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Indian Culture

Prime Minister Narendra Modi waving at the crowd during an election rally at Bokakhat, Golaghat district, on Sunday.PTI-  

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.

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

The Congress termed Mr. Modi’s new take on the legendary Ahom General as “damage control” after the gaffe almost a fortnight ago.

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