Lachit Borphukan

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    • Recently, the President of India launched the 400th birth anniversary celebrations of Ahom general Lachit Borphukan and laid the foundations for an Alaboi war memorial and a 150-foot bronze statue of the legendary commander.

    About Lachit Borphukan

    • Born: 24th November 1622.
      • Lachit Diwas is celebrated every year on 24th November to commemorate the heroism of Lachit Borphukan and the victory of the Assamese army at the Battle of Saraighat.
    • He was an Army General of Ahom (Assam) Kingdom and is revered as the greatest military hero of Assam.
    • He excelled in the art of Guerrilla Warfare.
    • He is known for his exemplary leadership in the Battle of Saraighat (1671), where the Ahoms defeated the Mughal forces.
    • Death: 25th April 1672.

    Steps to honour him

    • The Lachit Borphukan gold medal is awarded to the best cadet from the National Defence Academy.
      • It was instituted in 1999 to inspire defence personnel to emulate Borphukan’s heroism and sacrifices.
    • The 35-feet-tall statue of Ahom general Lachit Borphukan in the middle of the Brahmaputra in Guwahati was inaugurated by former chief minister Tarun Gogoi in 2016.

    The Battle of Alaboi

    • Ahom kings ruled large parts of what is now Assam, and parts of what are neighbouring states today, for nearly 600 years between the 13th and 19th centuries.
    • Between 1615 and 1682, the Mughal Empire made a series of attempts, under Jahangir and then Aurangzeb, to annex the Ahom kingdom. 
    • In January 1662, Mughal Governor of Bengal Mir Jumla’s forces engaged with the Ahom army and went on to occupy part of the territory under Ahom rule.
    • In 1669, Aurangzeb dispatched the Rajput Raja Ram Singh I to recapture territories won back by the Ahoms.
    • The battle of Alaboi was fought on August 5, 1969, in the Alaboi Hills near Dadara in North Guwahati  between the Ahoms and Mughals in which the Ahoms suffered severe reverses and thousands of its soldiers were killed.

    About Battle of Saraighat:

    • The battle was fought on the Brahmaputra River near Saraighat and was the last major attempt by the Mughals to extend their empire into Assam.
    • It is regarded as one of the great battles fought between the mighty Mughal and the Ahom Kingdom in 1671.
      • Ahom forces combined a frontal attack and a surprise attack from behind. They lured the Mughal fleet into moving ahead by feigning an attack with a few ships from the front. 
      • The Mughals vacated the waters behind them, from where the main Ahom fleet attacked and achieved a decisive victory.
    • The battle was a decisive one but it didn’t bring the Mughal- Ahom conflict to an end.
      • Later in the battle of Itakhuli in 1682, the Mughal presence in Assam came to an end.

    Source: IE