As the Assam Government is celebrating the 400th birth anniversary of Mahaveer Lachit Barphukan in the national capital in a grand way back home in Assam, several questions put by the so-called left liberals are doing the rounds in the social media. Who was the brave soul Lachit? Was he only an Assamese warrior, or was he a brave Bharatiya Veer? In the meantime, I got a call from one of my journalist friends based in Mumbai. The gentleman who happens to be a student of History asked me, how come I never read about Lachit Barphukan in my textbooks? I replied Lachit was the glory of a true Bharatiya warrior, hidden by left historians in Independent India.
Raktim Pator, author of the book Maharaja Prithu and a young historian from Assam, explains- Throughout the period of Muslim rule in India, there was stiff and continuous resistance from Hindu kingdoms across the country. The Muslim rulers centred in Delhi and never succeeded in subjugating all parts of India. There was resistance by Rajputs, Martha, Oriya as well as the Assamese. From the first Muslim invasion under Bakhtiyar Khilji in 1206 to the late 18th century, the people of Assam successfully defended their territory 22 times. There were many heroes who were instrumental in the fight against Muslim imperialism. Maharaja Prithu and Mahabir Lachit Barphukan were among them. In fact, the History of Assam is full of the great deeds of warriors who fought for their swadharma and Swadesh against a force of fanatics. However, the left historians deliberately hid these glorious chapters of our History from common people primarily because it would reveal the valour of Hindu warriors. They have created a narrative that Mughal and other Muslim rulers were secular, and they never attempted to Islamise India. But in reality, they imposed a religious tax on non-Muslims, invaded Hindu kingdoms, demolished Hindu temples, offered high ranks to those who accepted Islam, offered tax-free lands for those converted to Islam and forcefully abducted Hindu girls for religious conversion. All these anti-Hindu policies clearly suggest that the Muslim rulers in India were on a mission to convert India into a Muslim empire. Nevertheless, they were successfully defeated by many Hindu warriors.
A Nation Builder and True Patriot
Lachit was undoubtedly a national hero of India. His valour defended Assam, North East and South East Asia from Mughal imperialism. He brought almost all the communities of North East India under one banner to resist the Mughals, which is undoubtedly a trait of Indian nationalism.
But Left historians successfully downplayed the greatest victory of Bharatiya Veer against the Islamic invasion in Assam only. Since Veer Shivaji was from the country’s mainland, so it was almost impossible for them to delete his part. But because Veer Lachit was from far-off part of the country, it was easy for the left historian to hide his glory so that it doesn’t reach the common Indians.
Dr Subhajit Chaudhury, General Secretary of Itihas Sankalan Samiti Assam and Head of Section and Academic Affairs IIT Guwahati, briefs; The concept and process of nation-building is a diversified phenomenon. It refers to the all-round development of a nation. The first and foremost basic requirement is to have love & affection towards the nation. The amount of love and commitment shown by Veer Lachit Barphukan is to be kept in the heart and soul of every citizen so that the same feeling can be reflected in the assigned job whatsoever. Secondly, the necessity to learn the strategy of enemies and accordingly make a plan is even required in the present day. Thirdly, the act of involvement in the war with boats is reminiscent of ancient Indian warships, which were termed Agramandira (study of Ancient naval architecture might lead to enhance the naval architecture and might lead to new dimension of research in the same field, Ref. book entitled Indian Shipping by Dr Radha Kumud Mookherjee, Orient Loongman, London,1912), the involvement of waterways even today can reduce transportation cost. It may be added here that the border of the country can also be secured if the river-border can be strengthened (Dhubri and Karimganj district of the state of Assam can be well mentioned.) Apart from the above, the war tactics adopted according to the situation will be studied as a reference in Military and Defence Research.
Finally, it is common to all such glory of the past of Indian History of resistance by Indians in terms of bravery and courage; the heroic act of Lachit Barphukan is also to be mentioned, which gives positive vibes amongst the future generations of Bharat.
A Dream for a Virat Hindu Rashtra
As we are celebrating the 400th birth year of Veer Lachit, a section led by the left-liberals is still trying to create a dilemma on the great soul. Was he a Hindu warrior, like Veer Shivaji, Maharana Pratap? Or was Lachit only an Ahom Assamese General? But History has some befitting replies for them. Professor Raktim Pator explains-Veer Lachit also drew inspiration from the Hindu goddess Kamakhya Devi for the war. Ahom soldiers observed all the rituals and consulted astrologers before war’s commencement—the custom followed at all the Hindu kingdoms across India. It suggests that Lachit, like other Ahom rulers and commanders, was a Hindu warrior who fought for swadharma and swadesh to save the people from the onslaught of Muslim fanaticism perpetuated by Mughal rulers.
