Lalthlamuong Keivom : 1st Indian Foreign Service Officer from Manipur :: Profile


Lalthlamuong Keivom : 1st Indian Foreign Service Officer from Manipur
Lalthlamuong Keivom : 1st Indian Foreign Service Officer from Manipur :: Pix -

Pu Lalthlamuong Keivom was born on July 15, 1939 (official date of birth 2 April 1942) at Pherzawl, Churachandpur District (formerly South District), Manipur as the thirteenth child of Hrangthatfieng Keivom and Khawtinhnieng. He cleared his matriculation examination in 1959 from the Pherzawl High School, Churchandpur. He received his higher studies from different institutes such as B.A (1963) from D.M. College, Imphal and M.A. History (1966) from Guwahati University, Guwahati.

Pu Lalthlamuong Keivom married Dari Keivom in 1963and they are the proud parents of two loving daughters and two sons. Margaret Thangmawi Keivom, the eldest daughter, is a fashion designer at Mawi Ltd., London. Helen Ruolsingpui Keivom, the second daughter is Deputy Chairperson, District Community Board, Wellington, New Zealand. Their first son, David Lalhmingsang Keivom, who received B.D from Serampore is Communication Manager, Trans World Radio (TWR), Delhi and he is currently in the Philippines.

James Lalropui Keivom, the last son, is Senior Photo-Journalist, the New York Daily News, New York. He is a recipient of many prestigious awards in photo-journalism. Although the family members are scattered in different parts of the world, not a single day passes without sharing the daily experience with each other.


Pu Lalthlamuong Keivom's career and professional life is varied and is marked by a linear upward movement towards the best. From a simple school teacher in a remote village of Manipur, his sheer determination and hard work took him to the farthest part of the world (Down South for example) as a diplomat of finest quality. He started his career as an Assistant Teacher at Vimala Raina Girls High School in 1963.

The same year he joined the Pant Standard High School (presently known as Rengkai Government High School) as the Headmaster. The following year he joined Parbung High School as the Headmaster and served the school for two years. He was a Lecturer at Sielmat Christian College, Lamka (196667). Then, from the year 1967 to 1970 he was with the Indian Revenue Service (Customs & Excise).

One could have happily accepted this honourable service, give up the rigors of preparation for civil services and lead a happy married life instead of burning the midnight oil, but not for Pu L. Keivom. The will to achieve the best in life and constant support from his loving wife made him tobecome the first Indian Foreign Service (IFS) Officer from Manipur in the year 1970.

During his service period as an IFS Officer he was posted in different countries: Nairobi, Kenya (197680); Jeddah, Saudi Arabia (198083); Wellington, New Zealand (198385); Rangoon, Burma (198690); Milan, Italy (199093); Male, Maldives (199497). Towards the end of his diplomatic career he was posted atDelhi (19972002) and retired in the month of May, 2002. Since then he has been a self-employed Bible translator and publisher.

Socio-cultural activities

As a person who believes in the upliftment of and serving his fellow beings, Pu L. Keivom has been actively taking part in numerous socio-cultural activities. He has been the Adviser Delhi Hmar Welfare Association (DHWA), the Hmar Students' Association (HAS), Delhi Joint Headquarters and the Zofa Global Network since the year 2013.

In his youth he was the Cultural and Information Secretary of the Hmar Students' Association (195963). He was the author and designer of the HSA Emblem (1962). Further he was the Chairman of the Hmar Cultural Society (19631980). He is also associated with many other social and cultural organizations irrespective of tribe, ethnicity, caste and creed.

Literary works

Pu L. Keivom is not only a diplomat but also a man of literature. He has composed numerous songs in Hmar language (more than 150 songs). He has written a number of essays, articles and seminar papers in English, Hmar and Mizo (more than 1200). Since 1997, he has been writing, on an average an article (of around 20003500 words) every week for the weekly Delhi Thurawn in addition to special articles for newspapers and magazines in Mizoram, Manipur, Tripura, Meghalaya and Assam.

He has translated and published the Holy Bible in modern Hmar (200207) and Rabindranath Tagore's Gitanjali (1973). Moreover, he has also translated more than 50 hymns from Hmar and Mizo into English to cater to the need of the students and research scholars in various theological and secular institutions in India and abroad. He also maintains the Zoramkhawvel website and the Keivom Diary.

Books and publications

Pu L. Keivom has written and published more than 20 books.

In Hmar: Thralai Hlabu (1963); Hmar Hla Suina (1980); Zangkhaw Bungbu (2000); Nun Ram, Ka Nun (2001); Gospel of John and Letters of John 13 (2002); New Testament, Psalm and Proverbs (2004); Book of Genesis (2006); Baibul (Hmar)-Holy Bible, Delhi Version (2007); Hebrew (2014); Revised second edition of Delhi Version of the Holy Bible(2015); Rabindranath Tagore's Nobel Prize winning work, The Gitanjali (translated in 1974 and now in the press).

