- January 23, 2021
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN Topics
Subject : Culture
Context : Prime Minister Narendra Modi will launch a special programme of the Assam government to distribute land ‘patta’ or land allotment certificates to over one lakh landless indigenous people.
The event will be held at Jerenga Pothar in Sivasagar district, a historical place connected with Assam’s erstwhile Ahom kingdom.
- Formerly known as Rangpur, Sivasagar was the seat of the powerful Ahom dynasty, who ruled Assam for six centuries (1228-1826).
- Jerenga Pothar, an open field in Sivasagar town, is popularly connected to the valour of 17th century Ahom princess Joymoti.
- While the courage of Ahom kings is well-documented, Joymoti’s story — little-known until the latter part of the 19th century — is today celebrated and invoked as a symbol of inspiration.
Present day Significance
- Jerenga Pothar itself is not a protected archaeological site, its vicinity includes a number of protected sites.
- Na Pukhuri tank to its east and the Pohu Garh, a natural zoo built during the Ahom era, to its west. Close by is the large Joysagar tank, built by Ahom king Swargadeo Rudra Singha in 1697, and the Vishnu Dol temple.
- Joymoti Konwari, was the wife of Tai-Ahom Prince Gadapani (later Supatphaa).
- She was accorded the honorific Mohiyokhi on account of her heroic endurance of torture until the end, dying at the hands of royalists under Sulikphaa Loraa Roja without disclosing her exiled husband Prince Gadapani’s whereabouts, thereby enabling her husband to rise in revolt and assume kingship.
- Gadapani and Joymoti’s son Rudra Singha had the Joysagar Tank dug at the spot where she was tortured.
- The Ahom kingdom (1228–1826) was a late medieval kingdom in the Brahmaputra Valley in Assam.
- It is well known for maintaining its sovereignty for nearly 600 years and successfully resisting Mughal expansion in Northeast India.
- 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.
- The kingdom became weaker with the rise of the Moamoria rebellion, and subsequently fell to repeated Burmese invasions of Assam.
- With the defeat of the Burmese after the First Anglo-Burmese War and the Treaty of Yandabo in 1826, control of the kingdom passed into East India Company hands.