Zillai (Vaiphei Students Organisation) ESTD 1939

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In Words & In Deeds

An Analytical History of Zillai (1939-2014)

(With inputs from the Zillai General HQs)

By : Pu Th. Khamneithang Vaiphei,

General Secretary, Vaiphei People’s Council

  1. History
    1. The Beginning of a Journey
    2. Founding Fathers and Maite
    3. 1939 — The First Conference
    4. 1939 to 1942 – The Early Years
    5. 1942 to 1945 – The World War Years
    6. The Revival and Growth of the Organization
    7. 1949 to 1955 – The Silent Period
    8. 1956 to 1959 – The Transformation Years
    9. 1960 to 1969 – The Golden Sixties
    10. The Seventies – Forging Ahead
    11. 1978 to 1982 – The Silent Years
    12. 1983 – Revived and Revitalized
    13. 1984 – Dawn of a New Era
    14. 1989 – The Golden Year
    15. 1990 – At the Crossroads: Building Bonds
    16. The Last Decade of the late Century
    17. 2001 to 2014 – New Century, New Direction
  1. The Zillai Constitution
  2. The Zillai Motto
  3. The Zillai Emblem
  4. The Zillai Anthem
  5. Zillai & Its Achievers
  6. Zillai & Its Office
  7. Zillai & the Moulding of Leaders
  8. Zillai, Kangvai Village, Drama & Songs

10.Concluding Thoughts

  1. History
    1. The Beginning of a Journey

Nineteen thirty-nine was in many ways a significant year. Epoch-making events were taking place all across the globe. Adolf Hitler was wagging his tails, determined to carry out his expansionist policy. As the drum beats of war grew louder across Europe, a small group of young men were equally resolute and unwavering in their determination to bring to fruition their dream. Tucked away in a small corner of India, on the southern fringe of Manipur in a small village, several young men planned, discussed and envisioned their dreams.

“It is simply unthinkable what must be going through their minds as a dream took shape in their fertile minds. One has to consider the circumstance in which the seed germinated in a time and world when such a thing was almost unheard of,” remarked an elder.

As the autumn noon serenades the Vaiphei villages scattered across the length and breadth of Manipur, these young men knew that history was in the making, and the small rural community of Maite would play no small part in the culmination of this dream.

    1. Founding Fathers and Maite

Set up at the turn of the nineteenth century on Seventh of April, 1898, the small Vaiphei village of Maite situated at an altitude of 41 meters above sea level was granted recognition by the British Raj on the Eighth of November, 1907. Located approximately 65 km in the western side of the nearest town, Churachandpur, Maite is intrinsic to the history of the Vaiphei tribe as it was one of the first dwellings the tribesmen choose as a settlement after migrating from Myanmar. While the first wave of migration took place much earlier, probably at the turn of the seventeenth-eighteenth century and directed towards Imphal valley, the second wave of migration took the tribesmen to the Sialkal range of Mizoram where they settled for a considerable period of time. Internecine and tribal wars compelled the Vaiphei people to disperse, and a large group eventually migrated to Manipur and established villages like Tonglon, Maite, Chongkhozou, and others.

Though bound together by dialectical affinity and clan relation, there was no visible cohesive force that was strong enough to unify this group of people who identified themselves as Vaiphei. Years rolled by and as the tide of time and change ushered in new regimes and leaders the world over, visionaries like Khupzangam, Vumpau, Soitinpau, Khaitinkam, Soitinkai, Thualzakap, Ginzapau Genlian and Khupkholal, and other team players too numerous to mention, came to the forefront.

Hailing from different villages but unified by a common dream, these leaders traversed the length and breadth of Manipur, mobilizing public support to establish an umbrella organization for all Vaiphei-speaking people. Much of what actually transpired has entered the tomb of time, and though nothing definite can be salvaged due to lack of written records, what is irrefutable is the fact that the first-ever conference of its kind for the Vaiphei-speaking people was organized under their leadership

    1. 1939 — The First Conference

With eleven Vaiphei village chiefs pooling together the princely sum of Re.1 each, and young and old alike enthusiastically participating, the First Vaiphei Zillai Conference was held in the latter part of 1939 at Maite Village with Khupzangam as Chairman and Vumpau as Secretary. Other notable members of the first known committee were Soitinpau, Khaitinkam, Soitinkai, Genlian and Khupkholal.

By all accounts the conference was a huge success. It was a time of fellowship, feasting, sharing, merriment and deliberation. Many people from different Vaiphei villages took part. It marked a new chapter in the annals of the Vaiphei people as it was a validation of the dream and vision to forge a common identity.

However, contrary to popular belief, it was not an exclusive students’ organization. During its initial years, it was inclusive and designed to encompass and accommodate all. As a matter of fact, Vaiphei Zillai came into being as a platform to champion the cause of the Vaiphei people, to be a forum for discussion and provide avenues for recreation and entertainment. While the coinage and origin of the name Vaiphei Zillai is shrouded in mystery, it has later on assumed an exclusive identity in terms of membership and activities. Yet, its purpose of unifying people of the Vaiphei dialectical lineage remains.

What, however, remained in the realm of the unknowable is the exact nature of its formation, how the idea gave birth and how our founding fathers went about their task in its establishment.

    1. 1939 to 1942 – The Early Years

The huge success of the First Vaiphei Zillai Conference enthused its leaders so much that the decision to organize another meet in the next autumn was adopted. Chongkhozou, a village which has played many significant roles in Vaiphei history, was chosen as the venue. All roads may not lead to Chongkhozou, but the autumn of 1940 saw a sizeable number of people heading towards the village for the Second Vaiphei Zillai Conference.

But the largest gathering in its formative years was reserved for the Third Vaiphei Zillai Conference of 1941 which was hosted by Bualtang village. Over three hundred people from different walks of life and from different villages gathered together for the conference.

    1. 1942 to 1945 – The World War Years

The nascent organization which was budding with enthusiasm suffered a series of reversals, leading to a state of dormancy between 1942 and 1945. One primary factor was the Japanese incursion and the subsequent massive British onslaught to drive them out. During the war years it was no longer possible to connect with other villages as before. Travelling long distances was a risk too big few were willing to take.

Though the silent years have been attributed to dearth of leadership, this point of view is more or less negligible as there were many who were capable of leading the organization. It has to be remembered that Vaiphei villages during the forties were not easily accessible as they are today. Trekking long distances in the thick jungle with the sun nowhere to be seen, and wild beasts prowling nearby may seem straight out of an Amazonian or Deep African movie, but such was nature of life in the nineteen-forties even amongst the Vaiphei people. With war raging, no leadership would have the courage to put the lives of its people on the line just to organize an annual conference.

The records need to be straightened. The fact of the matter is that it was not at all possible to organize anything as many villages remained incommunicable due to the war.

    1. The Revival and Growth of the Organization

With the onset of 1946 normalcy slowly returned and it was decided to revive Vaiphei Zillai under the leadership of Damzakhai as Chairman and Thualzakap as Secretary with Ginzapau, Kulzadal, Selkholam and Mangkhup as members. The Fourth Vaiphei Zillai Conference was held at Chongkhozou village in December 1946, and the Fifth Conference at Lingsiphai village in 1947.

What is significant about the Zillai movement is the steady growth of attendance at its annual conference. Since its inception, each succeeding conference witnessed more participants than the preceding conference. The Sixth Conference held at Kangvai village in 1948 witnessed a mammoth gathering of nearly five hundred which was no small number during those years.

    1. 1949 to 1955 – The Silent Period

One important feature of the fifth conference at Lingsiphai and the sixth conference at Kangvai was the discussion and deliberation about the future of the organization, and how to take it forward. These discussions are not without its setbacks. While high-sounding and bombastic sermonizing are at best emotionally stirring, it seldom brings tangible change. This is the bane of an organization like Vaiphei Zillai.

The result is an open book. For seven long years the organization remained inactive. No conference was held, and no meeting was convened. Another silent period in the history of Vaiphei Zillai!

    1. 1956 to 1959 – The Transformation Years

After a long spell of inactivity, a few conscientious leaders gathered together in 1956 at the residence of late Thianlam and resolved to revive Vaiphei Zillai. A new committee headed by Selzakap as President and Kaikhogin as General Secretary was constituted. It was under their leadership that the Seventh Vaiphei Zillai Conference was held at Pengjang village in the month of May, 1957.

The Pengjang Conference of 1957 is best remembered for adopting a number of resolutions which has significance even today. On 31st May, 1957, which was also the concluding day of the conference, the delegates passed a resolution to delete ‘Vaiphei’ from the name of the organization and to be known henceforth only as ‘Zillai.’ This was a truly remarkable step as the then leaders envisioned the idea of Zillai crossing dialectical barriers, and opening the doors of friendship and unity with others. Another important milestone was also set during the 1957 conference as 31st May came to be observed as Zillai Day since that year.

These same leaders organized the Eighth Zillai Conference at Saipum in 1958 where between five to six hundred delegates attended. The conference also elected Lutzakham as President and Henzagen as General Secretary. And the Ninth Zillai Conference was held at S.Kotlian village in 1959 under their leadership. Chief advisor Thianlam and advisors Khupzangam and Hausuan exhorted the gathering to pursue the path of excellence with due perseverance. One important highlight of the conference was the presentation of an entertaining drama entitled, “Simin Hungkik” by Vaiphei Dramatic Union.

The S.Kotlian Conference adopted a resolution to streamline the set-up of the organization and created seven blocks under Zillai to administrative convenience: Lamka Chung Block, Lamka Nuai Block, Ngungal Block, Haflong Block, Chongkhozou Block, Lengluang Block and Imphal Block.

