Legendary hero Lachit Barphukan has got his due: Historian Vikram Sampath
Statue of Ahom general Lachit Borphukan

New Delhi: Historian Vikram Sampath on Friday evening hailed the manner in which the 400th birth anniversary of 17th century Ahom general Lachit Barphukan was celebrated, and said the legendary hero from Assam has been “given his due”.

Barphukhan is also one of 15 unsung heroes and heroines of India from varied time spans, whose stories have been told in his new book “Bravehearts of Bharat: Vignettes from Indian History”, which was launched here.

During a panel discussion after the launch, the author said, “The manner in which Lachit Barphukhan has been celebrated, the way he is literally looking into your eyes from so many huge billboards put up at bus shelters, airport and other locations, is amazing. Just look at the way this Ahom hero has been ‘brought’ to Delhi.”

Thursday marked his 400th birth anniversary and a grand three-day event was held in Delhi to mark the occasion with Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying he epitomised unparalleled courage.

Later interacting with PTI on the sidelines of the book launch hosted at Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA), Sampath said that “Barphukhan has got his due today.”

“I think earlier he wasn’t given his due, but today he has got his due. Though, I must say that we have to go beyond this immediate extolling of the Ahom general on billboards and otherwise, and I hope there will be more research on his life,” he said.

When asked if Barphukhan is not known among people is also because of Northeast region not finding much space in mainstream media, Sampath said, “Yes, the region does not get that kind of coverage, even when floods happen there, how much we see or read in media.”

The author described Barphukhan as a “daring hero” and one who was endowed with a “never-say-die spirit”.

Besides, Barphukhan, “Bravehearts of Bharat: Vignettes from Indian History” profiles lost heroes who fought to uphold the tradition and culture of their land including Rajarshi Bhagyachandra Jai Singh (Manipur), Lalitaditya Muktapida (Kashmir) and Chand Bibi (Ahmednagar).

Barphukan was a commander in the erstwhile Ahom kingdom and is known for his leadership in the 1671 battle of Saraighat that thwarted an attempt by Mughal forces to capture Assam.

Assam celebrates Lachit Diwas on November 24 as a tribute to Barphukan’s valour and heroism.

The three-day mega event to celebrate the birth anniversary of Barphukan had begun here on Wednesday.

Addressing the evening Friday, Modi said: “Lachit Barphukan’s life inspires us to rise above the dynasty and think about the country. He had said that no relationship is bigger than the country.”

Sampath had tweeted a picture on Thursday, saying: “At the wonderful ceremony at Vigyan Bhawan commemorating 400th birth anniversary of #LachitBorphukan ..infectious energy in the hall.”

The author of biography of V D Savarkar (popularly known as Veer Savarkar) said he knew these are the heroes he wanted to portray on his new book, spanning across the lengths and breadths of the country, across multiple centuries, and there are eight men and seven women persons portrayed in the book.

Union Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology Rajeev Chandrasekhar and ICCR president Vinay Sahasrabuddhe among others also attended the event.

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