On March 9, 2023, the Guinness Book of World Records handed a certificate to Assam’s Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma for the largest number of handwritten essays on Lachit Borphukan in Guwahati.
These were submitted by the people of Assam and everywhere else in the world. A total of 42,94,350 essays on the Ahom Hero were submitted.
The essays were submitted as part of the 400th Birth Anniversary of Lachit Borphukan after the Assam Government had appealed to the people to pay a tribute to the legendary army commander by writing essays on him as a part of celebrations.
In November 2022, the Assam Government launched a portal as part of an initiative where people from all parts of the world could upload essays.
Apart from the portal, the government also launched a mobile app.
People could write essays on the Ahom General and then upload the images of the handwritten essays and could print and type them too. The option of typing the essays on the portal was also accepted.
The essays could be written free-form while the government also provided a free formatted booklet on which essays were written.
Over 57 lakh essays on Lachit Borphukan were submitted during this initiative, but the Guinness World Records considered only the images of the handwritten essays as the title of the record is a photo album of the longest handwritten notes.
Therefore, 42,94,350 handwritten essays were considered for this record. The rest were scans of printed copies or directly uploaded text on the portal.
After the essays were submitted, they were thoroughly checked to confirm that they were not images of blank pages or pages with random text and this verification was accepted by the Guinness Book of World Record Authorities.
It is notable that when the essay initiative was launched, it was never aimed to make it a record. It was only an effort to get the common people to participate in the 400th anniversary of Lachit Borphukan.
The fact that it may have created a record came incidentally some time ago, during the preparation for an event specifically to create a Guinness Record, the largest number of people dancing Bihu.
The Assam Government is creating this record with over 11,000 people dancing the Bihu dance on April 14, this year the first day of Bohag Bihu.
Apart from PM Modi, the Assam government has invited all governors and chief ministers in the country along with the representatives of the G-20 to Guwahati.
The record is aiming at popularising Bihu globally. While working towards cementing the record on Bihu dance, it was envisaged that the essays on Lachit Borphukan may have also created a record.
After that, the representatives of the Guinness World Records verified the records and handed the certificate of the record to Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma at an event in Guwahati.