    1. 1960 to 1969 – The Golden Sixties

Like many social-based organizations, Zillai in its long history has been through many ups and downs. One of the brightest chapters in its history was the golden sixties. The Tenth Zillai Conference was hosted by Lingsiphai village during December 14-16, 1960 and was attended by over seven hundred delegates from its seven blocks. New officer-bearers were elected: Henzagen as President and Paukhokam as General Secretary. The conference also elected S.Doliand as Vice President, Th. Lamboi as Assistant Secretary and Khawlngainem as Assistant General Secretary.

The Eleventh Zillai Conference was called at Kangvai village in December 1961. Vaiphei Dramatic Union and Vaiphei Primary Circus presented, “A Cham Zing Hi Ka Thinlung Ah.”

The Twelfth Zillai Conference at Leisang village elected S.Doliand as President and Kamlam as General Secretary. Under their leadership the Thirteenth Zillai Conference was held at Mata village in 1963. Vaiphei Dramatic Union and Vaiphei Primary Circus entertained the delegates with “Heisan In.” The Fourteenth Zillai Conference at Kangvai in 1964 elected S.Doliand as President and P.Kamlam as General Secretary.

The Fifteenth Zillai Conference returned to its roots in the hills with Kolhen village as venue of the 1965 conference. P.Kamlam and Kaihau Vaiphei were elected as the new President and General Secretary respectively. It was under their leadership that Zillai was registered as Vaiphei Students’ Association vide registration number 658 of 1965.

The Sixteenth Zillai Conference at Saipum in 1966 was the first known instance in which a chief guest was invited to a Zillai conference. The Deputy Director of Education, Government of Manipur, Th. Madhu Singh was the chief guest. It may be noteworthy to mention that Pauneikhai Vaiphei, a Deputy Minister in the then Manipur government delivered a lecture on Scheduled Tribes and the Five-Year Plans.

The Seventeenth Zillai Conference at Chongkhozou in 1967 saw over seven hundred delegates attending from all over Manipur and Haflong. Kaipau was elected as the new President while Chungkholian was elected as the General Secretary. The Eighteenth Zillai Conference was held at Saipum in 1969. Paukholal and Lama Thangvung were elected as the new President and General Secretary, respectively. WK Lengen later on assumed on the role of General Secretary due to the preoccupation of the incumbent.

The sixties of the late century will be remembered as one of the golden periods. The Zillai as an organization witnessed widespread outpouring of enthusiasm in all its activities. New leaders emerged, next generation leaders were molded, and Zillai as an organization was forging ahead, strongly entrenched in the psyche of the Vaiphei people. What makes the period more memorable is the emergence of crowd-pullers and entertainers like the Vaiphei Dramatic Union and Vaiphei Primary Circus.

    1. The Seventies – Forging Ahead

The Nineteenth Zillai Conference was held at Pengjang in 1970 and WK Lengen was elected as the new President while Lalkhomang was elected General Secretary (Khualkhanthang later took over as General Secretary).

The Twentieth Zillai Conference was held at Suangtun village in 1971 and the Twenty-first conference was held at Pengjang village where K. Paucha and K. Lianthang were elected as President and General Secretary. The Twenty-second conference was hosted by Salampatong village in 1973. Holkhomang Haokip, Minister of State (Industries) graced the conference as chief guest.

The twenty-third conference at Lingsiphai village in 1974 marked a new chapter in the annals of Zillai history as its first-ever souvenir ‘The First Fruit’ was published. The task of bringing out the souvenir was entrusted to HK Shyama Neihsial who was also elected as the next President during the conference. The conference also re-elect the incumbent General Secretary K. Lianthang for another term. Under their stewardship, the twenty-fourth conference was held at Changoubung in 1975. The twenty-fifth conference was held at Pengjang village in 1976. The conference elected K. Lianthang as the new President while Kamneikhup was elected as the General Secretary, but S. Minlianthang later assumed the role due to the former’s preoccupation.

Though written records are not available, according to various participants, the twenty-sixth conference was held at S.Kotlian village in 1977. It was for the first time that the Zillai conference breached the magical one-thousand mark with participants turning out in huge numbers. Business sessions, songs, Gospel messages, speeches, sports and other entertaining items kept the delegates busy and enthralled during the conference.

    1. 1978 to 1982 – The Silent Years

The huge success of the S.Kotlian conference failed to prevent what lay ahead for the next five years. Prominent Zillai leaders of the time like S. Minlianthang, Nekkhomang Neihsial and others left the state to join coaching classes. Though there was a concerted effort to keep the Zillai banner afloat, nothing concrete materialized, and the years between 1978 and 1982 witnessed another period of silence in the history of Zillai.

    1. 1983 – Zillai Revived & Revitalized

Though the Zillai at the headquarters ceased to function, there were blocks that continued to function normally. One such block was the Zillai Churachandpur Block. Taking the initiative to revive the parent body was a daunting task. With the active support of S. Minlianthang, ex-General Secretary of the parent body, and several other former leaders, Zillai Churachandpur Block resolutely pursued the matter.

A meeting presided by S.Minlianthang was convened at the residence of Vungkhomang at Hilltown in the latter part of 1983. The meeting adopted a resolution to form an adhoc committee with Dr. Lamminthang as President and S.T.Liana as General Secretary. Not only was Zillai revived but it was also resolved to use North East India (NEI) alongside Zillai as its new identity. Thereafter, Zillai came to be known as Zillai (NEI).

    1. 1984 – Dawn of a New Era

Swiftly acting on the faith placed on them, Zillai (NEI) under the leadership of Dr. Lamminthang and S.T.Liana adopted a resolution to organize a conference. Saipum village was chosen as the venue for the conference. With Zillai Churachandpur Block taking the onus on organizing a successful conference, hectic preparation was made for the February 1984 conference.

Surpassing the expectations of all actively involved, thousands descended on Saipum village and the conference was a roaring success. The election saw the emergence of a new leadership in T.Manga Vaiphei as President and Khailianthang as General Secretary. What is truly remarkable about the new leadership was the decision to organize the First Zillai Sports Meet at Salampatong village the same year. Minister of State (PWD) K. Vungzalian graced the sports meet as chief guest.

In 1985, Zillai conference, the twenty-eighth, was held at Kangvai village and a souvenir (Zillai Magazine Volume II) edited by Dr.Lamminthang was released. The Second Zillai Sports Meet was held the following year (1986) at Pengjang village. Keeping up the momentum, the twenty-ninth conference was held at Lingsiphai village in 1987 and a souvenir (Zillai Magazine Volume III) edited by Luttinthang was released. Tongneilal, Joint Secretary was elevated as General Secretary when its incumbent Khailianthang entered the Indian Police Service (IPS). And the Third Zillai Sports Meet was held at Kamuching village in 1988.

    1. 1989 – The Golden Year

Nineteen eighty-nine marks the fiftieth year of the founding of Zillai. It was a momentous occasion for the Vaiphei tribe. Under the leadership of T.Manga Vaiphei and Tongneilal Vaiphei, Kangvai village was chosen to host the Golden Jubilee celebration. The then chief minister R.K. Jaichandra graced the occasion as chief guest, unveiling the jubilee stone erected to commemorate the historic day. A souvenir edited by Lunneikhup Vaiphei was also published to mark the occasion. It was the biggest-ever gathering in Zillai history as thousands and thousands thronged the venue on the main day, May 31, 1989.

The Golden Jubilee celebration also witnessed the installation of a new team of leaders, with S.T.Liana and Luttinthang as President and General Secretary, respectively. Under their leadership the Fourth Zillai Sports Meet was held at Saipum village in 1990.

    1. 1990 – At the Crossroads: Building Bonds

In a new thrust in direction, the Zillai took up the initiative to bring Zillai and Simlai under one umbrella. A committee with Luttinthang as Chairman and Thongkhomang as General Secretary was set-up to oversee the conduct of a joint conference to be christened as Zillai-Simlai Joint Conference. Dongjang village was selected as the venue to host the conference. A team comprising of Luttinthang, Phalianniang, Goilianniang and Khamneithang went to Dongjang in June 1990 and met the village chief Ngamkhotong Baite seeking formal permission.

The Zillai-Simlai Joint Conference at Dongjang village, held during December 17-21, 1990 marked an important chapter not only in the history of Zillai, but also the entire Vaiphei tribe. It was the beginning of the re-integration of the Baite clan into the Vaiphei fold. The joint conference was successfully organized with T.N.Haokip, Minister (TD) attending the inaugural function as chief guest while Thangkhanlal, Minister of State (Transport/Education) graced the valedictory function.

    1. The Last Decade of the late Century

After successfully organizing a sports meet and a joint conference in a single year, Zillai-Simlai leaders decided to take a break from strenuous activities that will push their physical endurance to the limits, as a result, there was no visible activities in 1991 though discussion and deliberation continued amongst the leaders. In 1992, the Zillai-Simlai Joint Conference and Sports Meet was hosted by Mata village during March 17-24. Lunzapau was elected as President while S.Tinlal was elected as General Secretary to head a new team of office-bearers. Though activities continued at all levels, no conference was organized for two successive years. The 1995 conference which was held at S.Kotlian village saw the election of Luttinthang and Thongkhomang as the new President and General Secretary respectively.

Due to the preoccupation of General Secretary Thongkhomang, Joint Secretary Khamneithang Vaiphei was appointed as General Secretary in the latter part of 1996. The Zillai Conference cum 6th Sports Meet was held at Leisang village during February 10-14, 1997. With the outbreak of violence in Churachandpur district in June 1997, Zillai activities came to a standstill. However, a decision was adopted to call a Special Assembly at Kangvai village in 1998 to elect new office-bearers.