The New Testament, Psalms and Proverbs (2004) and the Holy Bible (2007) entitled Baibul (Hmar) were single-handedly translated and published by the translator. One special feature of the Bible in this Delhi Version is that each line of every Psalm has equal number of syllables, the only one of its kind in the world. Hmar Hla Suina is an exhaustive and authoritative book on the political, cultural, religious and linguistic history of the Hmar people and the most referred to so far by researchers on the subject. Preparation of the revised and enlarged edition is underway.

In Mizo: Zoram Khawvel 18, Bawktlang Thawnthu, Thuthlung Ram, Pherzawl Titi, L.KeivomThukhawchang 12. Of these, ZoramKhawvel 1 was awarded Book of the Year (1991) in Mizoram; ZoramKhawvel 4 has been considered as a Bible on Zo nationalism and unification; Zoram Khawvel 5 and 6 are, respectively, well-researched and authoritative accounts of the immense contributions of two famous pioneer missionaries such as Edwin Rowlands (Zosapthara) and Watkin Roberts (Saptlangvala) in Mizoram, Manipur, Tripura and the Chittagong Hill Tracts (now in Bangladesh). Zoram Khawvel 7 is the only book in Mizo, which deals with the 100-year history of the world and the Zo world upto the year 2000 in a single book.

Thuthlung Ram (Land of the Covenant) deals with the ancient and modern history of 'people of the Book', Judaism, Christianity and Islam, at the backdrop of the author's visits to these lands of the covenant (Arabia, Egypt, Jordan and Israel).At one time, the book was called by critics as the "Second Bible" in the sense that it helped in the return of many apostates who left their religion and accepted Judaism for material benefit.

In tri-lingual (Hmar, Mizoand English): Impressions on Keivom (2011), a 310-page compilation of writings from friends and close associates published on the occasion of the celebration 'Keivom Nite' at Bethel (Churachandpur) on December 16, 2011 which speaks volumes of the life and times of Keivom.

He has written three (3) novels and more than twelve (12) short stories in Hmar. The number of essays, articles and seminar papers on various topics he has written exceeded 1200 and if these are compiled in about 250300 page content, it will make atleast 50 books. He has compiled Hmar idioms and phrases including poetic words in 1964 (unpublished). In addition to these, he has edited and compiled several magazines, souvenirs and booklets. In a way he has contributed towards the systematization and standardization of Hmar writing not only syntactically but also in content and quality, and thus revolutionized it.

Dissemination through the digital world

In order to disseminate knowledge through the digital world Pu L. Keivom launched a website in 2009 known as ''. This was the first ever professionally designed Mizo e-book of his works by donating Zoram Khawvel-1 and 'Nun Ram', a collection of 5 short stories and 3 essays so that Zo kindred tribes living in different parts of the world can access his writings.

On the occasion of the inauguration, he explained his vision thus, "One of the key steps I thought will be useful in bringing the people of Zoram khawvel closer is to open Zo Basket wherein we will put all available works of Zo literature and music as much as possible and turn the site as a major source of information on Zo life, culture and literature.

The aim is to treasure all works of literature in different Zo dialects, including dictionaries, Bible translations and recorded songs and music". Has also donated his Delhi Version of the Bible for a mobile version and the first Hmar Bible Mobile Phone Version was launched on August 30, 2009, the eighth Bible in India to enter into mobile phone version.

Ongoing project

Ongoing project of Pu L. Keivom includes the compilation of the cultural treasures of the Zo descent. The preliminary survey of Cultural Mapping Project was launched in March 2011. The sole aim of the project is to collect all facets of the cultural treasures of the Zo descent and store them in films and books as a follow-up of the Linguistic Survey of India conducted in the 1900s.

The project envisages compilation of English-Zo Dictionary from collections of key words from diverse Zo dialects in India, Myanmar and Bangladesh and identification of elite and dedicated volunteers from all dialect areas who can be able to assist in the project. Preliminary survey amongst some of the Old Kuki dialect groups has already been undertaken and volunteers identified for the project.

Awards and decorations

o 1991: Book of the Year Award, Mizo Academy of Letters, Aizawl, Mizoram
o 1998: Zosapthara Award, Mizo Literary Association, Bilkhawthlir, Mizoram
o 2004: Excellence Award, Delhi Hmar Welfare Association.
o 2010: Man of the Century Award in Literature, Reformed Presbyterian Church ofNorth East India Gospel Centenary Celebration Committee, Saikot, Churachandpur, Manipur.
o 2014: Zofa Global Award at Zofa Global Unity Festival, Zokhawthar, Indo-Myanmar Border, Mizoram by Zofa Global Network.
o 2014: ZOFEST Award by Mizo Zirlai Pawl General Headquarters, Aizawl at Zofest-6, Haflong, Assam.
o Many other awards and commendations from cultural, religious, literary and linguistic organizations in India and abroad.

Pu Lalthlamuong Keivom can be reached at keivom(at)rediffmail(doT)com & l_keivom(aT)yahoo(doT)com. His permanent address is Nehru Marg, Churachandpur, Manipur but resides at Mayur Vihar-1, Delhi-110091. Please visit websites: keivom diary;

* This information is provided for by Dr. Lokendra Arambam , Chairperson, The Arambam Somorendra Trust
This article was posted on June 05, 2015.

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