He was like a spiritual guru to many Manipuris. He is credited with being the father of Manipuri short stories for the strong foundation he laid in short story writing. He laid the foundation in terms of actual production of literary works closely associated with the short story genre. He depicted the idealistic and the romantic aspects of life. He handled these themes in his works like “Inthokpa”, “Naknabadagee”.
In his early short stories one can find criticism of the sheer hypocrisy of the Manipuri ruling elites without directly referring to them. Some of his works reflect the spiritual insolvency and the unjustifiable norms of the society and the revolt against them. In 1946 he wrote a book of short stories called “Leikolnungda’. He also published collection of short stories called “Leinungshi’. “Kamala Kamala” is one of his noted short stories.
He also translated books from Bengali into Manipuri. He translated Gita Govinda and Padavali gi Shayan Shaikhan. He translated Swamy Prabhupada’s Bahgavad-Gita As It Is into the Manipuri language.
Rajkumar Shitaljit Singh was a journalist per excellence. He worked as a correspondent in “Amrita Bazaar Patrika”, “the Statesman” and the “Press Trust of India”. He also served as the editor of the Manipuri newspapers “Manipur Matam” and “Tarun Manipur”. In 1995 he received the Manipur Journalist Award.
Rajkumar Shitaljit Singh was a teacher and headmaster of Ram Lal Paul High school at Imphal. He died on June 8, 2008, at the age of 95 at his residence at Keishampat top Leirak, Imphal.
Achievements of Rajkumar Shitaljit Singh:
Rajkumar Shitaljit Singh received the President of India’s medal for teaching in 1967. He was the recipient of the Thoibi Devi Award for literature from Manipur Sahitya Parishad in 1999. He received the Writer of the Year award from Naharol Sahitya Premi Samiti in 2000. The Manipur Sahitya Parishad honoured him with the Sahitya Ratna in 2006 for his contribution to Manipuri literature. He was the recipient of the Manipur Journalist Award in 1995. In the same year he was offered a scholarship by Manipur state Kala Akademi.