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Indian History

Founder of Ahom Kingdom: Chaolung Sukapha

  • 22 Jun 2020
  • 4 min read

Why in News

Recently, there has been a controversy in Assam regarding Chaolung Sukapha who founded the Ahom kingdom.

Key Points

  • Chaolung Sukapha:
    • He was a 13th century ruler who founded the Ahom kingdom that ruled Assam for six centuries. The Ahoms ruled the land till the province was annexed to British India in 1826 with the signing of the Treaty of Yandaboo.
    • Sir Edward Gait, in his book ‘A History of Assam’, wrote that Sukapha is said to have left a place called Maulung (Burma which is now known as Myanmar) in 1215 AD with eight nobles and some people.
    • He and his people reached Brahmaputra valley and in 1235 AD, finally settled in Charaideo in upper Assam.
    • Sukapha established his first small principality in Charaideo, sowing the seeds of further expansion of the Ahom kingdom.
  • Ahoms:
    • They created a new state by suppressing the older political system of the bhuiyans (landlords).
    • The Ahom state depended upon forced labour. Those forced to work for the state were called paiks.
    • Ahom society was divided into clans or khels. A khel often controlled several villages.
    • Ahoms worshipped their own tribal gods but instead of imposing their own language, religion and rituals on communities living in Assam, they accepted the Hindu religion and the Assamese language.
      • However, the Ahom kings did not completely give up their traditional beliefs after adopting Hinduism.
    • Ahom society was very sophisticated. Poets and scholars were given land grants and theatre was encouraged. Important works of Sanskrit were translated into the local language.
      • Historical works, known as buranjis, were also written, first in the Ahom language and then in Assamese.
    • Most of the Sukapha’s people were men who later married women from communities living in Assam. Intermarriage also increased assimilation processes.
  • Significance:
    • Sukapha successfully assimilated different communities and tribes. He developed very amiable relationships with the tribal communities of Assam especially the Sutias, the Morans and the Kacharis.
    • He is widely referred to as the architect of ‘Bor Asom’ or ‘Greater Assam’ because he consolidated power, culture and religion in the region and managed to group a diverse mix of people in such a politically sensitive region crisscrossing South Asia and South-East Asia.
    • Assam celebrates ‘Asom Divas’ on 2nd December every year to commemorate Sukapha and his rule.

Way Forward

  • Chaolung Sukapha was the architect of greater Assam and he laid the foundation for a robust and vibrant Assam through his policy of amity, unity and harmony.
  • Offensive remarks on social media and misinterpretation of historical facts can lead to a rift between different communities in an ethnically diverse state like Assam and hurt the sentiments of people which should be avoided at any cost.

Source: IE

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