Ronid Chingangbam eldest son of Ramkumar and Lembi of Khurai Chingangbam Leikai in Manipur’s Imphal East district becomes Akhu Chingangbam not only in Facebook but also in the nation’s music arena of subversive singers, may be because of his powerful lyrics than the music and his songs.
“I never planned to become a singer. But somehow I end up singing whatever I write as I wanted to have own voice about things I see around,” Akhu who started playing music during more than ten years of studying in Delhi. “I started playing music in the streets of Delhi as part of protest events where I learnt what Indian democracy means to the minorities.”
Akhu is now leading a folk rock band called Imphal Talkies, after his post-doctoral assignment on Cosmology in a Thai varsity after his PhD from Jamia Millia Islamia University. His music reflects his personal views on Indian democracy. “It’s about how injustice has been done to the Kashmiris, Manipuris or adivasis in Dantewada,” he says. He also believes he has picked up his mother’s sarcastic tone in his songs.
Besides his musical movement, Akhu and his team have helped a 13-year-girl in an Imphal children’s home (who has been diagnosed with congenital heart disease) through a funded musical project, A Native Tongue Called Peace, besides helping two more children to appear in a matriculation examination.
“So now I’ll teach them mathematics and science apart from music sessions as I learn more about life from them.” said Akhu. The 34-year-old physicist adds, “I don’t know about music being sustainable. But surely it can change things. I am a changed person because of it.”