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Lachit the Indomitable: The Story of Assam's Greatest Hero

AUTHOR: Aneesh Gokhale

MRP: Rs. 599/-

Published by : Bloomsbury India

Genre: History/Narrative Nonfiction

I have to appreciate the publisher, Bloomsbury India here, for their recent acquisitions of books of smaller scale of this genre and making theme available to a wider audience. Books such as this one, Lachit: The Indomitable by Mr. Aneesh Gokhale and the series of books written by Ms. Saiswaroopa Iyer just being a few that come to my immediate mind. We have learnt very little about the heroes of our past. The likes of Lachit Barphukan and others.

We have learnt about several things in our history textbooks. From the beginning of civilization, to the Indian Independence, our history books cover these topics from some contexts. “Some” being the keyword. The textbooks shed go in great depth about the Mughal Empire and the hardships of Gandhi & Co. Leaders such as Shivaji Maharaj and Samrat Prithviraj get a line or two and great leaders of other different states such the northeast don’t even get that. This explains the neglect that the north-eastern face (up to a point that even I myself and many others like me could not name all of these sates till a couple of months ago) is very deep-rooted . This has to change. We can just blame our history textbooks for it or we can grab the chance now and start learning about our history.

The author has done extreme justice to the character portrait of Lachit Barphukan and writes about his life in intimate detail. Lachit is known by some as the Shivaji Maharaj of the Northeast and I agree with the foreward by the Late Achyut Gokhale ji, that Shivaji is the Lachit of Maharashtra! (No disrespect intended either to Shivaji Maharaj or Lachit Ji).

The book is structured very well with narration beautifully swithching between the Ahoms and Marathas. The scenes involving Shivaji, though the book covers only few incidents, are very captivating. Though I felt the last all important Battle of Saraighat was a bit fast paced, the narration moves soothingly like a screenplay, giving the readers an immersive experience and I must say that the author’s knowledge on the geography of the region have really paid off. The book could be a little more detailed, like we could perhaps read about Lachit as a child and a teenager, but that perhaps is wishing for too much. Im of the oipion that even if you are not a history enthusiast, and just want to read a a goof thrilling book, this one might be for you.

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