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Assam Assembly polls | Legendary Ahom general symbol of India’s atmanirbhar military, says PM Modi

Days after calling Lachit Borphukan a freedom fighter, Modi waxed eloquent on the military strategist.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday called 17th century Ahom general Lachit Borphukan a symbol of India’s “atmanirbhar” military might.

He waxed eloquent on the legendary military strategist days after referring to him as a freedom fighter who “contributed to the independence of the country” at a programme to launch the ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’ on March 12.

Addressing a rally for the Asom Gana Parishad, BJP’s ally, at Bokakhat in eastern Assam, Mr. Modi said, “This land belongs to Lachit Borphukan, one of India’s greatest sons who saved Assam from outside forces with his swadeshi (indigenous) strategy.”

He said Borphukan used the Brahmaputra’s waterpower to defeat forces inimical to India. “The great general taught us to be atmanirbhar (self-sufficient) in military warfare and our armed forces are heading in that direction,” he added.

Borphukan had in 1671 led the Ahoms in the Battle of Saraighat, considered the greatest naval battle on a river, to victory over the Mughals. The Prime Minister also said Borphukan was the inspiration behind strengthening India’s naval force and revitalising inland water transport and creating infrastructure associated with it.

He reminded the people of the Lachit Borphukan gold medal that the best cadet from the National Defence Academy is awarded. The medal was instituted in 1999 following an announcement by General V.P. Malik saying the medal would inspire defence personnel to emulate Borphukan’s heroism and sacrifices.

The Congress termed the Prime Minister’s new take on the legendary Ahom general as “damage control” after the gaffe almost a fortnight ago.

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