Need to rewrite history to free it from distortions, says Shah
Nov. 25, 2022

In News:

  • Speaking during the 400th birth anniversary of Lachit Barphukan, the famed Ahom general and an icon of Assamese nationalism, the Union Home Minister emphasised the importance of rewriting India's history to remove distortions. 

What’s in today’s article:

  • About Lachit Barphukan
  • News Summary 

Lachit Barphukan:

  • About:
    • Lachit Barphukan (1622 - 1672) was a commander and Borphukan (one of the 5 patra mantris (councillors) in the Ahom Kingdom), in the Ahom kingdom.
      • The Ahom kingdom was a late medieval kingdom in the Brahmaputra Valley in Assam.
      • It maintained its sovereignty for nearly 600 years having successfully resisted Mughal expansion in Northeast India.
    • He is well known for his leadership in the 1671 Battle of Saraighat, which ended a prolonged attempt by Mughal forces to take over the Ahom kingdom, earning him the title ‘Assam’s Shivaji’.
  • Battles of Alaboi and Saraighat:
    • Background:
      • Between 1615 and 1682, the Mughal Empire made a series of attempts, under Jahangir and then Aurangzeb, to annex the Ahom kingdom.
      • Between 1667 and 1682, the Ahoms under a series of rulers, starting with Chakradhwaj Singha, (reigned 1663-70) launched a counter-offensive to reclaim lost territories. This included the battles Lachit is remembered for.
    • About the battles:
      • In 1669, Aurangzeb dispatched the Rajput Raja Ram Singh I to recapture territories won back by the Ahoms. As a result, the battle of Alaboi was fought in the Alaboi Hills near Dadara in North Guwahati.
      • Despite relying on guerrilla warfare, Borphukan lost the Battle of Alaboi, in which 10,000 Ahoms lost their lives.
      • Unlike in Alaboi, where he was forced to fight on land, Lachit in Saraighat drew the Mughals into a naval battle.
      • In 1671, he won a decisive (ended a prolonged attempt by Mughals to take over the kingdom) battle against the mighty Mughal army of Aurangzeb (led by Ram Singh I) with a relatively smaller army, which became known as the 'Battle of Saraighat.'

News Summary - Highlights of the event:

  • The 400th birth anniversary of Lachit Barphukan unveils a new eposide of India’s history in which rulers in Assam defeated Muslim invaders in different ages and secured sovereignty of their motherland.
  • From Maharaja Prithu of Assam who defeated Bakhtiar Khilji in 1206 to Lachit Barphukan who defeated Mughals in 1671, the stories of all the valorous heroes of Assam have been unveiled before the students of history to research and explore.
  • According to the Home Minister, during the period when Lachit Barphukan raised his sword against the Mughals, Chatrapati Shivaji in the south of India, Guru Govind Singh in the north, and Veer Durgadas Rathore in Rajasthan waged the same struggle against the same enemy.
  • Lachit Barphukan had not only protected the North East, but the entire South East Asia.
  • To honour his contributions, the Lachit Barphukan award is still given to the top cadet at the National Defence Academy today.
  • Home minister said that the government is continuously working towards reviving India’s glorious history by removing distortions.
  • A nation that takes pride in its magnificent past and draws inspiration from its heroes may build a brighter future for itself and its citizens.