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India rectifying past mistakes, celebrating unsung heroes: PM


New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said India was correcting its past mistakes by celebrating its heritage and remembering its unsung bravehearts who were lost in the pages of history written as part of a conspiracy during the colonial era.
Addressing the 400th birth anniversary celebrations of legendary Ahom general Lachit Barphukan, Modi said the history of India was not just about slavery but also about its warriors and it was important that the collective sense of history was not limited to a few decades or centuries.
“The history of India is not just about slavery. The history of India is about emerging victorious, it is about the valour of countless greats. India’s history is about standing against tyranny with unprecedented valour and courage,” he said.
The prime minister said unfortunately even after Independence, the history that was written as part of a conspiracy during the colonial era continued to be taught.
“After independence there was a need to change the agenda of foreigners who made us slaves, but it did not happen. The stories of fierce resistance to tyranny in every part of the country were wilfully suppressed,” Modi said.
He said there were countless stories of victory over tyranny during the long period of repression.
“The mistake of not giving those events in the mainstream is being rectified now,” he said.
Modi also recalled how Barphukan had kept national interest above blood relations and did not hesitate to punish his close relative.
“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,” he said.
Barphukan was the famous General of the Royal Army of the Ahom Kingdom of Assam who defeated the Mughals and successfully halted the ever-expanding ambitions of the Mughals under Aurangzeb, Modi said.
The prime minister said the unmatched bravery of the land of Assam and the northeast was evident as they had repulsed the invasions of Turks, Afghans and Mughals.
“Even though the Mughals had captured Guwahati, it was bravehearts like Barphukan who won independence from the clutches of tyrannical rulers of the Mughal empire. Barphukan’s bravery and fearlessness is the identity of Assam,” he said.
Modi said in the history of human existence numerous civilisations that walked the earth seemed imperishable, but the wheel of time brought them down to their knees.
India which faced unexpected adversities in history and withstood unimaginable terror of foreign invaders still stood immortal with the same energy and consciousness, he said.
“This happened because of the fact that whenever there was a crisis, some personality emerged to tackle that. In every epoch, saints and scholars came to protect the spiritual and cultural identity of India,” Modi said.
He said bravehearts such as Barphukan showed that forces of fanaticism and terror perish but the immortal light of Indian life remained eternal.
The prime minister also suggested creating a grand play on Barphukan on the lines of the ‘Jaanata Raja’ based on the life of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and enact it in every corner of the country. “This will give a great boost to the resolve of ‘Ek Bharat, Shreshtha Bharat’ (one India, united India),” he said.
Assam Governor Jagadish Mukhi, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sharma, Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and former Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi were among the many who attended the concluding ceremony of the two-day birth anniversary celebrations of Barphukan.
During the event, Sarma said, “It is a humble request to historians-India isn’t just the story of Aurangzeb, Babar, Jahangir or Humayun.” India is of Lachit Barphukan, Chhatrapati Shivaji, Guru Gobind Singh, Durgadas Rathore, he said.
“We should make an effort to see in a new light. It’ll fulfil our dream to be vishwaguru,” he said.

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