Prime Minister's Office
azadi ka amrit mahotsav

English rendering of PM’s speech at closing ceremony of year-long celebrations of 400th birth anniversary of Lachit Borphukan in New Delhi

Posted On: 25 NOV 2022 4:23PM by PIB Delhi

My heartiest greetings to all the people who are present here and those who have come to the capital of the country on the occasion of the 400th birth anniversary of the great hero Lachit Borphukan ji!

Governor of Assam Shri Jagdish Mukhi ji, popular Chief Minister Shri  Himanta Biswa Sarma ji, my colleague at the Center and Council of Ministers, Shri  Sarbananda Sonowal ji, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly Shri  Biswajit ji, retired Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Tapan Kumar Gogoi ji, Assam Government Minister Pijush Hazarika ji, Members of Parliament, and all the dignitaries associated with Assamese culture in the country and abroad present in this program.

At the onset, I salute the great land of Assam, which has given indomitable heroes like Lachit Borphukan to Mother India. Yesterday, the 400th birth anniversary of Veer Lachit Borphukan was celebrated across the country. On this occasion, a special three-day program has been organized in Delhi. It is my privilege that I got the opportunity to attend this program. I am told that a large number of people from Assam have also come to Delhi to participate in this program. I congratulate and extend my best wishes to all of you, the people of Assam, and 130 crore countrymen on this occasion.

Friends,

We are privileged to celebrate the 400th birth anniversary of Veer Lachit at a time when the country is celebrating the ‘Amrit Mahotsav’ of its independence. This historic occasion is a glorious chapter in the history of Assam. I salute this great tradition on this festival of India's immortal culture, valour and existence. Today there is a prevailing ambience in the country to feel proud about its heritage leaving behind the mentality of slavery. Today, India is not only celebrating its cultural diversity, but is also proudly remembering the historical heroes of its culture. Great personalities like Lachit Borphukan, the immortal children of Mother India, are our constant inspiration to fulfill the resolutions of this ‘Amrit Kaal’. We get a sense of our identity and self-respect from their life and also get the energy to dedicate ourselves to this nation. I bow to the great bravery and valour of Lachit Borphukan on this auspicious occasion.

Friends,

So many civilizations of the world were born in the thousand-year-old history of human existence. They touched great heights of success. There were numerous civilizations that seemed immortal and imperishable. But the wheel of time defeated many civilizations and shattered them. The world today assesses history based on the remains of such civilizations. But, on the other hand, this is our great India. We weathered those unexpected storms of the past. Our forefathers faced and tolerated the unimaginable terror of foreign invaders. But, India is still alive with its same consciousness, energy and cultural pride. This was possible because some personality emerged to tackle whenever there was a crisis or any challenge. In every period, saints and scholars came to protect our spiritual and cultural identity. The heroes born from the womb of Mother India fought strongly against the invaders who wanted to crush India with the force of the sword. Lachit Borphukan was also one such brave warrior of the country. He showed that forces of fanaticism and terror perish but the immortal light of Indian life remains eternal.

Friends,

The history of Assam in itself is a priceless heritage of India's cultural journey. It is an amalgamation of thought and ideology, society and culture, and beliefs and traditions. Sivasagar Sivadol, Devi Dol and Vishnu Dol built during the Ahom rule are examples of taking everyone along even today. But, if someone wants to bend us with the power of the sword, wants to change our eternal identity, then we also know how to respond to that. The land of Assam and the Northeast has been a witness to this. The people of Assam fought the invasions of Turks, Afghans and Mughals several times and drove them away. With all their might, the Mughals had captured Gauhati (now Guwahati). But, once again warriors like Lachit Borphukan came and freed Gauhati from the clutches of the tyrannical Mughal Sultanate. Aurangzeb tried every possible way to erase that humiliation of defeat, but he always failed. The bravery shown by Veer Lachit Borphukan at Saraighat was also the culmination of his immense love for the motherland. Assam had prepared each and every citizen of its empire to defend their motherland when the need arose. Each of its youth was a soldier of the soil. The courage and fearlessness of Lachit Borphukan is the identity of Assam. Therefore, we continue to say this even today हुनिसाने लोराहोत, लासितोर कोथा मुगोल बिजोयी बीर, इतिहाखे लिखा i.e., ‘children, have you heard the saga of Lachit’? The name of the Mughal-victorious hero is recorded in history.

