Vir Lachit : Remembering the ‘North Eastern Shivaji’ on his birth anniversary

At a time when the entire nation is debating Rani Padmavati and the version of history that would do justice to her legacy, the state of Assam in particular and the North Eastern region in general today only remembers one of the great sons of the soil, Lachit Borphukan.

Under Aurangzeb, the Mughal Empire saw its greatest ever expansion. However apart from Deccan, the Kamrup region of India had always alluded the Mughals and it was no different during Aurangzeb’s rule. The Mughal emperor therefore decided to launch an attack in order to annex Kamrup and make it a part of the glorious Mughal Empire.

At that time, Kamrup was ruled by the Ahom king Pratap Singha. His trusted Lieutenant was Lachit Borphukan who was asked to thwart the Mughal attack.

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The battle lines were drawn at Saraighat.

The Mughals were led by Ram Singh and Mir Jumla and the Ahome forces where under the command of Lachit Borphukan and his trusted Muslim friend Ismail Siddiqui popularly known as Bagh Hazarika.

Although the Ahoms were lesser in resources and strength of numbers, the inexperience of the Mughals gave the Ahoms an upper hand. Still due to superior resources and firearms the Mughals managed to come to the borders of the Ahom kingdom. Lachit Borphukan instructed his Army to build a mighty wall across the Saraighat to prevent the Mughal forces from crossing over. The responsibility was entrusted to his maternal uncle who was himself suffering from high fever during that period.

On the night before the battle, when Lachit came to inspect the progress of the work, to his utter dismay he found his uncle sleeping under the stars. Out of rage, he took out his sword and severed the head of his uncle in one stroke, exclaiming “dexh t ke mumai dangor nohoi”. It literally meant “my uncle is not greater than my motherland”.

As the Mughals inched closer to victory, Lachit Borphukan, despite his ill-health bravely led the forces and what followed was a fierce battle in which the Ahoms finally emerged victorious owing to their superior diplomacy, intelligence and a weak Mughal navy.

The North Eastern region of India owes a lot to the Ahoms and Lachit Borphukan. It was because of his valor that the North Eastern region stayed free from Mughal rule until being finally annexed by the British. It was because of the efforts of Lachit Borphukan that the holy land of Kamakhya and Pua Mecca did not fall to the brutal Mughals.

Assam will forever be indebted to her greatest son after Srimanta Sankardev.

(This article was written by @manashsarma343)

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