BJP ‘politicising’ Lachit Barphukan’s role, says former Assam MP

Close on the hype generated by Assam government in conjunction with those in power in Delhi on the role of Lachit Barphukan in ‘fighting Mughals’, an eminent state politician Kirip Chalhia has said that the iconic Ahom commander had in contrast fought against a Rajput military ruler.

“Nagaland or Assam was hardly known by mainstream leaders in Delhi. Just to politicise things they are now saying that an Assamese general fought Mughals. He did not fight Mughals actually; he fought and defeated a Rajput king who led the Mughal army,” Chaliha told at a seminar organised by the Nagaland People’s Movement for Human Rights (NPMHR) on Friday here.

His comments come in reference to Rajput King Ram Singh.

It may be mentioned that at the battle of Saraighat in 1671, Lachit Barphukan had galvanised the forces of Ahom kingdom and could defeat Mughal forces led by Ram Singh.

Last month, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah addressed a three-day seminar organised by the Assam government in order to commemorate the 400th birth anniversary of the iconic son of Assam and suggested that distorted history had been presented over the decades by the Left-liberal historians.

Chaliha is a kin of former Assam Chief Minister, a Congress veteran and freedom fighter B.P. Chaliha, who worked with the likes of Rev Michael Scott and Jayaprakash Narayan to end the turmoil and bring harmony in Naga hills in the 1960s.

He said north east India has been “the meeting point of Mongoloid people and of Aryans” and such vital aspects of human evolution ought to be understood in dealing with the Naga problem and other issues in the northeast.

“We Chalihas landed in Assam about 800 years ago from Kannauj, which is today’s Kanpur region in Uttar Pradesh,” he said.

Thus, he said a great deal of “political adjustment” has to be done. Chaliha maintained Sikhs have their issues but “can anyone imagine India’s patriotism without Silks… similarly Nagas too are patriots. They took the lead in the fight during the Kargil conflict of 1999”.

“Very few people may know that while the whole of India was under Mughal domination, Assam and neighbouring tribal states were never under any foreign domination nor faced any suppression from Mughals”.

Rather, the former Congress MP said: “In fact, some attacks came from Myanmar”.

Chaliha resigned from Congress a few years back and is reportedly now toying with the idea of floating a regional party. As a Congressman Chalhia was one of the few leaders who had challenged the political leadership of the then Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, now deceased.

He suggested that the NPMHR and like minded bodies should try to organise a meeting with all the MPs from the region under the aegis of North East MPs Forum to discuss the Naga issue in details so that adequate pressure could be mounted on the central government to address the issue.

“Maybe at the next level, you organise a bigger public meeting and also an all party meeting,” he suggested.

Speaking on the occasion, NPMHR convener Neingulo Krome flayed the Union Home Minister and also former negotiator and ex-Nagaland Governor R.N. Ravi.

He said: “If the ongoing peace process and a piecemeal solution or agreement is rejected by some parties, things will go out of

control”.

Dwelling on various issues involved since the 1960s and the 1970s, he said when the first ceasefire had ended there was turmoil.

“But now, if this happens again, it will be worse.”

Krome accused Ravi of “not respecting his own signature” in the context of the 2015 Framework Agreement; and instead had gone ahead with the new pact with the NNPG in 2017.

On Home Minister Shah’s role Krome said: “Today he is trying to decide things in his own ways.”

The seminar was organised as part of commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the theme of the discussions was ‘Save The Peace’.

The Naga peace parleys are in advance stage and a delegation of NNPG leaders led by convener N Kitovi Zhimomi met peace emissary A.K. Mishra here on THursday to fine tune the possible points of a draft agreement.

Elections are due in Nagaland by February-March 2023 along with Meghalaya and Tripura and certain uncertainty still remains on whether polls will be actually held or not.

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