Opinion

Who is Lachit Borphukan? Something the history books will never tell you!

LACHIT BORPHUKAN – Ever heard of his name? No? Do you think he is Indian? If yes, which part of India is he from? Did any of your school history books have his name? If you are still scratching your head wondering about Lachit Borphukan, start wondering who else our so-called great historians, educationists & leftists have hidden from you in an attempt to portray only Mahatma Gandhi & the Nehru Parivaar as the Saviours of India.

Probably the only place where you will hear about Lachit, other than Assam, is at the National Defense Academy in Khadakvasla, Pune, where a statue of this great general was unveiled in November, 2000. Last week we put out a blog on the greatness of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, a hero who was called a ‘brave captain’ by Pandit Nehru in his book ‘Discovery of India’.

Lachit Borphukan belonged to the same era & he was just as brave and worthy as Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. If Shivaji prevented the expansion of Aurangzeb in the Deccan & Maharashtra region, Lachit was responsible for the same beyond the Brahmaputra river, in Assam. He belonged to the Ahom Kingdom of King Swargdeo Chakradwaj Singha and was the brave General of the Ahom army. He was an expert in guerilla tactics (like Shivaji) and used them fully to defeat the huge army of Auranzeb, led by Ram Singh.

Every year November 24th is celebrated as Lachit Diwas in memory of the brave General who led his army against the Mughals at Saraighat on the Brahmaputra River (near Guwahati) and WON against them. This victory is very important because it was a victory in a war over land and water.

The Mughals had managed under their commander Mir Jhumla to conquer land upto Guwahati. If they would have crossed the Brahmaputra, they could have taken over the entire Eastern side of India. But Lachit Borphukan and his army poured water over their plans – Literally … Lachit & his brave army first drove out the Mughal garrison from the Bargoda for. Then they infiltrated a Mughal fort on the south banks of the river; this fort was the headquarters of the Mughal Governor. It is said that Ahom commandos literally neutralized the cannons there by pouring water through their mouths over the existing stock of gunpowder there. Then they launched a cannonade & aggressive attack on the fort & captured the Governor – Sayed Firoz Khan. Because of this blistering attack, the Mughals abandoned Guwahati. Lachit Borphukan went on to recover territories captured by the Mughals under Mir Jhumla.

But King Singha knew that Auranzeb would not let this defeat lying down and right enough Auranzeb sent another able commander Ram Singh to wage the war. Chakradwaj Singha chose Lachit to be his Borphukan (commander) once more. To stop the Mughals from going beyond Guwahati, Lachit ordered that the Army fortify Guwahati well. His own uncle was supervising the work. But when Lachit realized that his uncle was not doing his job sincerely & that the work was not done though the Mughals had almost reached, Lachit ordered that his uncle be beheaded. He said, “My uncle is not greater than my Motherland” thus reinforcing the teachings of the Gita that Dharma is to be upheld & protected at all costs.

Even though he was ill, he draped a shawl around himself and led his soldiers bravely to fight the war over land and water. They trounced the Mughals in the Naval battle at Saraighat in 1671, thus throwing out the Mughals from Assam completely. Unfortunately his illness took a turn for the worse after winning the war and he passed away later that year.

We salute this brave son of Sanatan Bharat. Jai Hind !!!


Rati Hegde

 

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