The Special Assembly convened at Kangvai on June 5, 1998 was noteworthy for two particular reasons: the delegates of the Assembly unanimously adopted a resolution accepting the proposed amendments in the Zillai Constitution and also accepted a motion to delete North East India from the official name of Zillai, and henceforth to be known and identified as Zillai General Headquarters. In the election held to elect new office-bearers, Letsei Vaiphei was elected as the new President and Lunlianlal as General Secretary. Under their leadership Zillai Millennium Conference cum Sports Meet was organized at Pengjang village during April 24-29, 2000 which was sponsored to a great extent by P. Vaiphei IAS, Advisor Zillai GHQ with all prizes and medals..

    1. 2001 to 2014 – New Century, New Direction

With the onset of a new century, Zillai under its new leadership with a new mindset felt it was time to move in a new direction. Conferences and sports meets became a rarity. Other new and innovative ideas in the administration of the organization were brought in. The 2001 Special Assembly convened at Kuki Inn, Imphal, reposed its confidence in the leadership of Letsei Vaiphei and elected him for another term, 2001-2004, while Th.Genminlian was elected as General Secretary.

During the presidentship of Letsei Vaiphei, Zillai Leaders’ Seminar was conducted at Synod Hall, Churachandpur during October 28-29, 1999 on the theme ‘Challenges for Quality Education in the 21st Century.’ The seminar was inaugurated by S.Nengolian, President VNO. Resource persons included Tongneilal, Hollhun Baite, Lamsei Baite, Rev Khupneithang, S.Vaiphei, and T.Manga Vaiphei. During his second term in office, Zillai GHQ organized One-Day Seminar on Career Guidance and Motivation at Kuki Inn, Imphal on June 19, 2004. Resource persons were Lunneikhup and Adon Vaiphei.

The continuing process of the Zillai-Simlai integration into one unit has been a painful but fruitful journey. The process that was started way back in 1990 culminated with a meeting on December 12, 2000 at Dongjang village. While Simlai (Baite Students’ Organization) has been inactive for almost a decade now, there was no official declaration of its cessation as an organization. Letsei Vaiphei formally announced the merger of Simlai into Zillai, and thus a new chapter begins in Vaiphei history.

Zillai GHQ also instituted various meritorious awards in recognition of outstanding performances at various levels of examination conducted either by various boards in Manipur or elsewhere. One such notable award is the Thianlam Vaiphei Award for Academic Excellence which was instituted in 2001.

The Zillai Conference held at Kangvai in 2005 elected D.Sanga Vaiphei as President and D.Khuala Vaiphei as General Secretary. Mid-way through, Vice-President Lamkhogen assumed the role of President with the resignation of the incumbent President. A Special Assembly was convened in 2008 which elected Lamkhogen as President and D.Khuala Vaiphei as General Secretary.

One of the earliest initiatives taken by Zillai under the leadership of Lamkhogen was the establishment of the Zillai Welfare Committee. A Special Assembly was also convened on December 10, 2010 to explore the feasibility of reviewing and amending the Constitution of the Zillai which has become almost redundant with time. The Special Assembly entrusted the Executive to make amendments as required. Under the active supervision of Soiminlian Lengen, the review and amendment of the Zillai Constitution was completed.

Two Zillai Blocks – Sugnu Block and Eastern Block were revived, and a new Block known as Zillai Kanggui Block was inaugurated on December 19, 2010. Earlier that year on February 13, Zillai Marathon Race to commemorate the centenary year of Christianity was organized. Over a thousand marathoners took part in the race. Hon’ble MLA T. Manga Vaiphei, P. Vaiphei, IAS and many other well-wishers graced the prize distribution ceremony at Kangvai playground. P. Vaiphei, IAS, had generously sponsored 500 T-shirts that were distributed to all participants, albeit the same fell short of the demand of the large turn-out.

With the active involvement of P. Vaiphei, IAS, Zillai acquired a sizeable plot of land at Moreh for the construction of Zillai Conference Hall. The foundation stone was laid by P. Vaiphei, IAS, on December 17, 2009. With support from Hon’ble MP Thangso Baite and Hon’ble MDC J.N.Baite, the construction work was started on a war-footing for inauguration on August 25, 2012, which was graced by M.Okendro, Minister (Education, CAF & PD) as chief guest. Other dignitaries present included Francis Ngajokpa, Minister (Rural Development), D. Korungthang, Hon’ble MLA, Sesei Zou, Chairman, ADC Chandel, P. Vaiphei, IAS, Commissioner and KT Vaiphei, IPS. Zillai also constructed a Zillai Guest House at Salampatong village with the support of Hon’ble MP, Thangso Baite which was inaugurated by P. Vaiphei, IAS, Commissioner.

While gearing up to celebrate its Platinum Jubilee in the fitness of things, Zillai was probing various avenues to build a lasting memorial in commemoration of its 75th year. Various memoranda were submitted to the Chief Minister, Government of Manipur for granting of funds for the construction of Zillai hostel, Jubilee hall, et cetera. Unfortunately, it was an exercise in futility. However, Kaihau Vaiphei, IDAS (Retd) and his wife Nemzakim Vaiphei came forward with a benevolent proposal, rare in its magnanimity within the Vaiphei tribe and perhaps the first of its kind, to donate a huge portion of land measuring 100ft x 200ft at Kangvai for construction of Zillai Platinum Hall in memory of their eldest son (L) Pu Paulemsang Vaiphei, one of the founders of Zillai Shillong, and the first Zillai University topper (BA English Honours, NEHU, 1984). Zillai GHQ after several rounds of discussions accepted the offer, and the Jubilee Hall is proposed to be constructed on the land donated in memory of Pu (L) Paulemsang Vaiphei.

  1. 2.The Zillai Constitution

 This may come as a shock to many. The Zillai was one of the first organizations to be formed yet it was without any set of rules governing its office-bearers. As no records are in existence, one has to assume that no step was taken to redress this shortcoming for a long period of time. It was only in its twenty-fifth year of existence that the Zillai Constitution was adopted. The initiative, as far as available records are concerned, was taken during the tenure of S.Doliand Capvung in 1964.

And again, shockingly, no written records are available which make mention of amendments to the Constitution, deletion or corrections, whatsoever. After thirty-one long years a Review Committee was set up under the chairmanship of Luttinthang in 1995, and was adopted during the Special Assembly held at Kangvai on June 5, 1998. Another review and amendment was made in 2011 under the supervision of Soiminlian Lengen.

  1. The Zillai Motto

The Zillai motto as we know today is not originally what it was. The motto was coined during the golden sixties by S.Doliand Capvung. It was originally proposed as “NOT ONLY IN WORDS, BUT ALSO IN DEEDS.” However, the then General Secretary, Soitinkhup Vaiphei, opined that it was too lengthy and awkward, and suggested that it would be most appropriate if shortened as “IN WORDS & IN DEEDS.” This shortened version was accepted and later approved.

  1. The Zillai Emblem

The Zillai emblem (logo) is a symbol that represents the organization. It communicates the purpose and values of the organization. As such, it was imperative for Zillai as a student body to have a logo which encapsulates the organization and its values. Taking all factors into consideration, it was conceived and designed by S.Doliand Capvung, modified by Soitinkhup Vaiphei and was approved in 1958.

The Zillai emblem is a unique one. The ‘torch’ in the logo represents knowledge and learning. ‘Hand holding torch’ is a depiction of Zillai representing the Vaiphei tribe. ‘A ring of rice stalks encircling the word Zillai’ represents abundance in food grains while ‘the wheel’ depicts constancy to purpose and progress. The clothes that are lowered from the wheel are Khiangkoi and Puandum – the traditional shawls of the Vaiphei tribe. It signifies the contribution of Zillai to the overall development of the Vaiphei tribe.

  1. The Zillai Anthem

The Zillai Anthem ‘Pathian Hepina Zalin’ is a melodious, soulful and stirring composition first sung at Leilon village during the Zillai Imphal Block Annual Conference in 1971. It was adopted as the official anthem of Zillai (NEI) during the early part of 1972. It was sung for the first time as Zillai Anthem during the Zillai Day celebration at Pengjang village on May 31, 1972. The song was composed by K.Paucha in the year 1971.

  1. Zillai & Its current Young Achievers (Class X & XII)

While Zillai as an organization has been in existence for seventy-five long years – contributing much to the cause of the Vaiphei community in particular and the larger outside world in general, working tirelessly on behalf of the marginalized and neglected, and though it has rewarded achievers and high performers on numerous occasions, it was not a consistent exercise. In short, it was an on-and-off affair. However, taking cognizance of this shortcoming, an annual meritorious award was introduced with the onset on the new century.

Below is a list of the recipients of various Zillai meritorious awards since 2008:

2008    Class-X (BSEM)

Lamgoulian Hatlei (82.3%) S/o Rev. T Zuanlal, D.Phailian Churachandpur

  1. Kammuanlal (82.1%) S/o Lalthianlun, D.Phailain, Churachandpur

Christopher.Z.Neihsial (81%) S/o of Khaitinsoi, Gangpimual Churachandpur.

