Time is not constant, truth eventually comes out. No matter how many efforts are made to make the people embrace establishments, sponsored and accused by deceit-force, they do not last for a long period. As soon as it gets favourable opportunities and environment, its progeny society connected with umbilical relations with the country definitely returns to its original and natural identity and consciousness. These days the Indian society has also become alert and conscious about its national and cultural identity. It wants to cherish its historical heritage and know in detail about the famous heroes-superheroes in Lok-Manas. It did not agree with the history so far presented to us by the academic world and history textbooks. It finds it incomplete, single-minded and suffering from colonial mentality. It does not see its culture, religion, philosophy, Indian knowledge-tradition, folk and literature etc. in these books. Rather, reading them develops an inferiority complex, they communicate national forgetfulness and self-respectfulness.
History Of Bravery
In history books, invaders have been praised a lot, but the brave sons, warriors and superheroes of the country, who resisted them with courage and determination, have been grossly neglected. In these, an attempt has been made to prove defeat as India’s destiny and reality. Whereas the world knows and believes that this is the only country which has been almost successful and able to maintain and preserve the continuity of its ancient and eternal culture. Could any defeated civilisation protect its values, ideals, traditions and prevalent beliefs? Absolutely not. The truth is that India’s history is not of defeat, but of struggle and bravery. It is a history of sacrifice, courage and determination. There is no part of the country where foreign invaders have been allowed to rule unhindered and safe.
In every period, there were such saints sages and great warriors in this country, who kept the flame of freedom burning against these invaders and as soon as they became weak, freed their state and people from their injustice and tyranny. But unfortunately, British historians – James Mill, John Malcolm, Mount Stuart Elphinstone, John Bright, Sir John Strachey, etc. created historical misconceptions, created myths and it was done for the fulfilment of vested interests and pseudo-secularist politics and the name was kept the same after Independence. Not only were they kept intact, but facts were tampered with, ideological fortification and grouping were done to prove those imaginary myths and concepts as true and authentic.
Bringing Alive Unsung Heroes
It is commendable that the heroes and warriors coming from different parts of the country, who were conspired and pushed into the pit of oblivion, are now being discussed among the common man with the initiative and efforts of the Central Government in this golden period of the Amrit Mahotsav of Independence. They are becoming part of the public discourse. The desire and eagerness of the common people to know more about them has intensified.
Credit should be given to Prime Minister Modi, his senior Cabinet colleagues and the Chief Ministers of BJP-ruled States that they are bringing alive personalities and actions of unsung heroes and heroines of history to the fore through various programmes. Whether it is to remember great freedom-fighter Govind Guru, who came from the Bhil community, through the Mangarh Dham ki Gaurav-Gatha programme or unveiling a 108-foot-tall bronze-statue of Nadarprabhu Kempegowda, the founder of the city of Bengaluru, or launching year-long celebrations of the 125th birth anniversary of legendary freedom-fighter Alluri Sitarama Raju at Bhimavaram in Andhra Pradesh in July this year, or at the Mumbai Raj Bhavan in June to preserve the memory of revolutionaries like Basudev Balwant Phadke, Chapekar brothers, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Veer Savarkar, Baba Rao Savarkar, Krantiguru Lahuji Salve, Anant Laxman Kanhere, Bhikhaji Cama and Rajguru by launching ‘Kranti Gatha Gallery’ or Bhagwan Birsa Munda in Ranchi. Be it inaugurating the Smriti Udyan cum Freedom Fighters Museum or laying the foundation stone of Maharaja Suheldev Memorial in Bahraich and Panipat Sangram Museum in Panipat in Uttar Pradesh, the present Central Government is at least active towards these glorious personalities and the chapters of the past and looks conscious, sensitive and devoted. On the one hand, all such efforts spread national consciousness and on the other hand, they develop a sense of pride, self-respect, devotion and dutifulness towards the nation within the youth.
Credit should be given to Prime Minister Modi, his senior Cabinet colleagues and the Chief Ministers of BJP-ruled States that they are bringing alive personalities and actions of unsung heroes and heroines of history to the fore through various programmes
On November 25, Prime Minister Modi paid tribute to Veer Lachit Barphukan, the great commander of the Ahom Empire, known as the Shivaji of the North East, on his 400th birth anniversary, in a series of events giving due respect to these warriors-heroes of history who were pushed into the background by conspiracy and cunningness. This was done to make sure that they are remembered with devotion and inspire the youth to imbibe the spirit of ‘nation first, nation paramount’ from their lives. It is notable that after being entrusted with the responsibility of repairing a fort, Lachit had also given death sentence to his maternal Mama for delaying it without any reason and said that “My Mama doesn’t matter more than the nation”.
