The three day-long celebration of 400th birth anniversary of Ahom General Lachit Barphukan will begin in New Delhi on November 23, 2022.
Who are the Ahoms?
- Ahom, tribe that ruled much of Assam from the 13th century until the establishment of British rule in 1838.
- Their power in Assam reached its peak during the reign of King Rudra Singh (1696–1714). They originated in the Chinese province of Yunnan and began migrating into Indo-China and northern Myanmar (Burma) in the first centuries AD. Their original language is now extinct, and they speak Assamese.
- Ahoms or or Tai-Ahom is an ethnic group found today in the Indian states of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh.
- The founders of the Ahom kingdom had their own language and followed their own religion. Over the centuries, the Ahoms accepted the Hindu religion and the Assamese language.
- The Ahoms embraced the language, religion and rituals of the communities living here — they did not impose theirs on those living here.
About Lachit Borphukan –
- He was born on November 24, 1622, the day is celebrated by the people of Assam and the nation as Lachit Diwas.
- He was originally named Lachit Deca and was in the early 17th century at Betioni in the Golaghat district of modern Assam. Born to Momai Tamuli, who later rose to become the first Governor of Upper Assam and Commander-in-Chief of the Ahom army (Borbarua), Borphukan enjoyed a comfortable upbringing. Momai Tamuli arranged for his education in humanities, military science, and scriptures.
- Before taking the role of the supreme commander of the army Borphukan held various posts of eminence such as Superintendent of the Royal Horses or Ghora Barua, Commander of the Strategic Simulgarh Fort, and Superintendent of the Royal Household Guards or Dolaksharia Barua. He was also made the scarf bearer aka Soladhara Barua of the Ahom King which is a position equivalent to a Private Secretaryship. Under the Ahom king Chakradhwaj he was finally appointed as the Commander-in-Chief of the Ahom Army.
- The Battle of Saraighat for which Borphukan is popularly attributed to was fought on the banks of Brahmaputra. The Mughal army consisted of 30,000 infantry, 15,000 archers, 18,000 Turkish cavalries, 5,000 gunners, and over 1,000 canons. Borphukan knew that they would not be able to defeat these vast armies with regular warfare. Therefore the braveheart used tactics of guerrilla warfare and wise terrain choices and led the Ahom army to a decisive victory.
- The Ahom hero was also offered a bribe of one lakh to abandon his army, such was the valor and power of Borphukan. The Mughals knew that they would not stand a chance against the Ahom army if it was led by Borphukan and this was also proven in the battle. When Borphukan was grievously injured and the Ahoms started to withdraw, it was his clarion call that roused the determination and will of the Ahom army. He said, “If you want to go back you are free, but I even in spite of my hurt will fight until death. Go back and tell king Chakradhwaj that I fought with determination till my last breath!”
- Ever since 1999, the National Defence Academy (NDA) has been conferring the best passing cadet with the “Lachit Borphukan gold medal.”