Prime Minister Narendra Modi has ended the distance that used to be there between North East India and “mainstream India”, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said at an Assam government event in Delhi on Thursday.
Shah was speaking at a session on the second day of the Assam government’s three-day celebration of the 400th birth anniversary of Ahom general Lachit Barphukan in Delhi. November 24 was observed as Lachit Diwas in his memory.
Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, former Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, former Chief Justice of India and Rajya Sabha MP Ranjan Gogoi were among those who were present at the session along with Shah.
“Today, there is peace in North East India, development has reached North East India, and the distance that used to be there between North East India and mainstream India has been ended by Modi ji. He has connected the North East through railways, through air routes, through development. Even greater than this, Modi ji has connected through the heart. The whole North East is feeling that it is a part of India and all of India is feeling that from Pragjotishpur to the Battle of Saraighat today, we should not view the North East as other,” the minister said.
“We are a part of the same history, we are people of one land, and we are part of the same country, it should be seen in this way. I think in the last 8 years, we have had a lot of success. All the separatist militants have given up their weapons and entered the mainstream. This is the time to teach the whole country’s history to the children of the North East and join the country and once again make a strong India through history, culture, language and religion,” Shah added.
Lachit Barphukan is best known for leading the Ahom troops which fought off and defeated Mughal troops at the Battle of Saraighat in the outskirts of Guwahati in 1671. Shah referred to this period of history as the country’s “most difficult time” and likened Lachit Barphukan to Shivaji.
“During our country’s most difficult time… at that time, there was war waging in every part of the country against Aurangzeb. Somewhere in the south, Shivaji Maharaj was giving power to the idea of self rule. In the north, Guru Gobind Singh ji was fighting against him. In the west, in Rajasthan, Veer Durgadas Rathore was fighting. So, in that way, during that same period, Lachit Barphukan was also fighting. At the same time, in different parts of the country, the different brave warriors raised their voices against the fanatical Mughals and because of this Mughals were defeated and ended, and once again the country moved towards freedom and self rule,” he said.