Assam on Thursday paid rich tributes to Lachit Barphukan, the great General of the Ahom army who had inflicted the worst defeat on the Mughals in the Battle of Saraighat near Guwahati in 1671, a battle that has been termed as the greatest naval battle ever fought on river.
“Lachit Barphukan exemplified that to protect one’s motherland one must make all sacrifices. Lachit showed his dedication towards the motherland when he beheaded his own uncle for showing negligence while constructing a rampart to prevent the entry of the invading Mughal army into Guwahati during the Battle of Saraighat that saved the fate of Assam,” chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal said.
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Sonowal, who attended the main state programme on the Brahmaputra river-front where the state government had last year installed a 35-feet statue of the General, asked every Assamese to realise how Barphukan and his valiant army fought to save Assam from outside aggressors and draw inspiration from it.
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“Lachit Divas is the time to remember the supreme sacrifice made by our great General and his valiant army to save Assam from outside aggressors and draw inspiration from that spirit of patriotism,” Sonowal said.
The chief minister particularly appealed to the young generation of the state and asked them to learn to respect their own motherland by reading the story of Lachit Barphukan. “One must study the glorious history of the state and thereby get inspired to make Assam one of the best states of the country. The very idea of the state that Lachit defended so relentlessly must never be compromised and younger generation will have to work hard to bring about positive changes to the society,” he said.
Stating that the story of Lachit Barphukan must be taken to the global stage, Sonowal said that it was through commitment to the cause of the society that the young generation could actually immortalize the contributions of Lachit Barphukan. Emphasizing on the need to protect unity of the greater Assamese society, Sonowal said that the people must defeat the evil designs of the anti-social elements that want to divide the society. “Only then would true respect be really shown to the sacrifices made by Lachit Barphukan,” he said.
The chief minister also asked the people to keep a portrait of Lachit Barphukan in all offices, schools and other educational institutions as a mark of respect to the legend. “The people must take it a duty to inform visitors coming to the state about the role of Lachit Barphukan in Assam’s rich history,” he said.
Sonowal also took the opportunity to recall the contributions of former governor Lt Gen (Retd) SK Sinha in taking the story of Lachit Barphukan to the rest of India. “We also pay our homage to Lt Gen Sinha, who as Assam governor played a major role in installing a Lachit Barphukan statue in the National Defence Academy and institute the best cadet’s gold medal in his name there,” the chief minister said. Lt Gen (Retd) Sinha had passed away only a week ago.