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Every Indian must know Lachit's courage and valour: Nirmala Sitharaman

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said, “It is important for every Indian to know about Lachit Barphukan’s indomitable display of valour and courage, along with strategy, on the battlefield”.


Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  24 Nov 2022 2:35 AM GMT

Had it not been for Lachit, the cultural identity of not only Assam but of entire Southeast Asia would have been ravaged by the Mughals: CM

NEW DELHI: Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said, "It is important for every Indian to know about Lachit Barphukan's indomitable display of valour and courage, along with strategy, on the battlefield". She said terming Lachit Barphukan a "total patriot".

The Union Finance Minister inaugurated the three-day celebrations of the 400th birth anniversary of the 17th century Ahom Army General Lachit Barphukan at Vigyan Bhawan organized centrally in New Delhi today.

The Union Finance Minister congratulated Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma for making a comprehensive attempt for the first time in making the rest of the country aware of a personality as towering as Lachit Barphukan.

The Union Finance Minister, appealing to the Government of Assam to organize similar events highlighting the Ahom era in various parts of the country, said that she would request the Union Ministry of Culture to cooperate with the State government in this regard.

Appreciating the tradition of writing chronicles, called "buranjis", and the architectural uniqueness as is found in the 'maidams' of Charaideo, she requested the Government of Assam to take all necessary measures for the preservation and protection of this cultural heritage.

Sitharam said, "I am extremely impressed by the culture in Assam and the way its history has been engraved and preserved. The heroics of Lachit Barphukan inspired and motivated me."

Addressing the inaugural ceremony, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma paid rich tributes to the great Ahom general and said that the saga of courage, patriotism and sacrifice displayed by Lachit Barphukan is undoubtedly one of the most glorious chapters of Indian history. It was Lachit's leadership and generalship in the battle of Saraighat of 1671 that ensured the continuation of Ahom rule, which in turn led to the preservation of indigenous Assamese identity and culture, the Chief Minister stated. Had the Ahoms succumbed to the invading Mughals, the unique cultural identity of not only Assam but of entire Southeast Asia would have been different. It is, therefore, important that Lachit Barphukan is accorded his due place in history in the manner other great warriors and monarchs of the ancient and mediaeval periods have been accorded.

The Chief Minister also lauded the Ahom rule for providing political stability and unity to Assam for the first time, that too in a period when instability and destruction of indigenous Indian cultural identity by the Islamic invaders had become the norm in other parts of the Indian subcontinent. Despite such a glorious saga, however, the Ahom rule and generalship of commanders such as Lachit Barphukan have not been discussed, written or researched upon by prominent historians, the Chief Minister said. He also expressed hope that the initiatives such as these would go a long way in reversing this trend.

The Chief Minister further said that the initiative to centrally organize Lachit's birth anniversary in the national capital would make the people of India realize that "India had better kings and monarchs than Aurangzeb".

The Chief Minister also spoke about measures such as the upcoming grand memorial at the Maidam of Lachit Barphukan in the Jorhat district, and the installation of a statue of the great Ahom general at the premises of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Police Academy, among others.

Later in the day, a panel discussion on the subject 'Ahom saga of hope, skills and courage', moderated by former Chief Secretary Jishnu Barua and participated by eminent personalities such as Lt General Rana Pratap Kalita, former Director General of Police Prakash Singh, Kapil Kapoor, Samundragupta Kashyap, Kuldeep Patowary and Chandan Kumar Sarma, was held at the same venue.

Prakash Singh emphasized the legacy that Lachit Barphukan inherited from his political ancestors which made the edifice of patriotism, statesmanship and valour of the Ahom general. He also mentioned the appreciation Lachit Barphukan received from Mughal court historians. The retired police officer, who served in Assam during the late eighties, also appreciated the initiatives for giving Lachit Barphukan his due place in the history of India where he added that most of the legendary heroes of other states of India are still waiting for their due recognition.

Dr Chandan Sharma also referred to various manuscripts, and old books underlining that cherishing the values, ideals and ethos of Lachit Barphukan has been a legacy in the socio-political life of the state. To substantiate his points he referred to how the name and reminiscence of Lachit galvanized and unified public opinion of Assamese people during the period of crisis including the freedom movement.

Lt General Rana Pratap Kalita emphasized the relevance of Lachit Barphukan's war skills in present context. He said, "A successful military general knows to take the advantage of topography and weather available to him. Lachit Barphukan successfully did it in the naval battle of Saraighat".

Also Read: Several Union Ministers to Attend Lachit Divas Celebrations in New Delhi

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