Class-X (CBSE)

Rex Douthianmang Lengen (76%) S/o Khaikhopao Lengen, Hastal, New Delhi

Stephen Kailemmang (73.2%) S/o S. Tinlunthang, Gouchinkhup Veng,      Churachandpur

Goulian Vaiphei (65.4%) S/o Liankhai, Hilltown Churachandpur

Class-X (Others)

Hangkhanlian Suantak (82.8%) S/o Rev. Dalzakam Suantak, New Lambulane,     Imphal

Lammuanlal Vaiphei (77%) S/o Genneikhup Vaiphei, Old Lambulane, Imphal

Lam Anthony Vaiphei 75.83%) S/o P Manga, Happy Valley, Shillong


Ngamboi Vaiphei Baite (69.4%) S/o Thawthang Baite, Vaiphei Veng, Mantripukhri

Boisi P. Doineilam (67.4%) D/o (L) Thangneikam, Appolo Veng, Churachandpur

Thiamngaichiin (67%) D/o Rev. Kanga Neihsial, Gangpimual, Churachandpur

Class-XII (CBSE)

Lovejoy Baite (78.4% ) S/o Thongkholam Baite, Pangei, Imphal

Muankim Vaiphei (76.2%) D/o T. Khuala Vaiphei, Happy Valley, Shillong

Raboneykim Neihsial D/o Nekkhomang Neihsial, R.K. Puram Delhi

Class-X (Others)

Kimlalnei Vaiphei (67%) D/o S.T. Kappa Vaiphei, Haflong, Assam

2009    Class-X (BSEM)

Lunneimoi Vaiphei (85.66%) S/o K. Lamkhai Vaiphei, Leimakhong

S.L Ricky Vaiphei (82.66%) S/o Upa SL. Paokhosei, New Lambulane, Imphal

Chonlu Kamlallem Vaiphei (80.5%) S/o (L) Tongneilun Vaiphei, Leimakhong


Gracy Hatneu Vaiphei (82.16%) D/o S.K. Lianna, Happy Valley, Shillong

Kamthianmuan Neihsial (77.66%) S/o T. Neithang, Nongrim Hills, Shillong

  1. Lallian Mawia (77%) S/o Paukhothang Suantak, Ngathal, Churachandpur

Class-XII (Science)

Tinneikim Baite (79.4%) D/o L. Yampu Baite, New Lambulane, Imphal

David Jamminlen Baite (79%) S/o, (L) Holngam Baite, Sugnu

Thongminthang Baite (78%) S/o Jamtil Baite, Sugnu

Class-XII (Arts & Commerce)

Merina (88.89%) D/o Zamneihau, New Delhi

Lamneilhing Baite (77%) D/o Holkhai Baite, Moreh

Khupthiansam (74%) S/o Thangkhohen, New Delhi

2010    Class-X (BSEM)

Henry H Vumjou (80.2%) S/o Kailal Suantak, Mualkui, Churachandpur

Kimnunchoi (70.6%) D/o Ngulthang Khaute, Hmuia Veng, Churachandpur

Mary Themlalngak (65.8%) D/o Pauneinek Suantak, Mantripukhri, Imphal


Cathy Chingmuanniang (94%) D/o T. Khaikhanhau, New Lamka, Churachandpur

Kimngaihoi (90%) D/o (L) Paulemsang Vaiphei, Maite House, Shillong

Thanggousiam (86%) S/o N. Lamkholal, Molnom, Churachandpur


Lhinghoilian Suantak (67.2%) D/o Paueinek Suantak, Mantripukhri, Imphal

L Varzing Vaiphei (63.4%) D/o Henna Vaiphei, Jiribam

Lamthianlem (62.6%) S/o Lamtinlun, S.Kotlian, Churachandpur


  1. Khaizamang (75%) S/o Genzathang, Happy Valley, Shillong

Chingngailian (73.8%) D/o Kaikhokam, D. Phailian, Churachandpur

Christopher Z Neihsial (72.8%) S/o Soia Neihsial, Gangpimual, Churachandpur

2011    Class-X (BSEM)

Nuamjoycee (82%) D/o S. Z. Lalbawi, Buite Veng Churachandpur

Khumlaljou Thanglet (72.6) D/o S Benjoy, Headquarter Veng, Churachandpur

Thangminlun Neihsial (72.33) S/o Rev. Thangkhohen Neihsial, Gangpimual, CCpur


Lucy T Vaiphei (95%) D/o Sub Maj Lamzakhai Vaiphei, 101 Area, Shillong

Eliana Chingngaihlun (91.2%) D/o S. Vanlalsang, Bijang Vaiphei Veng,       Churachandpur

Hoilembiak (79.8%) D/o N Lamkholal, Molnom, Churachandpur

Class-XII Science (COHSEM)

SL Ricky Vaiphei (82.2%) S/o SL Paokhosei Vaiphei, New Lambulane, Imphal

Chinzaching Vaiphei (79.8%) D/o Lunzapao, Kamuching Sadar Hills, Senapati

K Lunlenmoi Vaiphei (77%) S/o K Lamkai Vaiphei, Leilon Khunou, Sadar Hills,       Senapati

ST Tingrabec Vaiphei (77%) D/o ST Letkhokam Vaiphei, Kamuching Village, Sadar Hills, Senapati


Kimboineng Vaiphei (68.22) Haokholun Vaiphei, Leilon Vaiphei, Sadar Hills, Senapati

  1. Khaiminlal (66.2) S/o  Sangkhohau, Leisang, Churachandpur

Thawnminlian (64.4%) S/o Kanga, Gangpimual, Churachandpur

2012    Class-X (BSEM)

Ch. Hoinemkim Vaiphei (83%) D/o CH. Paoginmang Vaiphei, Langol, Imphal

Tina Kimngaiting Vaiphei (81.8%) d/o Paulunthang Vaiphei, Sanjenthong, Imphal.

Niangsuanhoi Boinu Vaiphei (79.4%) D/o Laltinkam Vaiphei, New Lambulane, Imphal


S Hatthianhoi Vaiphei (83.60) D/o S. Apao, New Lambulane

  1. Nem Lun Ching (83.60%) D/o Kanga Neihsial, Gangpimual, Churachandpur

Kimthianjou Jojo Lengen (81.7) D/o Khaikhopao, New Delhi

Lalnunnem (81.7%) D/o Thangmang, Synod Veng, Bijang, Churachandpur


Anjaly Vaiphei (77%) D/o Liankham, S Kotlian

Lawrence Khaigin S/o Lianboi Lengen, Red Cross Road, Churachandpur

Henry H Vumjou (73.2%) S/o  Kailal Suantak, Red Cross Road, Churachandpur


Kimngaihoi Vaiphei (88.2%) D/o Paulemsang Vaiphei, Maite House, Shillong

Catherine C Vaiphei (81.6%) D/o SL. Lamminlian Vaiphei, New Lambulane

Rosy Neihsial (78%) D/o Khualkhokam Neihsial, Madan Riting, Shillong

2013    Class-X (BSEM)

Paumuanthang Vaiphei (83%) S/o Khaineimang Vaiphei, National Games Vill, Imphal

Robert Lianchungnung Suantak (81.2%) S/o S.Z. Lalbawi Vaiphei, Vaiphei Veng, Lamlongei, Imphal

Patricia Thangluai (78.2%) D/o Khamneithang Vaiphei, IB Road, Hilltown, Churachandpur


Claire Moite (94%) D/o Lamzakai Tualnuam, Churachandpur

George Ginneilala Vaiphei (82.4) S/o S. Ginzalam Vaiphei, Rengkai, Churachandpur

Hatnunthiam (81.7%) D/o Paominthang Vaiphei, Mata Village, Churachandpur

  1. Mercy Vaiphei (81.7%) D/o S. Lamginmang Vaiphei, Mualkonbung Village, Sadar Hills, Senapati


Paozangam Vaiphei (78.4%) S/o Paotinlal Vaiphei, Lamphel, Imphal

Tinglalsiam Rivka Khaute (78.2%) S/o L.M. Khaute, Old Lambulane, Imphal

Khupjohna Vaiphei (77.4%) S/o Paotinlal Vaiphei, Kamuching Village, Sadar Hills, Senapati


Lucy T Vaiphei (95.2%) D/o Hony Capt. Lamzakai Vaiphei, Tualnuam,       Churachandpur

T Nunthar Vaiphei (84.4%) D/o Mangcha Vaiphei, Gotangkot Village, Sadar Hills Senapati

Lamminlun Vaiphei (81.80%) S/o Tawnglal Vaiphei, Ningthiching Village, Churachandpur

Though meritorious awards are confined to various board examinations at different levels, Zillai activities are not restricted to these alone in so far as examinations are concerned. Over the years Zillai has organized felicitation programs for successful candidates of various examinations, notably MPSC, UPSC and many more. It fact, it is indeed a matter of pride for the Vaiphei community that the number of felicitations Zillai has to organized is increasing by the year and encouraging and challenging for Zillai to keep up the tempo and march on to higher levels and greater glories.

  1. The current Zillai leaderships & Highlights of its Activities in the last few years (2006 – 2014)

This chapter is perhaps long and at times repetitive but to compensate for the fact that Zillai GHQ is not giving a separate Secretary’s Report as is normally done, an attempt is made to sum-up the highlights of the activities under the current Zillai GHQ leaderships and its immediate preceding terms within the present essay on Zillai History. It is obvious therefore that the following lines may be more detailed, graphic and longer in as much as the present and recent past are more vivid in our minds.

The current President Lamkhogen Vaiphei, S/o (Late) Mangkhonek and Kaikhoniang was born on 4th March 1977 at Ningthiching Village, Henglep Sub-Division, Churachandpur District. He passed Class-X in 1993 at Bunglon Christian High School, Class-12 from Johnstone Higher Secondary School in 1995 and graduated from DM College of Arts with BA Sociology (Hon) in 1999. He completed Bachelor of Library and Information Science in 2001 from MU, Master of Library and Information in 2006 (MU) and is currently completing his Doctor of Philosophy (Ph D) from MU this year. Lamkhogen’s Involvement in Zillai has been vast and varied – Secretary Education Zillai Imphal Block, General secretary Zillai Imphal Block, Secretary Statistics Zillai GHQ, Vice- President Zillai GHQ and finally as President Zillai GHQ from November 2006- August 2008 followed by two terms from August 2008 – April 2012 and April 2012 – till date.

