Guwahati: On the pious occasion of Assam Day, the Union Minister of Ports, Shipping & Waterways and Ayush, Sarbananda Sonowal, participated in a thought-provoking celebration at his official residence in New Delhi on Friday.
Leading luminaries, thought leaders of Indian History, prominent academicians, including renowned Historian & Senior Journalist Hindol Sengupta; Vice Chancellor of JNU, Shantishree Dhulipudi Pandit; Eminent Academician, Authority of Indian Intellectual Tradition; Former Chancellor Mahatma Gandhi Antarrashtriya Hindi Vishwavidyalaya; Wardha, Former Chairperson, Indian Studies of Advanced Studies, Shimla; Former Pro Vice-Chancellor, JNU, Prof Kapil Kapoor; along with the Chairman, Special Centre for the Study of Northeast India, JNU, Prof Vinay Kumar Rao shared their views on Assam and its role in building the idea of India – from a historical as well as a contemporary context.
Setting the context to the top-of-the-line discussion on the role of Assam and Northeast, Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal said, “Today on the pious occasion of Assam Day, we pay our sincere homage to the great unifier & the founder of the great Ahom dynasty in Assam, Swargadeo Saulung Sukapha. This great soul’s priceless contribution to unifying the various communities to build the greater Assamese society remains the cornerstone of our identity. Swargadeo Sukapha is a symbol of unity, good governance, and bravery for every Asomiya to draw inspiration. The great king & founder of the Ahom dynasty displayed a rare combination of intellect, courage, vision, and unifier, which helped him become one of Assam’s most significant leaders ever. Under his stewardship, the Assamese society worked to become Atmanirbhar as it started manufacturing various weapons, tools, and goods that made the community an invincible military power. This strategic genius empowered us to regularly thwart any foreign invasion including the multiple ones by the Mughals. The vision and value system that the great Swargadeo Sukapha ingrained while building the greater Assamese society still helps us – the Assamese organisation – to represent our society and Assam on the national and international stage with great pride”.
The Vice Chancellor of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), Prof. Shantishree Dhulipudi Pandit, highlighted India’s forgotten dynasties that contributed immensely to protecting and enriching the nation. She talked about the Ahoms, Cholas, Mauryas and others. JNU, one of India’s leading universities, is always ready to welcome new ideas that would contribute to highlighting the brave warriors and the History of Assam as well as the entire North East region, remarked Prof Pandit.
Prof. Kapil Kapoor spoke about the great Ahoms & how they protected the entire Northeast region from brutal invasions. Prof Kapoor also said about the ancient historical connections that the people of the Northeast shared with central India. He references Mahabharata and other important treaties that carry witnesses of the Pan-Indian approach of the Kings of the Northeast.
The Chairman of the Special Centre for the Study of Northeast India, Prof Vinay Kumar Rao, spoke about the journey of the Ahom kingdom. He touched upon the Ahom dynasty’s role in giving Assam’s contemporary cultural and geographical shape. Prof Rao also stressed the importance of preserving the monuments representing the glorious years of the Ahom kingdom.
Leading intellectual & eminent historian Hindol Sengupta focused on the distortion of Indian History, from where many names of the brave warriors of India, including the Ahoms, were erased to colonise the Indian minds. To further elaborate on this, he said that such colonisation made people unaware of many notable historical occasions like the rise of the Ahom dynasty and how Sukapha played a pivotal role in building a formidable foundation in Assam. His words emphasised the importance of the resurrection of true Indian History, where the Indians will read about their victories, not their defeats.
The thought-provoking meet was attended by intellectuals and thought leaders from different streams, including Professors, Head of Departments from other faculties of JNU as well as Delhi University; scholars from leading think tanks; academicians, technocrats as well as senior bureaucrats from the Assamese society based in Delhi NCR, representatives from Assam Association Delhi (AAD), Assam Association Gurgaon (AAG) and Assam Association NOIDA among other senior officials of various ministries were present on occasion.