Profile Of (Late) Wangkhem Lalitkumar Singh

* Daniel Chabungbam

 Wangkhem Lalitkumar Singh

Wangkhem Lalitkumar Singh

It is indeed a great loss of Manipuri Film Industry with the demise of Manipur's versatile actor, Wangkhem Lalitkumar. The legendary actor had not only acted in theatres and films but had also directed many plays, dramas and digital films. He was a key player of Manipuri Digital Film and his contribution towards the Industry is highly appreciable. eRang ( presents a brief history of the legendary actor.

Name: Wangkhem Lalitkumar Singh
Father's Name: (late) Wangkhem Ibohal Singh
Mother's Name: (late) W. (o) Komlasana Devi
Spouse's Name: Ngangom ningol Minakumari Devi
Address: Sagolband Ingudam Leirak, Imphal
Brothers/Sisters: Last son among four sons and three daughters
Date of Birth: 2nd March, 1949 (Wednesday)
Qualification: Graduate
Expired on: 22nd September, 2014

Wangkhem Lalitkumar Singh

Wangkhem Lalitkumar Singh

Lalitkumar, the aspiring actor in the era of celluloid and digital films

In 1980, the actor appeared in his first celluloid film Paokhum Ama in which he played a role of a man who marries a tribal woman under the direction of Aribam Shyam Sharma. Lalit began to develop his acting career in Manipuri celluloid films in 90s. He became an acclaimed actor of Manipuri celluloid films for his works in various hit films produced by Bright Films; Iraal Oirage (1997), Amambasu Anganbani (1998), Aroiba Natte (1999) and Thamoinadi Kouhouri (2000). It's believed that his acting career was actually brought up Bright Films.

He appeared in the films, Thawanmichakna Kenkhibada, produced under the banner of SP and Sons and directed by Kishorekumar and Eitagee Iralni, directed by Chan Heisnam. After appearing in the two celluloid films Lalitkumar joined the stream where Manipuri films were produced in digital format. Some of the acclaimed Manipuri digital films in which Lalitkumar featured are Thamoise Nangini, Mayophigee Macha, Laibakki Chandan, Leibaklei, Hi Sweety hello Pretty, etc.

Overall he acted in more than 150 films but time has come for him to part his profession after he left for his heavenly abode. Lalitkumar took his last breath at RIMS Hospital after getting hospitalised for some time on Sep 22, 2014. No more dialogues or characters of Lalitkumar will ever come to the silver screen leaving an empty space in the Manipuri Film Industry.

Lalitkumar had gained popularity in Manipuri Film Industry through his acting. For his splendid acting of playing the role of father he was popularly known as 'Mapa Saba' throughout the state. His role in promoting Manipuri digital video films to International Film festivals is worth mentioning. Lalitkumar had also held the post of Chairman of Film Forum from its inception for a long period.

Even when the state government do not show much interest in promoting Manipuri films, Lalitkumar, by hosting the Festival of Manipuri Cinema 2007-2008, proved that the private run apex body could exist at their own. His view of using our own indigenous culture and dialogue in order to create a very own taste of Manipuri films are quite anticipating.

His contribution towards theatre and drama

While going through the life of Lalitkumar his association in theatre and drama cannot be missed out. In 1967, Lalitkumar joined the Elite Artist Association, Sagolband Thangjam leikai as a drama artist when he was only 17 years old. After some months he acted in various dramas of GC Tongbra in Imphal College of which Nirmala's Sani Distri may be mentioned.

After playing the role of 'Chinglenkhomba' in the Manipuri folk drama 'Tamna' of Elite Artist Association, Lalitkumar started directing in various dramas like 'Make the light' and 'Thonganda Dang Dang' in which he was awarded best actor, best director and best play respectively. In the same year he received the best actor award in the All Manipur Drama Festival which was organised by Manipur Dramatic Union (MDU).

Lalitkumar became an acclaimed drama artist after acting in the drama 'Tathiba Ahal Ama' (1971-72), directed by Sanakhya Ibotombi. As sanakhya Ibotombi left for further theatrical studies in National School of Drama (NSD), Delhi, Lalitlukar learnt the art of drama under Ratan Thiyam. Under the direction of Ratan Thiyam, Lalitkumar acted in dramas like Andhayus and Numitki Aroiba Mangal. After Ibotombi's return from NSD Lalitkumar again acted in Waiting for Godo, Tumin Leiyu Wayen Chathari, Kangleipakta Shunugi Pafal, etc.

While serving as the vice-president of Aryan Theatre for two terms, he also acted in late Arambam Samarendro's play Mirang and Judge Sahebki Imung. He also acted in various other dramas such as Chingu Khongnagthaba, Gomti, Sanamahi Kolu Yeikhaiba and many others under the direction of Biramangol while he was with Aryan Theatre. He even directed various dramas too. 'Judge Sahebki Imung' being telecasted in Doordarshan Kendra Imphal is a play directed by Lalitkumar.

Various achievements of the renowned actor

Even as he keeps on associating with theatre, Lalitkumar became a bright face as supporting actor in Manipuri digital films. For his contribution towards Manipuri films rewarded him Best Supporting Actor Award in the 6th Manipur State Film Fetsival, 2006.

For his role in the film Kaorage he was awarded Best Supporting Award in the festival of Manipuri Cinema 2007-08. Sahitya Seva Samiti Kakching specially awarded the Neta Irabot Lifetime Achievement Award to Lalitkumar in recognition for his contribution towards Manipuri Film Industry. Lalitkumar received various other awards from different film organisations and banners.

Family life and his ideology

The versatile actor left behind his wife, two sons and two daughters. His eldest son Anand Wangkhem who is currently living in Mumbai is working as an assistant director of Bollywood film Director, Subash Ghai. As an artist, Lalitkumar never rejected or chose for any specific characters. He had attended various theoretical training classes.

A distinctive character of Lalitkumar was that whenever he was assigned for a character he gets into the character, keeping in mind with the phrase 'living in the part' and acted accordingly. Lalitkumar once said that the Manipuri Film Industry must stop practising the formula type of shooting while commercial and good ideas must also go along.

The late actor also suggested that the system of imitation must come to an end; instead film based on real life situation of our society must be encouraged.

* Daniel Chabungbam contributes to regularly.
This profile was first webcasted on November 30, 2014


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