ITANAGAR, Feb 27: The pioneer and founder of Rangfraa Faith Promotion Society (RFPS) Latsam Khimhun passed away on February 27, 2023 at 12:30 am at his residence in Changlang.
He was 61.
His demise has been condoled by Chief Minister Pema Khandu, Deputy Speaker of Arunachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly Tesam Pongte, several other leaders and organizations.
Chief Minister Khandu has expressed deep anguish over the demise of Latsam Khimhun, a stalwart of indigenous faith movement, who worked dedicatedly to promote and propagate the Rangfra movement.
In a message here this evening, Khandu said that the State has lost a spiritual guru, a writer and an orator of par excellence.
“Late Latsam Khimhun will be always remembered as the founding father of Rangfraism who worked his entire life to preserve indigenous faith, culture and practices. He was also associated with various organizations that work in preservation of indigenous culture in the state,” Khandu said.
He prayed Lord Buddha for eternal peace of Late Latsam Khimhun.
Latsam Khimhun was born on March 31, 1962 at Chingsa village in Khimiyang Circle of Changlang district.
He was son of late Samtang Khimhun and Yophik Khimhun (mother).
He started his lower primary education in his own native village, Chingsa and completed his Secondary and Higher Secondary schooling from Govt. HS School, Changlang. He did BE (electrical) from Calcutta University and graduated in the year 1988. He was appointed as Assistant Engineer (Elect.) in the year 1989 under the Govt. of Arunachal Pradesh and was promoted to Executive Engineer (E) through D.O.P. in the year 2005. The Rangfraa faith believers has entrusted him with the most esteemed and prestigious post as Secretary General of Rang Fraa Faith Promotion Society (RFPS) in the year 1999 and was holding the post till his last breath.
Defining the system of worship and prayers he has written a book called ‘The Second Coming of Rangfraa’ and another book expressing the concept, doctrines and preaching of Rangfraism, ‘The Great Third Coming of Rangfraa’ in the year 2006.
Late Latsam Khimhun was awarded with State Gold Medal by the State government of Arunachal Pradesh for his outstanding work and contribution towards social uplift in 2018. He was conferred honorary doctorate degree from the NITTE University, Mangalore on Oct 26, 2018.
“He is survived by his wife Taseng Khimhun and two sons Munjoy Khimhun and Munnongjoy Khimhun,” informed Happa Taidong, president, Rangfraa Faith Promotion Society (RFPS).
In a condolence message, the RFPS said: “With profound grief and sorrow, we the Rangfraites pay our sincere homage and condolences to Late Er. (Dr.) Latsam Khimhun, Secretary General, Rangfraa Faith Promotion Society (RFPS), the pioneer, the founder and the fatherly figure of Rangfraa believers. In this hour of grief, we Rangfraa Faith Promotion Society mourn and stand with the family to bear the irreparable loss.”
“His contributions in RFPS movement and social reformation are unmatched, unapparelled in the society, he was the man who had led the RFPS movement to a new height. His demise is not only a great loss to the family but also for the entire society. The void created in the society by his sudden and untimely demise will be unimaginable and impossible to be filled. We shall miss his guidance, wisdom and blessings,” it said.
The Rangfraa Faith Promotion Society prays to Rangfraa for the eternal peace of departed soul in the abode of heaven and to give enough strength to the bereaved family members to bear the irreparable loss, it added.
Deputy Speaker Tesam Pongte in his condolence message said: “I am deeply grieved to learn about the sad and sudden demise of Dr. Latsam Khimhun, Secretary General of Rangfrah Faith Promotion Society (RFPS) today after prolong illness.”
“His death is great Lost for the Indigenous Faith Believers of TCL Region in Particular and for Arunachal Pradesh as a whole. His service in preserving the Indigenous Faith is fathomless and always will be remembered as the Great Torch Bearer in the society. I on behalf of my constituency and family extend my deepest condolence and sympathies to the bereaved family members in this tough time. I pray to Almighty God RangFrah to bestow enough strength to withstand this great Loss. May the departed Soul of Late Dr. Latsam Khimhun be Rest in Peace in the heavenly abode,” he added.
The Arunachal Vikas Parishad in its condolence message said: “We are deeply saddened by the news of Er. Latsam Khimhun’s untimely demise. The State has lost one of the most generous, a spiritual guru, a writer and an orator. As a learned person, he has shouldered working selflessly for the society in many fields as a social worker. He has dedicated his life in promoting indigenous values, beliefs and practices of Rangfra Movement. He as a founder and spiritual guru of Rangfraism has preached the Rangfra practice in the State dedicatedly.”
The Vivekananda Kendra, Arunachal Pradesh, has also condoled the demise of Latsam Khimhun.
In its message, Vivekananda Kendra, AP said: “When insurgency, drug addiction and other forms of degradation were eating into the vitals of the society, the socially-conscious people of Changlang found a core solution: adapted the traditional Dharma in ways relevant to the times. The deep churning gave birth to the Rangfraa Faith Promotion Society [RFPS], a spiritually-oriented socio-religious movement.”
“Himself being a keen observer of the inter-play and influence of culture and religion on society, Khimun naturally plunged into this work of national importance. As the secretary general of the Rangfra
Faith Promotion Society in the State since 1998, he established the RFPS as a platform to nurture the indigenous faith and culture of the Tangsa and Tutsa. The impact has found adherents in the neighbouring Tirap district amongst the Nocte and Wancho,” it said.
He was a trustee and closely associated with Vivekananda Kendra since 1997 and shouldered the responsibility of ‘Nagar and Vibhag Pramukh’.
“He was the guiding force and constant source of Inspiration for all of us,” it said, adding, “We express our deepest sorrow for the demise of this great personality of our motherland. May his final journey to Rangfraa be peaceful!”
The Indigenous Faith and Cultural Society of Arunachal Pradesh (IFCSAP) in its condolence message said it is “extremely shocked and saddened to hear about the premature demise of Dr (late) Latsam Khimhun, secretary general, Rangfraa Faith Promotion Society of Tangsa community.”
“ Words are not suffice to console the irreparable loss at the moment,” it added.
“He lived a life being in the service of his people, devoted his entire life for protection and preservation of State’s rich culture, tradition, language, faith and belief system, and he till his last breath keep endeavouring to ensure that indigenous people find a rightful place in the State. For his distinguished service to our people and for his exemplary embodiment in thoughts and ideas, he was bestowed upon with Gold Medal by the government of Arunachal Pradesh,” it added.“His premature demise has created a vacuum which will be difficult to fill in immediate future but his legacies of greatness will continue to inspire people for generations. The IFCSAP which convened a condolence meeting on February 27, 2023 at DIA Convention Hall Chimpu, Itanagar conveyed its sincere condolences to the bereaved family and pray for the eternal peace of the departed pious soul,” it added.