Lachit Barphukan: The leader from Assam who fought Mughals and refused to give up even when everyone else did
New Delhi, Nov 24: Today, Assam is celebrating the 400th birth anniversary of Lachit Barphukan and it has come at a time when India is celebrating her 75th Anniversary of Indian Independence. On this occasion, Prime Minister Narendra Modi remembered him as a 'visionary leader'.
"Greetings on Lachit Diwas. This Lachit Diwas is special because we mark the 400th birth anniversary of the great Lachit Borphukan. He epitomised unparalleled courage. He placed the well-being of people above everything else and was a just as well as visionary leader," the Prime Minister tweeted.
The history of Assam's fight against the invaders will not be complete without mentioning Lachit Barphukan, a commander in the Ahom kingdom. He was a brave warrior who fought against the Mughals and is often remembered for his leadership in the 1671 Battle of Saraighat.
Who is Lachit Borphukan?
Born on 24 November 1622 at Charaideo in Assam, Lachit Borphukan was the youngest son of Momai Tamuli Borbarua and Kunti Moran. His father was the commander-in-chief of the Ahom army.
The Mughal-Ahom conflict first began in 1615 and continued afterwards. He grew up in this high-charged atmosphere and he got his early education at his own residence. He completed his education in humanities and military strategies. Besides his father appointed a domestic teacher to teach him about Ahom scripture, Hindu religion, economics, etc.
Lachit Borphukan was appointed to the post of commander of 'Hanstidhara Tamuli'. Gradually, he managed to rise to the position of commander-in-chief. When Mughal emperor Aurangzeb invaded Assam under the leadership of Mirjumla, King Chakradhwaj Singha entrusted Lachit the responsibility of leading the army against the Mughals who held Guwahati.
How he Inspired his Army and Defeated Mughals?
With his bravery and strategies, he managed to recover Guwahati and successfully defended Mughals during the Battle of Saraighat. Interestingly, he led the army which was unprepared for the battle.
Emperor Aurangzeb after being informed about the defeat, sent an expeditionary force from Dhaka. Due to the numerical and technological inferiority of the Ahom forces, Lachit resorted to guerilla tactics which successfully withered away from the Mughal army.
During the last stage of the Battle of Saraighat, when the Mughals attacked his army by the river in Saraighat, the Assamese soldiers began to lose their will to fight. Some people retreated. Though Lachit was seriously ill he boarded a boat with seven boats advanced against the Mughal fleet.
He said, "If you (soldiers) want to flee, flee. The King has given me a task here and I will do it well. Let the Mughals take me away. You report to the King that his general fought well following his orders. " His soldiers rallied and a desperate battle ensued on the River Brahmaputra. Lachit's army emerged victorious as the Mughals were forced to retreat from Guwahati.
About a year later, Lachit died due to natural issues. His remains lies in rest at the Lachit Maidaam built in 1672 by Swargadeo Udayaditya Singha at Hoolungapara, 16 km from Jorhat.
To remember his bravery and courage, Assam observes Lachit Divas is celebrated in Assam every year on November 24.