Dr Subhajit Chaudhury added- many aspects which got revealed out of research in the recent past related to Lachit Borphukan. The Ahom commander strictly followed the Bharatiya Kalaganana – a Hindu Calendar. Researchers found that Lachit asked his astrologer to find a suitable time for an attack on the Mughal Army. Once the astrologer declared the date and time, he only staged the attack. The knowledge of naval warships, which were used in ancient Indus Valley civilisation, is found in the Saraighat battle. As the commander of the Ahom army, Lachit Barphukan thoroughly studied the Indus valley naval practices to defeat the mighty Mughal. Studies suggested that Veer Lachit Barpukhan is an Assamese Hindu commander in Chief of the brave Ahom Kingdom.
Dr Gyanendra Barman, Professor of Cotton University Guwahati and a nationalist thinker, explains- Lachit, a stern devotee of Maa Kamakhya, worshipped Maa Kamakhya before going into the battlefield and fighting Aurangzeb’s Aurangzeb’s Army. The Ahoms established their kingdom in 1228 in Assam. Later got initiated into Hinduism. The Ahom Swargadeo(monarch) patronised the Shakti Piths of Assam and built temples. It may be mentioned here that Assam has a long tradition of ”Mahisa Mardini Durga Puja’Puja’ along with Vaishnavaite and Shaivite traditions. The Ahom also patronised some of the Vaishnavite Satra institutions. The mighty Ahom King Rudrasingha (1696-1714) dreamt of a “Virat Hindu Rashtra”.He sent emissaries to different Hindu kings to form a united Hindu force. Unfortunately, he died before bringing into force his vision.
My Uncle is not greater than my country
Veer Lachit was a super strategist. After the sad loss of 10 thousand Army in the battle of Alaboi with the Mughal Army, Lachit came up with some foolproof war strategy to defeat the 60 thousand-strong Aurangzeb army. Dr Subhajit Chaudhury describes-The entire region was well-known for rivers and boats and was one of the major modes of transportation.
Lachit Barphukan took both river and boat as resources to make them useful in war as Mughals were never conversant with river ways or in naval war. He took full advantage of the river and boats and mobilised the trained boatmen into soldiers within a short span of time. General Lachit also took the help of indigenous people and mobilised the manpower with a slogan to save the motherland from the invader Mughal. The indigenous people from different communities, such as Boro, Kochrajbongshi, Tiwa, Rabha, Garo, Karbi and many others, joined the Ahoms by providing their boats as well. It is estimated that 33000 boats were used in a series of attacks to stop and defeat the Mughals forever from this entire Uttar Purbo Bharat. The battle of Saraighat turned out to be the full stop of the journey of Islamisation of the countries of Southeast Asia. Lastly, bamboo, which is in abundance, was also used to make a stockade on the bank of the river to stop the invaders. Dr Gyanendra Barman added that the Mughal invasion was not only political but also cultural.
What Aime Cesaire wrote on the effect of colonialism can best describe the intention of Mughal rule or, more specifically, the reign of Aurangzeb: “… societies drained of their essence, cultures trampled underfoot, institutions undermined, lands confiscated, religions smashed, magnificent artistic creations destroyed, extraordinary possibilities wiped out.” But the Mughals, in spite of the brutal attack on our civilisation, could not dominate the spirit of India. As the poet Matthew Arnold wrote: “She let the legion thunder past and plunged in thought again”.
In different parts of Bharat, the Mughals resisted, Islamic invasion failed. The mighty Ahoms thwarted Islamic invasions several times in the Northeastern part of the country.
The left historians deliberately hid these glorious chapters of our History from common people, primarily because it would reveal the valour of Hindu warriors. They have created a False narrative that Mughal and other Muslim rulers were secular, and they never attempted to Islamise India
The most notable one is the “Battle of Saraighat” in 1671. Mahabir Lachit Barphukan was the General of the Ahoms. His war strategy and dedication to his motherland are unparalleled in Assam’s History. To stop the March of the Mughal Army, a fort was to be built up near Saraighat within a night. Lachit’s maternal Uncle was given the responsibility of completing the task. At midnight, Lachit saw the work was not progressing as well it should have been and the workers were seen sleeping. His maternal Uncle failed in his duty. He tried to justify the delay. Lachit at once beheaded his maternal Uncle saying, Deshatkoi momai dangar nahay (My maternal Uncle is not greater than my country”). Under his able leadership, the fort was ready within the night.
Lachit was seriously ill at the time when the Mughal invasion took place. He had a high fever. Yet he fought and guided his army to victory. The soldiers were equipped to fight both in water and on land. The women also had their share of contribution in defeating the Mughals. Unfortunately, by maliciously obscuring the bravery and vision of Lachit to the Ahom dynasty, Left historians have done a great injustice to the great warrior who fought for Bharat with Hindu pride.