Saving Southeast Asia from Mughals
Remember that Veer Lachit Barphukan did an unprecedented job of saving not only Northeast India, but entire Southeast Asia from the religious bigotry and blindness of the contemporary Mughal Sultanate. In the uninterrupted expansion of the power of the Mughals beyond Bengal, he stood like a strong rampart. With the help of his limited resources, small arms and boats, he took various tribes along with him and fought strongly against the huge army of Mughals and defeated them badly in the battle of Saraighat. This defeat was so great that after that no Mughal ruler could dare to cast an evil eye on Assam. Be it Akbar or Aurangzeb, Qutubuddin Aibak or Iltutmish, Bakhtiyar Khilji or Iwaz Khali, Muhammad bin Tughlaq or Mir Jumla, they had to bow before the bravery and valour of the Ahom kings in Assam. From 1206 to 1671 AD, Assam was attacked 22 times by Muslim invaders, but permanent suzerainty over it remained a dream for them. It is unfortunate that the history textbooks are silent on such a great Ahom kingdom and its majestic and mighty generals. This silence becomes more painful because for almost 600 years from 1228 to 1826, Assam was ruled by the Ahom rulers.
It is to be known that the Ahom kingdom was founded by Sukafa in the beginning of the 13th century. According to Edward Gate, the Muslims attacked the Ahoms for the first time in 1527, but were badly defeated. The Ahom soldiers took away 40 horses and 20 cannons from them. Another battle took place at Temani. There also the Ahoms were victorious. Here he also killed the Muslim commander. In 1535 another war broke out between the Ahoms and the Muslims. In that too, 1500 to 2500 invaders including the commander of the Muslims were killed. Between 1603 and 1641, during the reign of Maharaja Pratap Singh, there was all-round progress in the Ahom state, during which many roads were built, ponds were dug and many works of innovation were completed. During his tenure in 1615 AD, the Mughals invaded Assam. About 10,000 soldiers and horsemen were involved in the Mughal army in this attack. This attack was carried out under the leadership of Syed Hakam on the orders of the contemporary Governor of Bengal, Sheikh Qasim. In this war too, after the initial defeat, the Ahom kingdom finally won. The Ahom army made a sudden attack in the night and captured the elephants, horses, cannons, ammunition, boats etc. of the invading party. Mir Jumla, the Subedar of Bengal, then invaded Assam in 1662 and achieved partial success in establishing hegemony over Guwahati, as a result of which the contemporary Ahom king Jayadhwaj Singh had to accept humiliating terms of treaty with the Muslim invaders in 1663. Under this, he had to send one of his daughters to the royal harem and had to give 20 thousand tolas of gold, three lakh tolas of silver and 130 elephants to the Mughals. His successor Chakradhwaj Singh was very upset about this defeat and treaty. He vowed that he would take revenge from the Mughals. He reorganised his army and made Lachit Barphukan the commander. Barphukan re-conquered Guwahati and made it his headquarters and started attacking the Mughals.
Guerrilla war with Mughals
When Aurangzeb came to know about the victory of Barphukan, he sent a huge army under the leadership of Raja Ram Singh. The army consisted of 30,000 soldiers, 18,000 horsemen and 15,000 archers. The Ahoms were not prepared to face such a large army. So, he adopted the strategy of engaging the Mughals in the negotiations for a treaty for a few months. On the other hand, by showing the fear of their power, the Mughals wanted to impose arbitrary conditions on the Ahoms. But Lachit made a clear declaration – he would rather fight than hand over even an inch of land to the Mughals. They knew that it was not easy to fight with the Mughals in the field, so for almost two years they continued to wage a guerrilla war with the Mughals, in which sometimes the Mughals and sometimes the Ahoms suffered losses. In 1669, Barphukan had to face defeat in the war against the Mughals. But he was not one to give up, he spent two years preparing the Ahom army afresh. Here Chakradhwaj Singh died and Udayaditya Singh became the next Ahom king.
The bravery of such a great hero Lachit and his great army, which even the enemies could not stop themselves from praising with free voice, inspired the countrymen. However, historians deprived the future generation; it is not only an unfair act but also a heinous crime done intentionally
Later, Barphukan made such a strategy that he would face the Mughals at Saraighat, where the Brahmaputra River becomes extremely narrow. But unfortunately, in this war in 1671, he was badly affected by fever and could not participate directly in the war. As a result, the Mughals started getting the upper hand in the war and the feet of the Ahom soldiers started getting uprooted. Seeing his army lagging behind, Lachit jumped into the battlefield leaving the worry of illness and filled so much enthusiasm in the Ahom army that they broke down on the Mughals. In no time the whole situation turned upside down. The Mughals were defeated, the Ahom army achieved a historic victory. Munawar Khan, Commander of the naval fleet of the Mughal army, and more than 4,000 soldiers were killed in this war. The Mughal army, fighting under the leadership of Raja Ram Singh, had to retreat in fear. While appreciating the Ahom army and Lachit Barphukan, Mirza Raja Ramsingh said, “One commander controls the whole army. Every Assamese soldier is expert in boating, archery, digging trenches and handling guns and cannons. I have not seen such an all-round army in any part of India. I could not spot even a single weakness of his army, even while being involved in the battlefield.” The bravery of such a great hero Lachit and his great army, which even the enemies could not stop themselves from praising with free voice, inspired the countrymen. However, historians deprived the future generation; it is not only an unfair act but also a heinous crime done intentionally.