The Zillai Conference held at Kangvai in 2005 elected D.Sanga Vaiphei as President and D.Khuala Vaiphei as General Secretary. Mid-way through, Vice-President Lamkhogen assumed the role of President with the resignation of the incumbent President November 2006 and as provided by the constitution Lamkhogen Vaiphei assumed full charge president and SN Thanga Vice-President and D.Khuala Vaiphei as General Secretary.

The Zillai General HQs leaderships in the last few years since 2006 is given below :

November 2006 – August 2008,

President                                             Lamkhogen Vaiphei

Vice- President:                                  Pu SN Thanga

General Secretary:                             D Khuala Vaiphei

Joint Secretary:                                  PG David

Finance Secretary:                             Hmingte

Education Secretary:                          Soiminlian Lengen

Organisation Secretary:                      Henna Vaiphei

Secretary Social & Culture:                Pari Neithianting

Secretary Statistics:                            Niangliankim

Secretary Information                         Soithianmang

Finance Secretary & Joint Secretary:            Vanlallian

Organization secretary                       Kamlemsang

Information Secretary                         S Kamminlun

Secretary Organization                       ST Lalson

August 2008- April 2012

President                                             Lamkhogen Vaiphei

Vice- President                                   Pu David Dulian

General Secy.                                     D Khuala Vaiphei

Joint Secretary:                                  Genminlian

Finance Secretary:                             Muanlal

Education Secretary:                          Soiminlian Lengen

Organisation Secretary:                      ST Lalson

Secretary Games & sport:                  Jangkhohao Baite

Secretary Social & Culture:                Margaret T Neihsial

Secretary Statistics:                            Kimlianmawi / Nemhoiphal

Secretary Information                         S Kamminlun

April 2012 till date

President                                             Lamkhogen Vaiphei

Vice- President                                   Soilalsiam,

General Secretary.                            S Lamjagou / ST Lalson

Joint Secretary:                                  ST Lalson

Finance Secretary:                             James Henneimang Vaiphei

Education Secretary:                          Hauminthang  / Lamzolian

Organisation Secretary:                      SN John / Paulalthuam @ Thuamchak

Secretary Games & sport:                  Khammuanlian @ Muana Vaiphei

Secretary Social & Culture:                K Chung Vaiphei

Secretary Statistics:                            Ch. Pau Elisha @Boisen Vaiphei

Information Secretary                         Ch Lelminlian @Minlian Vaiphei

7.1       Academic related activities (November 2006 till date) : To inspire, promote and encourage our youths and students,  Zillai GHQ took up initiatives to instil competitive mindset amongst them and decided to give the Zillai Meritorious. Zillai also wanted to honour the names of the Zillai Pioneers whose achievements in the Vaiphei community has been landmarks. On 13th September 2008, Zillai GHQ and Welfare Standing Committee met at the residence of Pu P. Vaiphei IAS at Sanjenthong and adopted a resolution to invite donors from families of very selected Vaiphei Pioneers to institute Zillai Meritorious Award after the names of such illustrious Vaiphei personalities. The following Outstanding Vaiphei Personalities related to Academic Excellence or Educational successes were prioritized for naming the Zillai Meritorious Awards in this regard :-

  1. Famta Pu Thianlam Vaiphei
  2. Famta Pu Paukhokam Lengen
  3. Famta Pu Somkholal Vaiphei
  4. Famta Pu Kaikhogin Vaiphei, IFS, &
  5. Famta Pu Dr. Lamminthang Vaiphei

Accordingly, written invitations were sent to the selected families to be Donors for the Zillai Meritorious Awards but no positive response has been received till date. Zillai is contemplating compilation of another list for Donors on similar considerations. However, Zillai General HQs cannot wait indefinitely for the benevolence of selected families and started distribution of the Zillai Meritorious Awards from 23rd June, 2008 to recognise, applaud and encourage our brilliant and promising Zillais at the level of Class X and XII. The Zillai Meritorious Awards has continued ever since annually and this year, it is slated to be given during the Zillai Platinum Jubilee Celebrations on 10-11 Dec, 2014. The list of the outstanding Zillais who were recipients of the Zillai Meritorious Awards are already listed under the above Chapter 6 on Zillai & Its current Young Achievers (Class X & XII)

Zillai General HQs and its Block level organisations have been conducting Block Level Free-Coaching alongwith many academic related programmes, e.g., Free Coaching at Imphal and Spoken English Classes at Churachandpur.

Zillai General HQs have been felicitating successful Zillai, who are increasing of late, including those in the Civil Services Exams, MPSC etc. Zillai General HQs had presented them with a Traditional Shawl and Mementoes to many of the successful Vaiphei Zillais. In the last few years, Zillai GHQ had organized felicitate of the following successful Zillais and elected Vaiphei leaders :-


Mr. Hautinlal Suantak IAAS (s/o Pu.S.Minlianthang Vaiphei IAS)


  1. Mr. S.Samuel Vaiphei IRS (Revenue) (s/o Rev.S.Prim Vaiphei)
  2. Mr. Soiminlian Lengen MCS (s/o (L) Paukhokam Lengen)
  3. Miss Chinlianhat MFS (Finance) (d/o AL Thanga)
  4. Mr. Alfred Jamlallun Khaute SDC MCS (s/o Genlal Khaute) &
  5. Mr. P.N. Boipi Vaiphei SDC MCS (s/o Lunkhopau Vaiphei)


  1. Mr. Alfred Jamlallun Khaute SDC MCS (s/o Genlal Khaute)
  2. Miss SL. Niangthianhoi Vaiphei MFS (Forest) (d/o Dr.Lalkhokam)
  3. Mr. D.Khuala Vaiphei, District Project Manager NERCORMP (s/o (L) Lalkhochin)
  4. Mr. Mangminlian Vaiphei MFS (Finance) (s/o Pu.Seikam Vaiphei)
  5. Mr. Shokhomngam Baite, MPS (Police) (s/o N. Nehlhun Baite)
  6. Mr. Khaute Ginzalal Vaiphei, Manipur Combined Engg. Service (s/o           Dr.Khualkhanthang)
  7. Mr. Thanglalsam Thangluai, Manipur Combined Engg. Service (s/o Pastor Genpau) &
  8. Mr. William Jangkhosuon Baite, Manipur Combined Engg. Service (s/o Jamngam            Baite)

      To add to their already sweet taste of success, Mr. Mangminlian MFS and Mr. Shokhongam Baite MPS achieved even greater success in 2014 when they were both selected for the Manipur Civil Service (MCS) and are now in the process of joining their higher jobs.

      Zillai also organized befitting functions and felicitated the following successful Vaiphei politicians in the last few years :


Pu Thangsa Baite, MP Lok Sabha (Outer Manipur), 2009 & 2014


Pu T. Manga Vaiphei MLA, 2000, 2002, 2007 & 2012


  1. Pu Genneikhup Vaiphei MDC (Chongkhozo Constituency, CCPur ADC, 2010)
  2. Pu Minboi MDC, 2010 (Lingsiphai Constituency, Churachandpur ADC, 2010)
  3. Pu Tongkai MDC, 2010 (Sangaikot Constituency, Churachandpur ADC, 2010)
  4. Pu JN Baite MDC, 2010 (Moreh Constituency, Chandel ADC, 2010)
  5. Pu Ngamlal Baite MDC, 2010 (Sugnu Constituency, Chandel ADC, 2010), and
  6. Pu.SK Vaiphei MDC, 2010 (Kangchup Constituency, Sadar Hills ADC, 2010)

7.2       Organisation :

  • As provided in the Zillai Constitution at Chapter 20, a Zillai Meeting was convened at the residence of Pauliankap Bulte at Sanakeithel, Imphal on 11th June, 2008 and the Zillai Welfare Standing Committee was constituted with the following as the 1st Members : Ex-officio Chairman Lamkhogen Vaiphei, Chairman Letsei Vaiphei, Secretary Th. Genminlian, Joint Secretary D Khuala Vaiphei, Finance Secretary Pauchungnung, Treasurer Shokholun Baite, Information Secretary Zabiaksang.
  • Constitution Amendment and Review: Zillai leadership has been seized with the need to update and amend some of the provisions of the Zillai Constitution for which an Assembly of the Zillai GHQ was convened on December 10th 2010 (Friday) for Review leh Amendment of the Constitution with the participation of the various Zillai Block leaderships. Further, the community leaders, Officers and many Zillai patrons were consulted based on which the Constitution review leh amendment of the Zillai GHQ was finally completed under the leadership of Soiminlian Lengen.
  • Churachandpur Block Revive: Churachandpur Block has always been the most populous and active Zillai Block but it has been defunct for the last many years. Zillai GHQ took full initiative to revive the Block which is now as active as ever again. This was effected after a strong intervention from the Zillai GHQ to remove the incumbent President who had ignored earlier instructions twice and elections were conducted directly by the GHQs.
  • For the last many years, Zillai Sugnu Block had been facing threats and oppositions from various quarters, resulting in the Block without any leader worth the name. Zillai GHQ took up the matter in right earnest and revived the Zillai Sugnu Block with an election on 6th Dec, 2008. The Block thereafter conducted a Seminar on “The Origin of the Vaipheis and the role of Zillai and its activities”.
  • Zillai General HQs had always been handicapped by lack of fund as donations are the only source of its funding. Therefore, to ameliorate this perpetual problem, Zillai GHQ under the patronage of Pu P Vaiphei, IAS and with a resolution taken on January 23rd 2010 at his residence at Sanjenthong came up with a Zillai Lottery. Pu Soiminlian Lengen was made the Lottery in-charge. A Lottery Draw was held at the State Guest House Conference Hall at Sanjenthong which rejuvenate the Zillai funding with more than Rs.4 lakhs.
  • Eastern Block revive: Zillai Eastern Block has also been defunct for the last many years and even the Annual Conferences leh Sports Meets have been held undr the banner of EVYSA without any tie-up with the Zillai Headquarter. In the beginning of 2010, the Zillai GHQ took tremendous initiatives to meet and convince the people lead by the Area Chief Association and youths to revive the Zillai Eastern Block which was finally done with a big feast attended by one and all from the area.
  • New Zillai Kanggui Block : On 19th Dec. 2010 (Sunday) the new Zillai Kanggui Block inauguration programme was held. As Pu P Vaiphei, IAS Chief Guest was out on tour, Pu Dr. Seiminlen Major (Assam Rifle) alongwith Pu Lamkhogen as Functional President and Dr Lallianthang Asst Prof MU (in place of Pi Lhaineiting Asst Director Sericulture) as Guest of Honour did the honours.
  • Zillai Gospel Centenary Commemorative Marathon : Under the active patronage of Pu P.Vaiphei, IAS who provided 500 free T-Shirts printed with the Biblical verses – “Lalpa Pathian nei Nam chu a na’u a vak hi; ama gochan ah telmi te chu.” (Psalms 33:12) alongwith other fund support, the Zillai GHQ conducted the Zillai Marathon Race February 13th 2010  from Vaiphei Community Centre, Gouchinkhup Veng New Lamka to Kangvai Ground. It was Flagged-Off by Pu P.Vaiphei, IAS and at the Finishing Line, Pu. T. Manga Vaiphei Hon’ble MLA, Pu. P Vaiphei IAS, Zillai Ex-President, Pu S.T. Liana, Pu Luttinthang, Pu Letsei Vaiphei and many other Zillai patrons received the Marathoners and gave away prizes. This was a historic race and a grand success. The marathoners were much more than expected and its soared to beyond a thousand participants: indeed one of the biggest Zillai events and a truly befitting tribute to the Gospel Centenary. The Zillai GHQ is indeed indebted to Pu P Vaiphei IAS and his wife Pi Rinte who even ran parts of the Marathon to cheer up the runners.

