Ashutosh Mehndiratta was born and raised in New Delhi. He holds an MBA from the University of Alabama and has had a long career in
Book Review of "Brahmaputra: The Story of Lachit Barphukan - Assamese Contemporary of Chhatrapati Shivaji"
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A lot of people might not be familiar with this name outside the North-East region of India especially Assam, but Lachit Borphukan’s story is a tale of a tremendous warrior and a contemporary of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. These two men along with the successors of Guru Gobind Singh were entirely responsible for reducing the Mughal Empire to dust from various parts of the Indian subcontinent and not the British.
Both these figures share common traits of excellent warfare, immense love for motherland and a strong urge to establish self rule by driving out the invaders but the key difference lies in their areas of operation. Shivaji Maharaj took back control of central and south India from Attock to Cuttack while Lachit Barpukhan prevented the Mughals from gaining control of the then Assam.
The events depicted are of during Aurangzeb’s reign, who used to control a huge part of Indian subcontinent with his empire bordering Kabul in far west and Assam in the far east but faced two insurmountable rivals i.e. Shivaji Maharaj and the Marathas and Lachit and the Ahom dynasty, who ruled over modern Assam and surrounding areas for more than half a millennia before it was captured by the British.
In 1661, Aurangzeb deployed armies under the commanding of Mir Jumla and Diler Khan to Bengal and Assam and Shaiste Khan to the Deccan. Mir Jumla’s army got initial success and captured Guwahati. The Mughal forces destroyed everything which came in their way.
Swargadeo Chakradhwaj Singha, the Axom monarch, was anxious. His capital Gargaon was only 400 kms away from Guwahati, which made him imagine the worst about the fate of his motherland. Then he noticed Lachit the leader of his bodyguards. A tough, well-built man with his sword dangling from his cummerbund.
Lachit was made the Borphukan i.e. commander of the army. Guwahati was eventually recaptured from the Mughals, but Lachit knew that Aurangzeb would send a larger force to avenge the defeat.
Eventually the battle began and Lachit’s army started fortifying along the banks of Brahmaputra river after a tough competition the Mughals faced an emphatic defeat in the Naval battle of Saraighat in 1671 which completely wiped out Mughals from the Assamese region.
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