‘History Was Distorted’: Why PM Modi Wants To Take Forward Lachit Borphukan’s History Before The World

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Earlier, chief minister Sarma too said that historians have glorified Mughals more than its own heroes and kingdoms.
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PM Modi at 400 th Birth Aniversary celebration of Lachit Borphukan

Guwahati: Addressing the closing ceremony of the year-long celebrations of the 400th birth anniversary of Lachit Borphukan, the 17th-century army general of the Ahom Kingdom in Assam, who defeated the Mughals, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said that historians have not done justice to the reality of the country.

PM said, “Unfortunately, even after independence, we were taught the same history that was created under a conspiracy during the colonial era. But after independence, the agenda should have been changed.”

“For years and centuries, Indians were described as people who always get looted, beaten and lose. But there are heroes who emerged against those atrocities and the real India’s history is not just about colonialism, it’s a history of warriors. India’s history is about valour, courage, sacrifice, patriotism and great tradition,” he added.

Remembering the great Ahom General Borphukan, PM Modi said that Assam’s history is a matter of great pride in India’s journey.

“Assam has given us legendary warriors like Lachit Borphukan and how he united the various tribal communities to fight against atrocities and oppression. The way he protected the values and our culture from the Mughals was not only heroic but was also a huge contribution to the making of India. We believe in uniting the various thoughts, beliefs and cultures of India,” he said.

 The PM also suggested making a movie or documentary on Borphukan and asked chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma to take steps to take the movie to every corner of the country. Earlier, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said in a statement that it has been the constant endeavour of the prime minister to honour the unsung heroes in a befitting manner and in line with this; the country is celebrating 2022 as the 400th birth anniversary year of Borphukan.

Borphukan was the famous General of the Royal Army of the Ahom Kingdom of Assam who defeated the Mughals and successfully halted their ever-expanding ambitions under Aurangzeb. The heroic fight of Barphukan and his army remains one of the most inspiring military feats of resistance in the history of our country, the statement added.

Earlier, chief minister Sarma too said that historians have glorified Mughals more than its own heroes and kingdoms.

Sarma claimed that had the Mughals defeated the Ahoms in the battle of Saraighat in 1671, the entire Southeast Asia would have been very different from now. “Battle of Saraighat determined the future of Assam as well as South East Asia. Mughals planned to invade Assam, enter South East Asia and spread Islam throughout the region. But Lachit Borphukan scripted history by foiling their attempts at Saraighat,” he added.

Already, the state government has announced to set up of a grand memorial including a 150-ft bronze statue of Lachit Borphukan at his memorial site at Hollongapar, Jorhat. Besides, the Assam government planned to construct the Alaboi War Memorial to preserve the memory of Alaboi battle in 1669 and for a memorial building in honour of Lachit Borphukan at the National Police Academy, Hyderabad.

Earlier, Sarma had written a letter to his counterparts in other states, requesting them to include a chapter on Lachit Borphukan in the syllabus of the schools, and colleges in their respective domain.

On Thursday, union home minister Amit Shah while attending the ceremony in New Delhi marking Borphukan’s birth anniversary also endorsed the idea that the history of the valour of Borphukan should be known to all.

“There are controversies that India’s history was twisted and wrongly written on many occasions. But it’s not late yet. Today, we can still do our research and put the real history of the country before everyone. With such efforts, the real history and the truth will come to the fore,” Shah said.

The union home minister also requested the students and scholars of history to conduct massive research on 30 dynasties that ruled parts of India for over 150 years and 300 icons that needed to be highlighted.

The Ahom kings ruled Assam for nearly 600 years, from the early 13th century to the early 19th century. This prosperous kingdom witnessed a series of conflicts with the Mughals from 1615-1682, starting from Jahangir till Aurangzeb.

Lachit Borphukan was born on November 24 in the year 1622 in Charaideo, the first capital of the Ahom kingdom. He led two battles against the mighty Mughal army and is remembered for the daring naval battle in Saraighat, known as one of the last efforts of the Mughal Army to expand into the northeast frontiers.

Before the fateful battle of Saraighat, there was the battle of Araibol which was fought on August 5, 1669, in the Alaboi Hills near Dadara in North Guwahati.

History said that Mughal emperor Aurangzeb had ordered the invasion in 1669 under his ally Rajput Raja Ram Singh I. While the Mughals preferred an open battle, Borphukan engaged in guerrilla warfare, assaulting the invaders and then falling back until Ram Singh I unleashed his entire forces on the Ahoms, defeating them in the Battle of Alaboi.

Following the loss in Alaboi, Ahom fighters under the leadership of Borphukan engaged the Mughals in a naval battle, known as the battle of Saraighat and defeated the Mughal army.

Currently, Lachit Borphukan’s extraordinary valour has been honoured by the National Defence Academy (NDA) which awards a gold medal in his name every year since 1999 to the best cadet. A bust of Lachit also stands at the NDA’s entrance.

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