7.3       Miscellaneous :

Zillai GHQ functions in the midst of many other tribes and their organisations. Thus, we depute representatives to Zomi Students’ Federation (ZSF), Churachandpur District Students’ Union (CDSU) etc. Zillai GHQ has been actively involve to safeguard the students from unscrupulous recruitment agencies, assist in getting students’ scholarships, help students studying outside who need help be it in terms of cash or kind, depending on the genuiness of the case and the ability of the Zillai GHQ.  Outside Manipur, Zillai is active through its Blocks in Shillong, Delhi, Haflong, etc. However, Zillai GHQ has been trying to visit the Halflong Branch thrice but has not yet succeeded due to paucity of funds and preoccupation of its leadership and the GHQ regrets the same.

7.4       Infrastructure:

Zillai has a long history, one which is almost unparalled amongst the various Students Unions of the State. However, we have not been as fortunate as the Students Unions of our neighbouring communities when it comes to infrastructure. Zillai has never had even a plot of land of its own; neither any building or immovable property nor even an office building or movable property worth any value. Till Zillai celebrated its Golden Jubilee on 31st May, 1989 at Kangvai Village, we did not even have even a Commemorative Pillar !

This abject poverty as an Organisation of the tribe level has been strongly felt and expressed by some of our patrons, particularly by Pu P.Vaiphei IAS who proposed  a grand plan of having a Zillai plot with proposal for construction of a Zillai Community Hall having additional Conference Rooms and Classrooms for coaching students as well as to facilitate Seminars, Workshops and Interactions to promote further education for the Zillais, including Job-oriented classes, orientations, inspirational talks by Officers and successful Zillais, etc. and even having a Zillai Guest House to facilitate students, youths and even Vaiphei out-station Officers on transit. The President Rule (PR) of 2001 brought a bounty of infrastructural blessings to Zillai. Under the inspirational, visionary, committed and practical leadership of Pu P Vaiphei IAS Advisor Zillai GHQ, Zillai got financial grants from the Director of Tribal Development & Hills, Govt of Manipur. Entrusting the entire hopes of the Zillai fraternity on one man in the form of Pu P.Vaiphei, IAS, Advisor Zillai GHQ, Zillai could get financial grants for the following Community Halls – 1. Zillai Community Hall at Moreh, Chandel District – Rs. 5.00 lakhs 2. Zillai Community Hall at Compound Veng, Churachandpur District – Rs. 5.00 lakhs 3. Community Hall at Saipum, Churachandpur – Rs. 3.00 lakhs 4. Community Hall at Leilon Village, Sadar Hills – Rs. 3.00 lakhs and 5. Community Hall at Lakhan Khuman, Ukhrul District – Rs.3.00 lakhs. Pu Letsei Vaiphei was the President of Zillai General Hs at the time and the proposals were made and sanctions obtained during his term. The short duration of President’s Rule and the subsequent changes in Government resulted in a lot of difficulties in getting the full sanctioned amounts. However, with the grants for Moreh, amny years later, a good plot of land was purchased by the Zillai General HQs under the guidance of Pu P.Vaiphei IAS, Advisor who even came up with the initial payments of Rs.2.70 lakhs and the Foundation Stone for Zillai Conference Hall at Moreh was finally laid on 17th December 2009 by Pu P Vaiphei IAS Advisor Zillai GHQ himself nwith Lamkhogen, President Zillai GHQs as the Functional President. As Zillai began to benefit from having a MP elected from the community in the form of Pu Thangso Baite, it could get fundings from BRGF under DRDA Chandel to fund the building constructions, albeit not upto the proposed one. The contribution of Hon’ble MDC JN Baite in getting this BRGF funding under the patronage of Hon’ble MP Pu Thangso Baite resulted in a grant of Rs. 10 lakhs which was used not only in construction of the building but in purchasing more of the adjoin land to expand our Zillai landed property at Moreh. The Zillai Conference Hall at Moreh was finally inaugurated on August 25th 2012 by Pu M Okendro Minister (Education, CAF& PD), Manipur as Chief Guest, Pu Francis Ngajokpa Minister (RD&PR, Eco & Statistics) as Guest of Honour, Pu Korungthang Hon’ble MLA 42-Tengnoupal (ST) A/C, Chandel as Functional President with other dignitaries like Pu Sesei Zou, Chandel ADC Chairman, Pu KT Vaiphei, IPS Advisor Zillai GHQs, Lamkhogen President Zillai GHQs and all the Zillai GHQ Executive Members alongwith many others in attendance. Even the fund for Zillai Community Hall at Compound Veng, Churachandpur District, albeit the full amount was never drawn, was very beneficial to the Vaiphei community as Rs. 1.50 lakhs out of that fund was contributed by the Zillai GHQ to the Vaiphei People’s Council (erstwhile VNO) towards construction of the Vaiphei Community Centre at Bethel Veng, Churachandpur. Zillai has indeed played a yeoman’s role in the infrastructure development of not only the Zillai GHQ but also the VPC.

7.5       Zillai Guest House at Salam Patong:

A good Zillai Guest House has been constructed at Salam Patong with funding of Rs. 5 lakhs from the MPLADS of Hon’ble MP (Lok Sabha) Pu Thangso Baite on a plot given by Pu S. Manglian, Chief of Salam Patong Village and was inaugurated on 24th February, 2013 by Pu P. Vaiphei, IAS Commissioner (Higher & Technical Education, SCERT & AE), Govt. of Manipur on behalf of Pu M.Okendro, Minister (Education & CAF&PD), Manipur and Pu Thangso Baite, MP, both of whom could not make it to the program due to their other official engagements. Zillai got overwhelming support from the Village Authority, the Village elders and all members in this initiative as Salam Patong is now one of the most historic places with the rare historical site of Thazing Lap with its commemorative stone dated to about 1830 located at Kulbung Veng on the higher ridge of the Village. The 1st State Level Thazing Lap was also held here on 27th Sept., 2012 with the formation of the State Level Thazing Lap Committee with Pu P.Vaiphei IAS as its first Chairman. The1st State Level Thazing Lap held here on 27th Sept., 2012 was in itself a historic gathering with almost all the present Vaiphei leaders of Manipur in attendance alongwith most Church leaders of the community from various denominations. The MP, MLA, IAS, MCS, MDCs, VPC, YVA, Zillai and many other Vaiphei leaders alongwith Rev. S. Prim Vaiphei, Rev (Dr.) Kh. Khaizakham, Rev D. Lulun, etc. took active roles in the course of the program, based on the theme that our forefathers worship unknown spirits when they indulged in Thazing Lap merriment but today we perform the Thazing Lap praising our Living God and the Salvation of Christ our Saviour. The State Level Thazing Lap Committee received a big boost when Pu Yamthong, MLA Saikul A/C provided them a grant of Rs. 10,00,000/- (Ten Lakhs) from his MLALADF this year.

7.6       Construction of Fencing of Golden Jubilee Commemorative Pillar at Kangvai alongwith Renovation of the Pillar :

The then Chief of Kangvai Pu (Late) Th. Lamkam had given a plot of land for the Golden Jubilee Commemorative Pillar at Kangvai  for which Zillai GHQ will be ever grateful but no demarcation of land, transfer of land ownership or construction of fencing has been made so far. Zillai GHQ came up with strong initiative and the Compound Fencing and Renovation of the Golden Jubilee Commemorative Pillar was made by Hon’ble MLA Pu T. Manga Vaiphei. This is even more significant as otherwise the Golden Jubilee will not be presentable during the ensuing Zillai Platinum Jubilee Celebrations at Kangvai on 10-11 Dec, 2014.

