GUWAHATI: Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman, in presence of Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, on Wednesday, inaugurated the three-day celebrations of the 400th birth anniversary of the 17th century Ahom General Lachit Borphukan at Vigyan Bhawan organized centrally in New Delhi. 

Speaking at the event, union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman congratulated Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma for making a comprehensive attempt for the first time in making the rest of the country aware of a personality as towering as Lachit Borphukan.  

Referring to Lachit Borphukan as a “total patriot”, she said that it is important for every Indian to know about his indomitable display of valour and courage, along with strategy that he displayed, in the battlefield. 

The union finance minister, while making an appeal to the government of Assam to organise similar events highlighting the Ahom era in various parts of the country said that she would request the union ministry of culture to co-operate with the Assam government in this regard. 

Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman also cut the ribbon to mark the inauguration of an exhibition displaying artefacts starting from the reigns of Kumar Bhaskar Varman.  

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Appreciating the tradition of writing chronicles, called buranjis, and the architectural uniqueness as is found in the ‘moidams’ of Charaideo, she requested the Assam government to take all necessary measures for the preservation and protection of this cultural heritage. 

Addressing the inaugural ceremony, Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, paying rich tributes to the great Ahom general, said that the saga of courage, patriotism and sacrifice displayed by Lachit Borphukan is undoubtedly one of the most glorious chapters of Indian history.  

It was Lachit’s leadership and generalship in the Battle of Saraighat of 1671 that ensured the continuation of Ahom rule, which in turn led to the preservation of indigenous Assamese identity and culture, the Assam chief minister stated.  

Had the Ahoms succumbed to the invading Mughals, the unique cultural identity of not only Assam but that of the entire Southeast Asia would have been different, the Assam CM said 

It is, therefore, important that Lachit Borphukan is accorded his due place in history in the manner other great warriors and monarchs of ancient and mediaeval period have been accorded, he said. 

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The Assam chief minister also lauded the Ahom rule for providing political stability and unity to Assam for the first time, that too “in a period when instability and destruction of indigenous Indian cultural identity by the Islamic invaders had become the norm in other parts of the Indian subcontinent”.  

Despite such glorious saga, however, the Ahom rule and generalship of commanders such as Lachit Borphukan have not been discussed, written or researched upon by prominent historians, the Assam chief minister said.  

He also expressed hope that the initiatives such as these would go a long way in reversing this trend. 

The Assam chief minister further said that the initiative to centrally organize Lachit’s birth anniversary in the national capital would make the people of India realize that “India had better kings and monarchs than Aurangzeb”. 

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