People over the years have sacrificed and added to the culture or sometimes even the sovereignty of a region. The North East is also no exception. Legends have added to the richness we are so proud of today. Here are some of our legendary icons
Lachit Borphukon an army general from Assam is remembered for his valour and victory against the Aurangazeb's Mughal army. In the battle of Saraighat, Lachit Borphukon defeated the army that was led by Ram Singh. But unlike Shivaji, Borphukon's tale did not get a pan India status.
Son of Momai Tamuli Borbarua, the first Governor or upper Assam and Commander in chief of the Ahom army of Pratap Singha, Lachit Borphukon was imparted knowledge of scriptures and also military skills. From a young age, he was given various important positions in the Ahom kingdom. The Battle of Saraighat that was fought in 1671 is widely known for the rich exploits of Lachit Borphukon's army. Even though the Mughal army was prepared with a huge bevy of infantry, gunners and Turkish cavalry, a much weaker Ahom army led by Lachit Borphukon emerged victorious.
24 November is celebrated as Lachit Divas in Assam and Lachit Borphukon continues to be one of the most inspiring characters from the pages of the history of North East.
Born in Sadiya, Assam in 1926, Dr. Hazarika travelled far and wide to quest his thirst for music and knowledge. He wrote and sang his first song at the age of 10 and acted in his first movie in 1939 when he was just 12. Revered and loved as a music director, lyricist and filmmaker, he was awarded the National Award for Best Music Direction in 1975. He is also the recipient of the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1987, Dadasaheb Phalke in 1992, Padmashri in 1997 and Padmabhushan in 2001. Bhupen Hazarika took the music of the North Eastern part of India to the global level. Even though Dr. Hazarika is one of the leading names from Assam, the entire country had taken him to their hearts and he was never limited to just his home state.
Even though Indian history books that chronicle our struggle for freedom do not attribute many pages to her, Rani Gaidinliu's contribution to cannot be overlooked. Young Gaidinliu had fought the British with valour and was imprisoned at an early age. Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru had lamented and said "Child of the Hills now in a Prison cell'. Later as the Prime Minister of India he had compared Rani Gaidinliu to Rani Laxmi Bai and Joan De Arch. She led her struggle for freedom in order to safeguard not only her people and land but also their ethnic customs and culture. She also wanted to put an end to inter-village hostility and wanted to unite the tribes.
The British were so rattled by her that they had put up monetary rewards for anyone who could give information about her. That also included a ten-year tax break.
Guru Bipin Singha
It is widely known that Rabindranath Tagore was enchanted by the Manipuri dance form. But after the initial boost by Tagore, the man who is credited to have popularized the dance form is Guru Bipin Singha. Born in a Bishnupriya Manipuri family, Guru Bipin Singha received training in the traditional Manipuri dance form a very early age. He has preserved the Manipuri dance form and has imparted knowledge about to it for many years. He had also taken the dance form to other parts of the country.
He was awarded the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award.
The first chief minister of independent Assam, Gopinath Bordoloi was conferred the title of 'Lokapriya' by the then Governor Jayram Das Doulatram. A freedom fighter and a Gandhian, Bordoloi was instrumental to prevent the inclusion of the significantly Hindu dominated Assam into East Pakistan.
As a young man, Bordoloi attended college in Kolkata and joined the Indian National Congress as a volunteer.
As chief minister of Assam, he also worked closely with Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel to secure Assam from China. He is also credited to have helped in the rehabilitation of millions of refugees who had come from East Pakistan after the communal riots that broke out during partition.