Only a nation that knows its past can chart out its future, says Modi
New Delhi, November 25, 2022
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said it is only when a nation knows its real past that it can chart out its future.
Addressing the closing ceremony of the year-long celebrations of the 400th birth anniversary of the famous General of the Royal Army of the Ahom Kingdom of Assam Lachit Borphukan, Modi said, “When a nation knows its real past, only then it can learn from its experiences and tread the correct direction for its future. It is our responsibility that our sense of history is not confined to a few decades and centuries.”
He also released a book "Lachit Borphukan - Assam's Hero who Halted the Mughals" on the occasion. In the battle of Saraighat in 1671, he had successfully staved off a long drawn-out attempt by Mughal forces under the command of Ramsingh I to annex the kingdom.
“We bow to the valorous Lachit Borphukan on his 400th birth anniversary. He played a pivotal role in preserving the culture of Assam,” he said.
“India is celebrating the 400th birth anniversary of Lachit Borphukan at a time when the country is marking 'Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav',” he pointed out.
Terming Veer Lachit’s exploits as a glorious chapter of the history of Assam, he said, “I salute this great tradition on the occasion of the festival of India’s eternal culture, eternal valour and eternal existence.”
Modi said India was in the mood to get rid of the mentality of slavery and take pride in its heritage. The country was not only celebrating its cultural diversity but also acknowledging the unsung heroes and heroines of its history.
“Immortal sons of Maa Bharati like Lachit Borphukan are the inspiration of fulfilling the resolutions of the Amrit Kaal. They make us familiar with the identity and glory of our history and also spur us to dedicate ourselves to the nation,” he added.
“In the history of human existence, of the numerous civilisations that walked the earth, many seemed imperishable, but it was the wheel of time that brought them down to their knees.
"The world today assesses history based on the remains of such civilisations, but India which faced unexpected adversities in history and withstanding the unimaginable terror of foreign invaders still stands immortal with the same energy and consciousness.
"This happened because of the fact that whenever there was a crisis, some personality emerged to tackle it. In several epochs, saints and scholars came to protect the spiritual and cultural identity of India. Bravehearts like Lachit Borphukan showed that forces of fanaticism and terror perish but the immortal light of Indian life remains eternal," he said.
Modi said Assam belongs to the precious heritage of India’s cultural journey. It is an amalgamation of thought and ideology, society and culture, beliefs and traditions.
"The people of the land have witnessed Turks, Afghans and Mughals being driven away on numerous occasions. Even though the Mughals had captured Guwahati, it was bravehearts like Lachit Borphukan who won. The act of valour shown by Veer Lachit Borphukan at Saraighat was not just an example of unparalleled love for the motherland but he also had the power of uniting the entire Assam region where every citizen was ready to defend the motherland if required.
“Lachit Borphukan’s bravery and fearlessness is the identity of Assam,” he said.
The Prime Minister said the history of India is not just about slavery but also about emerging victorious and the valour of countless great personalities.
"It is about standing against tyranny with unprecedented valour and courage.
“Unfortunately, we were taught, even after independence, the same history which was written as a conspiracy during the period of slavery. After Independence, it was needed to change the agenda of foreigners who made us slaves. However, that was not done,” he added.
“There are countless stories of victory over tyranny during the long period of repression. The mistake of not bringing those events to the mainstream is being rectified now,” he said.
Modi said the fact that this event is taking place in Delhi is a reflection of this change.
He complimented the Assam Government for taking steps to celebrate the legacy of its heroes. He mentioned the projects like a museum and a memorial in Assam to honour its heroes. Such steps will help the younger generation to get to know the history of sacrifice and bravery.
“Lachit Borphukan's life inspires us to live the mantra of 'Nation First.' His life inspires us to rise above ourselves and to give the highest priority to the national interest. His life teaches us that instead of nepotism and dynasty, the country should be supreme,” he said.
The Prime Minister suggested creating a grand theatre play on Lachit Borphukan on the lines of the one on Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and taking that to every corner of the country. This will give a great boost to the resolution of ‘Ek Bharat, Shreshtha Bharat’.
“We must make India developed and the Northeast the hub of India’s growth. I am sure that the spirit of 400th Jayanti of Veer Lachit Borphukan will give strength to our resolve and the nation will achieve its goals,” he added.
Assam Governor Jagadish Mukhi, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sharma, Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, Members of Parliament Justice (Retd.) Ranjan Gogoi and Topon Kumar Gogoi were among those present.