7.7       Zillai Platinum Jubilee Plot :

Zillai GHQ had envisioned the ensuing Zillai Platinum Jubilee from the last many years, more particularly since 2010 and had made many proposals to the Govt. and to its well-wishers. Zillai GHQ had submitted memorandum for Construction of Zillai Platinum Jubilee Hall with request for financial grants to the Govt. including Hon’ble Chief Minister, Manipur. The fact that we do not even have a plot of land for such infrastructure despite being on the verge of completing 75 years of existence was both humbling and embarrassing. In 2011, a memorandum was submitted to the Govt/Hon’ble CM and Hon’ble MLA Pu T. Manga Vaiphei was entrusted to pursue the same. Thereafter, similar representation was given to Hon’ble Chief Minister through Pu M Okendro Minister Education, CAF&PD in 2012. However, we have not yet been successful till now. Therefore, another similar proposal for NEC project funding was attempted but without even a plot of our own, it was asking for the moon. Moreover, when 2014 dawn on us, Zillai GHQ was desperate for a venue to host the historic occasion of its Platinum Jubilee. At this very critical time of desperation when the situation was quite hopeless, Zillai GHQ was fortunate to have an outstandingly benevolent donor in the form of Pu Kaihau Vaiphei (retd) IDAS & Pi Nemzakim Vaiphei whose offered to donate a large plot of land measuring 100 ft x 200 ft located on the Kangvai Village roadside not far from the Golden Jubilee plot for the purpose of Zillai Platinum Jubilee Conference Hall in ever loving memory of their eldest son (L) Pu Paulemsang Vaiphei, who was the first University topper among Zillai (BA English Honours, 1st Position, NEHU, 1984 and Founder, Shillong Zillai (1981). Pu (L) Paulemsang Vaiphei was an exemplary Zillai with strong principles and rare humility, integrity, sincerity and commitment to God human values and to the cause of his community with equal concerns for espousing the Zillai cause. Zillai GHQ had no words to express its sincere and heartfelt gratitude to the large-hearted family. It will be the responsibility of the Zillai GHQ and its future leadership to materialize the Zillai dream of having a befitting Zillai Platinum Jubilee Hall with related facilities in this donated plot.

7.8       Contributions to Zillai from Outside Vaiphei Community :

Zillai GHQ had sought and obtained a grant of Rs. 2 lakhs from the MPLADS of the then Hon’ble MP Mani Cheranamei, out of which the 1st instalment of Rs. 1.20 lakhs only was received. However, for obvious political reasons as the Vaiphei community had its own candidate in the form of Pu Thangso Baite in 2009, the 2nd & Final instalments were not taken by Zillai GHQ.

Pu M Okendro Minister (Education, CAF& PD), Manipur had donated Rs. 50,000/- (Fifty Thousand) only while he was still an MLA from his MLALADF in 2009 as a token of his love and concern for the Zillais. He was feasted at Moreh by the Zillai Welfare Standing Welfare Committee Treasurer Pu Sholun Baite Moreh who killed a pig and gave a speech stating that such contributions and concerns are offered not just because important people love Zillai but also because they regard our Officers like Pu P Vaiphei IAS who could mobilize many VIPs into our midst.

7.9       Some instances of Zillai Activities for Vaiphei society as a whole :

Zillai has always stood by its community at times of difficulties and even in dire situations when some of our people and students have been pointed at with the barrel of the gun.

  • When Johnson Vaiphei, Sub-Inspector (SI) Manipur Police Deptt. was wrongly treated and tortured by some underground elements, Zillai GHQ and Zillai Standing Welfare Committee took up his cause and did whatever it can to help him.
  • In the incident where Mr. Paominlen Vaiphei (Nongmeiching) Terakhong Village, Sadar Hills and Haokholen Misao Lhahvum Village Churachandpur were wrongly shot dead on 23rd  Oct 2008 by the Manipur Police Commandos, Zillai GHQ took up the issue with the Govt asking as to how Paominlen Vaiphei actively working in the Manipur Electricity Department attached to EE/Civil Division could be an Underground. Zillai GHQ with the help of KSO GHQ form a JAC and refused to accept their death bodies compelling the Govt and the Manipur Police to accept their wrongful act, had 2 (two) rounds of talks and resulting in their performing the tribal customary act of paying fines of Rs. 1,30,000/- (One lakh thirty thousand) each (130000) and seeking pardon. In the talks with the Government on the wrongful murders by the Manipur Police CDOs, Zillai Welfare Standing Committee Chairman Pu Letsei Vaiphei was the spokesperson and an assurance for Die in Harness was also obtained from the Govt.
  • In the killing of Sangboi Vaiphei (Rengkai 26th January 2009), Zillai GH strongly expressed its categorical condemnation of the dastardly act in all local daily leading newspapers.
  • In the unfortunate killing of Pastor Henlal Vaiphei and his friends who were brothers / siblings by the Assam Rifles at Namphalong (Myanmar) on the mere suspicion of their being KNA cadres, Zillai GHQ assisted in facilitating the Post-Mortem examination of the dead bodies of the two siblings and even transported their dead bodies to Moreh. However, unfortunately Pastor Henlal Vaiphei was never recovered despite Zillai GHQ trying its best to locate him or his mortal remains. When some information were received that people had seen him in captivity of the Kuki militants, Zillai GHQ and VPC made all efforts through talks with the KNO leaders including its Home Secretary to locate and release him safely. It even went to the extent of taking up through customary practices at Tengnoupal but till today, Pastor Henlal Vaiphei has not been located nor his mortal remains found, which is still considered as one most unfortunate event by the Zillai GHQ.
  • The incident concerning the threat to life of Pu Lunjapao, Principal Moreh College & Zillai Headquarters Ex-General President was taken up by Zillai General H/Q with All Manipur Students Union (AMSU) and Kuki Students’ Organisation (KSO) General Headquarters in a joint meeting at AMSU Head office wherein it was decided to undertake a Joint investigation Visit to Moreh. Zillai GHQ President Pu Lamkhogen Vaiphei and Zillai Welfare Standing Committee Chairman Pu Letsei Vaiphei went ahead one day in advance to Moreh and even parleyed with the KNA C-in-C through customary practice of taking sugar and milk for tea. The next day Zillai GHQ, KSO GHQ and AMSU GHQ had a joint meeting at Moreh HTC Hall with Pu Letsei Vaiphei as Chairman and AMSU General Secretary as Secretary seat and the threat to Pu Lunjapao was finally resolved after tough negotiations. Pu Lunjapau himself closed the parleys with a prayer of thanks to God.
  • The unfortunate killing of Pu Ngamkholet Baite, Chief of Tupiching on 24h November 2010 terming him as an underground was another issue taken up by the Zillai GHQ with both the Govt. and the SoO Groups. The innocence of Pu Ngamkholet Baite, Chief of Tupiching Village was strongly taken up and the UG groups under Suspension of Operation (SoO) were compelled to issue clarification. When his innocence was highlighted beyond doubt, even the Government was compelled to agree to Govt compensation / ex-gratia payment.
  • In connection with the incident relating to the Chief of Lingsiphai, Pu Khuplianmang when ZFC (Zomi Football Chub) footballers and volunteers on Donation drive misbehaved with Pu Khuplianmang at his residence, Zillai took up the matter and with the active roles played by Zomi Council and ZRO, the ZFC leadership was compelled to organized a customary feast for pardon and the same was accepted by the Zillai GHQ.
  • In the unfortunate death of Mrs. Lunneihoi which was threatening to vitiate the peace in entire Churachandpur District, Zillai GHQ took up the issue with Churachandpur District Student Union (CDSU) and held Joint meetings and submitted Memorandum to the District Administration and the State Government.
  • Again when Khuptonlian @ Lianboi of Red Cross Churachandpur, Electricity Deptt. Employee met an unfortunate electrocution death, Zillai GHQ alongwith Zomi Students’ Federation (ZSF) took up the matter and got Govt assistance to the bereaved family.

7.10     VPC, YVA and VLS :

  • Zillai GHQ contributed Rs.1,50,000/- (Rupees One Lakh Fifty Thousand) to the Vaiphei People’s Council (VPC) towards the building construction of the Vaiphei Community Centre despite its own acute financial difficulties. This large-hearted contribution was made by the Zillai GHQ on the request of the VPC.
  • To promote Vaiphei Literature, Zillai GHQ made a strong campaign to Private Schools to open Vaiphei MIL as one of the MIL subjects for their students. Further, to facilitate the Vaiphei MIL in Govt Schools, Zillai requested the Dept. to transfer Vaiphei Govt Teachers to Govt. Schools where Vaiphei MIL to enable the Vaiphei Govt teachers to double up as teachers for Vaiphei MIL even as Govt was requested for induction of more teachers for Vaiphei MIL Students through recruitments or transfers and postings.
  • In unfortunate events of natural calamities, accidental fires and other disasters, Zillai has always been at hand to help the victims and the unfortunate families. Zillai has been the precursor to YVA and even where YVA is active, the role of Zillai has always been of prime importance. Zillai can be term as the arm of YVA in many ways. Zillai GHQ promptly assisted YVA in providing speedy relief through contribution of cash and kind to Maipi Mangsom Village near Moreh when the Village was unfortunately razed to cinders by fire. Zillai GHQ President Pu Lamkhogen, Welfare Standing Committee Information Secretary Pu Zabiaksang and  Moreh Zillai leaders went upto Maipi Mangsom Village to deliver donated rice, clothes, utensils, etc. received from many donors within and outside the Vaiphei community, mostly from Churachandpur and Imphal and elsewhere. Pu P Vaiphei IAS also chipped in by providing necessary relief in cash and CGI sheets promptly from the Govt. to all the fire-victim households of the Village and enabling it to some recovery. Zillai GHQ actively supported the Village in getting Housing Schemes promptly from the Govt and liaised with the DC Chandel to assist the unfortunate villagers. This was indeed a shining example of prompt donation and provision of immediate refief materials both from the community and the Govt. towards assisting fire-victims that need to be remembered with pride and emulated with concern and a volunteering spirit by Zillai in the unfortunate event of facing similar situations henceforth.
  1. Zillai & Its Office

Before Zillai GHQ moved its office to Vaiphei Community Centre, alongside Vaiphei Peoples’ Council (VPC) office, the residence of Vungkhomang at Hilltown, served as its office where meetings were held and discussions conducted. This arrangement which started in 1983 continued for a long period of time, running nearly to two-and-half decades.