Friends,

Our thousands of years of liveliness and continuity of our might is the history of India. But, we have been told for centuries that we have always been losers. The history of India is not just about slavery. The history of India is about the valour of warriors and emerging victorious. The history of India is about unprecedented bravery and valour against the oppressors. India's history is of victory, India's history is of war; India's history is of sacrifice and penance; India's history is of bravery, sacrifice and great tradition. But unfortunately, even after independence, we were taught the same history, which was hatched during the period of slavery. After independence, there was a need to change the agenda of the foreigners who enslaved us, but this was not done. The stories of fierce resistance to tyranny in every part of the country were deliberately suppressed. Does the bravery of Lachit Borphukan not matter? Does the sacrifice of thousands of people of Assam who fought in the war against the Mughals for the identity of the country not matter? We all know that there are countless stories of victory over tyranny during the long period of repression. There are stories of victories and sacrifice. The country is rectifying the mistake that was made earlier by not according them a place in the mainstream of history. This event in Delhi is a reflection of this change. I congratulate Himanta ji and his entire team for organizing this program in Delhi.

The Assam government has recently announced the setting up of a museum to make the bravery saga of Veer Lachit Borphukan accessible to more and more people. I am told that Himanta ji's government has also planned to set up a memorial in honour of the historical heroes of Assam. Certainly, such efforts will lead our youth and future generations in understanding the great culture of India more deeply. The Assam government has also launched a theme song to connect people with its vision. Its lyrics are also wonderful. ओखोमोर आकाखोर, ओखोमोर आकाखोर, भूटातोरा तुमि, हाहाहोर होकोटि, पोरिभाखा तुमि, i.e., ‘You are the pole star in the sky of Assam. You are the definition of courage’. Indeed, the life of Veer Lachit Borphukan inspires us to face the many current challenges facing the country. His life inspires us to give top priority to the interest of the country and not to personal interests. His life inspires us that instead of nepotism and dynasty, the country should be supreme. It is said that Veer Lachit also punished Momai (maternal uncle) for not being able to discharge his responsibility to protect the nation. He had said – “देखोत कोई, मोमाई डांगोर नोहोय” i.e., ‘Momai is not greater than the country’. In other words, it can be said that no person or relation is above nation. You can imagine the courage of even a small soldier would have grown so much when Veer Lachit's army would have heard how much their commander gives priority to the country. And friends, it is the courage that lays the foundation of victory. I am happy that today's New India is moving forward with this ideal of Nation First.

Friends,

When a nation knows its real past and true history, only then it learns from its experiences and gets the right direction for the future. It is our responsibility that our sense of history is not confined to a few decades and centuries. Today I would also like to repeat two lines of a song composed by the famous lyricist of Assam and Bharat Ratna Bhupen Hazarika. It says मोई लासिटे कोइसु, मोई लासिटे कोइसु, मुर होहोनाई नाम लुवा, लुइत पोरिया डेका डॉल i.e., ‘I am Lachit speaking. Remember my name every time, the youth on the banks of the Brahmaputra’. We can introduce the coming generations with the correct picture of history only by reminiscing repeatedly. Just a while back I saw an exhibition based on the life of Lachit Borphukan ji. It was very inspiring and educational. I also got the opportunity to release the book written on his bravery saga. People can be connected with the true history and historical events of the country only through such events.

Friends,

When I was going through the exhibition, a thought came to my mind that we can think of a grand theatre play on Lachit Borphukan on the lines of the ‘Janata Raja Natya Prayog’ on Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj by connecting the artists of Assam and the country. It is a very impressive program with about 250-300 artistes, elephants and horses taking part in it. Can we prepare such a theatrical experiment on the life of Lachit Borphukan ji and take it to every nook and corner of India. All these things give a great boost to the resolution of ‘Ek Bharat, Shreshtha Bharat’. We have to make India developed and the North East the hub of India’s growth. I am sure the 400th birth anniversary of Veer Lachit Borphukan will give strength to our resolve and the nation will achieve its goals. With this spirit, I once again express my heartfelt gratitude to the Government of Assam, Himanta ji and the people of Assam. I also feel blessed by attending this holy ceremony. I am very grateful to you.

Thank you.

DISCLAIMER: This is the approximate translation of PM’s speech. Original speech was delivered in Hindi.

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DS/VK/AK



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