Speaking at the inauguration of three-day celebrations of the 400th birth anniversary of the 17th century Ahom Army General Lachit Barphukan at Vigyan Bhawan organized in New Delhi on Wednesday said , “Lachit Barphukan’s contribution towards protecting Assam from Mughal aggression is one of the most glorious chapters of our history:
Sarma, paying rich tributes to the great Ahom army general, said that the saga of courage, patriotism and sacrifice displayed by Lachit Barphukan is undoubtedly one of the most glorious chapters of Indian history. Lachit’s leadership and generalship in the battle of Saraighat of 1671 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 that of the 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 ancient and mediaeval period 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 Jorhat district, installation of a statue of the great Ahom general at the premises of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Police Academy, among others.
Sarma also expressed his gratitude to Union Minister of Finance Nirmala Sitharaman for gracing the inaugural ceremony of the 3-day event with her presence. Referring to her a well-wisher of the people of Assam, the Chief Minister said her presence, and the scheduled presence of the Union Home Minister on Thursday and that of the Prime Minister day on Friday, are manifestations of the importance, the current dispensation at the Centre attaches towards the overall uplift of the Northeastern region.
Sitharaman appreciated 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. Referring to Lachit as a “total patriot”, she said it is important for every Indian to know about his indomitable display of valour and courage, along with strategy, in the battlefield.
The Union Finance, making an appeal 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 “moidams” of Charaideo, she requested the Government of Assam to take all necessary measures for the preservation and protection of this cultural heritage.