Though such an arrangement may be unthinkable in today’s world, it was rather the norm than an exception during those years. It may be pertinent to point out that prior to 1983, Zillai meetings were conducted at different places, and no particular place was designated as its office.

The Zillai General Headquarters Office presently functions from the Vaiphei Community Centre at Bethel Veng, Churachandpur alongside the Vaiphei People’s Council (VPC) and the Young Vaiphei Association (YVA). The need for Zillai to have a plot of land to house its Office, Conference Hall, Class-Rooms, Hostels, Guest House, etc. has been a long-felt need and desire of its member-students and the aspiration of the Vaiphei community as a whole. The proposition is daunting as the efforts made in this regard started only in the current phase of the Zillai growth as encapsuled above under the paragraph on “2001 to 2014 – New Century, New Direction”. The strenuous efforts of the present Zillai leadership could not meet the desired results as the endeavour require huge investment that is far beyond the capacity of the students without any source of income other than the goodwill contributions from its well-wishers. The huge vacuum was filled to a great extent by the generosity of its former Present/Secretary, Pu Kaihau Vaiphei, IDAS (Retd.) and his wife Pi Nemzakim Vaiphei who donated free of cost a plot of land measuring 100ft x 200 ft located at Kangvai for the purpose of construction of the Zillai Platinum Jubilee Conference Hall in the ever loving memory of their eldest son Pu (L) Paulemsang Vaiphei (1963-2010) who was the first Vaiphei / Zillai University topper (BA Hons in English, NEHU Shillong, 1084) and also the founder of Shillong Zillai (now Zillai Shillong Block in 1981). The  Zillai General Headquarters aspire to build up on this epoch-making generosity of Pu Kaihau Vaiphei and his family and will make all efforts to construct its proposed Zillai Platinum Jubilee Conference Hall for which the support of all well-wishers will be crucial in realizing the long-cherished Zillai dream.

  1. Zillai & the Moulding of Leaders

If the battle of Waterloo was won on the playing-fields of Eton, as the novelist George Orwell in his book The Lion and the Unicorn (1941) would like us to believe, Zillai can be liken as the playing-field for future leaders amongst the Vaiphei people.

This section is, more or less, a tribute to all former leaders who have made a name for themselves in their chosen fields:

Dr. Damzakhai Vaiphei, Chairman (1946-48) went on to become the first Vaiphei MLA in 1948, then joined Veterinary Department and retired as Joint Director.

Kaikhogin Vaiphei, Secretary (1956-58) went on to become the first Vaiphei to crack the Indian Forest Service (IFS) examination conducted by UPSC which he joined in 1968. He served in Bihar Cadre for most of his career until 1984 when he got his cadre changed to Manipur-Tripura Cadre and was serving as Conservator of Forest in Imphal (the post was next only to the single post of Chief Conservator of Forest, Manipur at the time) when he died in harness.

Lutzakham, President (1958-60) completed BA, B.Ed and retired as DI of Schools.

Henzagen, President (1960-62), Secretary (1958-60) joined Statistics Department and retired as District Statistical Officer.

S.Doliand Capvung, President (1962-64) joined government service in the Education Dept. of Govt. of Manipur. He was the founder Headmaster of Kangvai Secondary School and retired as Headmaster of Government High school.

Soitinkhup Vaiphei, Secretary (1962-64) went on to become the first Vaiphei to crack the Manipur Civil Services Exam in 1974 and join Manipur Police Service in 1975 and was conferred Indian Police Service (IPS) before his superannuation in the rank of Supdt. Of Police/Commanding Officer.

P.Kamlam, Secretary (1964-65), President (1965-67) joined government service as Sub-Deputy Collector (Direct Recruit) and was conferred the Manipur Civil Services in 1995 retired as Sub-Divisional Officer (SDO).

Kaihau Vaiphei, Secretary (1965-67), President (1967-69) became the first Vaiphei in the Central Services Group “A” after clearing the IAS & Allied Services Exams conducted by UPSC in 1974 (now Civil Services Exams) and on his selection for IPS & Central Services Group ‘A”, joined the Indian Defense & Accounts Service (IDAS) and went on to become the first Manipuri to be Accountant General (Manipur) of any State in India and retired after serving as Controller of Defence Accounts in Jabalpur, Guwahati and New Delhi.

Chungkholian, Secretary (1967-1969) went on to join government service and retired as Headmaster.

W.K.Lengen, Secretary (1970), President (1970-72) went on to become the first Vaiphei to joined the Indian Police Service (IPS) and was the first Manipuri to be adjudged the “Best Probationer” amongst the IPS Probationers of 1976 batch with his name to be seen to this day in the roll of honour at SVP National Police Academy, Hyderabad. During his successful career, he held various important positions including Supdt. of Police, Churachandpur District and was serving as Inspector General of Police in Manipur when he died in harness..

S.Minlianthang, Secretary (1976-77) went on to become the first Vaiphei to joined the Manipur Civil Service through MPSC in 1991 and was conferred IAS in 2012. He is still in active service, presently posted as Director of Tribal Development in the Govt of Manipur.

T.Manga Vaiphei, President (1984-89) went on to become MLA from Henglep Assembly Constituency in 2000. He is the first MLA from Churachandpur District to win four consecutive terms. He is also the first Vaiphei to served as Cabinet Minister in any State Govt. (Minister, Transport & Science & Technology, Govt. of Manipur, in 2002) and is currently the Chairman of Manipur Tribal Development Corporation (Cabinet Rank) since 2007 till date.

Tongneilal, Secretary (1988-89) is serving as Associate Professor, DM College of Science, Imphal.

  1. Zillai, Kangvai Village, Drama & Songs

In the seventy-five years history of Zillai, many Vaiphei villages have played crucial roles in charting its course. However, Kangvai village seems to have upstaged all on many occasions – be it hosting crucial events, producing outstanding leaders or providing wholesome entertainment through dramas and songs. There is something unique about Zillai and Kangvai village – a chemistry which is difficult to define, like an attraction between the opposite sex. Its contribution in the field of entertainment is unparalleled – unlikely to be surpassed in all times to come.

Down through the years Kangvai village has serenaded Zillai in particular, and the larger Vaiphei community as a whole, through songs like  Nau Awi La by Kaikhothong, Nunlui Mualliam Nung by VT Soithawm, Vanlaizawl Ah Sawlthapi by VT Soithawm and many others. Older generation would remember songs like I Aw Hung Kihei Inla by Kaikhothong, Phunchong Pak Hoi by Kaikhothong, Chung Sunni Kawl Ah a Liam Tak Leh and many more.

The unique talent of the people of Kangvai has been witnessed by three generations of Zillai through the powerful medium of drama. They have enlivened, enthralled and entertained in almost all the conferences under the Zillai banner. Heisan In directed by Daniel Thangluai, Simin Hungkik I directed by VT Soithawm & V.S.Mangkhokai, Simin Hungkik II directed by VT Soithawm, Chloroform directed by Songkhohau, Damlai directed by Daniel Thangluai, Chanlam Bei directed by V.S.Mangkhokai, A Cham Zinghi Ka Thinlung Ah directed Kaikhothong, Midik Lim ah Migilo (famous for the song Ka Rickshaw Hi) are some of the more famous dramas enacted under the banner of Vaiphei Dramatic Union, which was founded by VT Soithawm and V.S.Mangkhokai.

11.Concluding Thoughts

In tracing the history of Zillai over a period of seventy-five years, there are numerous lessons to be learned, and how these lessons can help us shape a sharper vision for the future. There are three instances when Zillai went through a period of silence – in the forties, the fifties and the seventies. To understand its nature and circumstances one has to revisit those periods. The answers are simple enough.

Another factor that has to be considered is how the Zillai as a movement flows with the current of the time. Changes are constant, and Zillai has undergone tectonic shift in direction and leadership. While these are welcome signs, there must be balances and checks. Interaction at the grassroots level is the breath and soul of an organization like Zillai. A disconnect of any nature will not only prove detrimental in the long run but could prove its death-knell. The long strides Zillai has taken during the past seventy-five years must be channelized to take it forward to its centenary year, and beyond.

In fine, this is neither a term paper nor a work of exhaustive research. It is the result of a collective effort – collective in the truest sense of the word as the contents are gleaned from various sources, too numerous to mention. Many of them, in fact, are not based on facts. One may be inclined to call some of the sources as hearsay or gossip but every letter of them are weighed against the currency of irrelevance and if they would serve the larger interest of the Zillai community.

All through out, I have tried to tread a common ground with others who have written about Zillai before but in some instances, I opted to walk my own path. History is about people as much as Zillai is about people. No individual has been put on a lofty pedestal without reason, and no person has been denigrated knowingly. And if I have achieved that, I would consider the long hours spent collating various sources and thoughts worthwhile, an endeavour for the common good of the Vaiphei people.

Note from the Editorial Board : The writer was specifically commissioned by the Zillai General HQs in Sept., 2014 with a resolution to write this article for publication in the Zillai Platinum Jubilee Souvenir and the article in many parts have been based on the materials and inputs provided by the Zillai General HQs.

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