President Ram Nath Kovind (C) with Assam governor Jagdish Mukhi and CM Himanta Biswa Sarma

President Ram Nath Kovind addressed the 400th birth anniversary celebrations of Lachit Borphukan in Guwahati on February 25.

Speaking on the occasion, the president paid his tributes to Lachit Borphukan and the land of Assam. He described him as one of the greatest sons of Mother India.

Referring to the venue Srimanta Sankardev Kalakshetra, where the birth anniversary celebrations of Lachit Borphukan were being held, the president said that Srimanta Sankaradeva’s relentless stream of devotion, poetry and art; and the inspiring legacy of bravery and sacrifice of the extraordinary warrior Lachit Borphukan represent two great aspects of Assam’s glorious tradition.

The president said that the land of Assam is one of the few areas where all the attempts of the invaders in the medieval period were thwarted. Mughals made repeated attempts for expanding their empire in the Northeast region.

In the battle of Alaboi in the year 1669, around 10,000 brave soldiers of Assam sacrificed their lives. After that, the feeling of patriotism got stronger. Two years later, in the battle of Alaboi, Lachit Borphukan retaliated and not only Aurangzeb’s army was defeated in the historic battle of Saraighat, but that defeat proved to be the final nail in the coffin of the expansionist policies of the Mughals in the Northeast.

The president noted that many stories of Lachit Borphukan are popular among the people of Assam and his birth anniversary on November 24 is celebrated as ‘Lachit Divas’ across the state. He said that Lachit Borphukan remains a hero in the hearts of people.

He noted that the ‘Lachit Borphukan Gold Medal Award’ was instituted at the National Defence Academy, in the year 1999 which is given annually to the best cadet. A statue of this great warrior was also established on the NDA campus. He expressed confidence that Lachit Borphukan would continue to be an inspiration for the brave soldiers of our country.

The president said that the country is celebrating the 75th anniversary of its independence. The Indian government is organising several programmes under the ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’. The people and especially youth are participating in these programmes with enthusiasm.

The president appreciated Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and governor Jagdish Mukhi for organizing the 400th birth anniversary of Lachit Borphukan.

He also appreciated the Assam government’s decision to build a war memorial in the Alaboi battlefield and to celebrate August 5 as ‘Alaboi Sangram Diwas’. He said that through such events, the younger generation gets an opportunity to connect with their heritage and inculcate the spirit of patriotism.

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