Brigadier Thenphunga Sailo ..born 1Jan 1922, commissioned Nov.1942..IMA Dehradun. Initially with the 2nd. Punjab Regiment and later with the Assam Regiment.
While asking about his early days in Army, Particularly in the second world war period in the Burma front against the Japanese forces, Brig Sailo mentioned about his book, ‘A Soldier’s Story“, which has a section on his army days.
It was a great pleasure, when he presented a signed copy of his book to me.
Brig. T Sailo Biography
Brigadier T. Sailo, born on February 22, 1922, in Durtlang, Aizawl, was a prominent figure in the history of Mizoram, a northeastern state of India. He emerged as a revered leader, politician, and social reformer who played a crucial role in the development and political affairs of the region. His contributions towards the growth and welfare of the Mizo people have left an everlasting impact.
Early Life and Education
Brigadier T. Sailo was born into a humble family in Aizawl, Mizoram, where his parents instilled in him the values of hard work, determination, and respect for one’s roots. After completing his early education in Aizawl, he pursued higher studies at prestigious educational institutions. Sailo’s academic journey laid a strong foundation for his future endeavors.
His upbringing in a humble family taught him the importance of humility and grounded him in his pursuit of knowledge. Sailo’s parents emphasized the value of education, which fueled his desire to excel academically. Through his dedication and hard work, he not only achieved academic success but also developed a deep understanding of the challenges faced by his community.
Brigadier T. Sailo’s remarkable military career began when he joined the British Indian Army during World War II. He underwent rigorous training and showcased exceptional skills, which earned him numerous accolades. Sailo served in various regiments and fought alongside the Allied forces in Burma, present-day Myanmar.
His time in the military honed his leadership abilities and instilled in him a sense of discipline and commitment. Sailo’s dedication and courage on the battlefield earned him the respect of his comrades and superiors. His exceptional performance led to swift promotions within the military hierarchy.
In recognition of his exemplary service, Sailo was eventually appointed as the Deputy Commandant of the prestigious Indian Military Academy in Dehradun. This position allowed him to mentor and shape the future leaders of the Indian armed forces, leaving a lasting impact on the institution.
After retiring from the military, Brigadier T. Sailo dedicated himself to the welfare of the Mizo people by entering the political arena. In 1972, he founded the Mizo Union, a political party committed to the betterment of Mizoram and its inhabitants. Sailo’s charismatic personality and deep-rooted beliefs struck a chord with the masses, gaining him immense popularity.
Sailo’s transition from the military to politics showcased his commitment to serving the people of Mizoram in a different capacity. His leadership qualities, combined with his understanding of the challenges faced by the Mizo community, made him a natural choice for political leadership. He believed in the power of democracy and worked tirelessly to ensure that the voices of the people were heard.
In 1978, Brigadier T. Sailo assumed the position of the Chief Minister of Mizoram, marking the inception of a new era for the state. His tenure was characterized by a strong focus on inclusive governance and sustainable development. Sailo implemented several progressive policies and initiatives aimed at improving the socio-economic conditions of the people.
Contributions to Mizoram
Brigadier T. Sailo’s leadership played a pivotal role in the development of Mizoram. Under his guidance, Mizoram witnessed significant growth and progress in various sectors. Some of his notable contributions include:
1. Infrastructure Development
Sailo’s focus on infrastructure development transformed Mizoram’s landscape. Roads, bridges, and transportation networks were constructed, connecting previously remote areas with urban centers. This facilitated easier access to essential services and promoted trade and commerce.
- Construction of major highways and bridges improved connectivity between different regions of Mizoram.
- Upgrading of rural roads and development of transportation networks opened up avenues for economic growth and enhanced accessibility to healthcare and educational facilities.
- Establishment of state-of-the-art infrastructure such as airports and railway stations boosted tourism and facilitated the movement of goods and services.
2. Education Reforms
Recognizing the importance of education, Brigadier T. Sailo undertook several initiatives to enhance the quality of education in Mizoram. He established new schools, colleges, and vocational training centers, ensuring that education reached every corner of the state. Sailo’s efforts led to increased literacy rates and empowered the youth with knowledge and skills.
- Introduction of comprehensive educational policies aimed at improving access to quality education for all sections of society.
- Establishment of new educational institutions, including schools and colleges, in previously underserved areas.
- Promotion of vocational training centers to equip students with practical skills that would enhance their employability.
3. Agricultural Reforms
Agriculture being the backbone of Mizoram’s economy, Sailo implemented various agricultural reforms to boost productivity and improve the lives of farmers. He introduced advanced farming techniques, provided subsidies, and encouraged the cultivation of cash crops. These measures resulted in enhanced agricultural output and increased income for the farming community.
- Introduction of modern agricultural practices such as mechanization, irrigation, and crop diversification.
- Implementation of subsidy programs to provide financial assistance to farmers for purchasing agricultural inputs and machinery.
- Promotion of cash crops such as tea, coffee, and spices to enhance the income potential of farmers.
4. Social Welfare Programs
Brigadier T. Sailo was deeply committed to the welfare of marginalized sections of society. He initiated several social welfare programs, such as providing healthcare facilities in remote areas, promoting gender equality, and empowering women through skill development initiatives. Sailo’s efforts aimed to uplift the underprivileged and create a more inclusive society.
- Establishment of healthcare centers and hospitals in rural and remote areas to ensure accessible and affordable healthcare services.
- Implementation of programs focused on women empowerment, including skill development training and financial support for women entrepreneurs.
- Promotion of gender equality through awareness campaigns, legal reforms, and initiatives to address gender-based violence.
Brigadier T. Sailo’s contributions and leadership continue to inspire generations in Mizoram. His visionary approach towards governance and dedication towards the welfare of the people earned him immense respect and admiration. Sailo’s legacy as a military veteran, politician, and social reformer remains deeply etched in the hearts of the Mizo community.
The impact of Brigadier T. Sailo’s work can still be felt in various aspects of Mizoram’s development. His emphasis on education, infrastructure, agriculture, and social welfare laid a strong foundation for the state’s progress. The advancements witnessed during his tenure continue to shape the present and future of Mizoram.
In conclusion, Brigadier T. Sailo’s biography serves as an inspiration for aspiring leaders and individuals aiming to bring positive change in society. His remarkable journey from a military career to becoming Mizoram’s Chief Minister reflects his unwavering commitment towards the betterment of the people. Sailo’s contributions have left an indelible mark on Mizoram, making him a revered figure in the state’s history.
1. Who was Brigadier T. Sailo?
Brigadier T. Sailo was a prominent figure in the history of Mizoram, a northeastern state of India. He was a revered leader, politician, and social reformer who played a crucial role in the development and political affairs of the region.
2. What were Brigadier T. Sailo’s contributions to Mizoram?
Brigadier T. Sailo made significant contributions to Mizoram in various sectors. Some of his notable contributions include infrastructure development, education reforms, agricultural reforms, and social welfare programs.
3. What was Brigadier T. Sailo’s military career?
Brigadier T. Sailo joined the British Indian Army during World War II. He underwent rigorous training, showcased exceptional skills, and served in various regiments. His exceptional performance led to swift promotions within the military hierarchy.
4. What political role did Brigadier T. Sailo play in Mizoram?
After retiring from the military, Brigadier T. Sailo entered the political arena and founded the Mizo Union, a political party committed to the betterment of Mizoram. He became the Chief Minister of Mizoram in 1978 and focused on inclusive governance and sustainable development.