From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Ahom Kingdom
Mains level : Not Much
Recently, Assam CM ordered the arrest of a political commentator who had described Chaolung Sukapha as a “Chinese invader”.
Practice question for mains:
Q. Who are the Ahoms? Describe the role of Ahom Kingdom in cultural assimilation of modern-day Assam.
Who was Chaolung Sukapha?
- Sukapha was a 13th-century ruler who founded the Ahom kingdom that ruled Assam for six centuries. Contemporary scholars trace his roots to Burma.
- He reached Brahmaputra valley in Assam from upper Burma in the 13th century with around 9,000 followers.
- Sukapha is said to have left a place called Maulung ( in Yunnan, China ) in AD 1215 with eight nobles and 9,000 men, women and children — mostly men.
- In 1235, Sukapha and his people settled in Charaideo in upper Assam after wandering about for years, defeating those who protested his advance and temporarily staying at different locations.
- It was in Charaideo (in Assam) that Sukapha established his first small principality, sowing the seeds of further expansion of the Ahom kingdom.
Who are the Ahoms today?
- The founders of the Ahom kingdom had their own language and followed their own religion.
- Over the centuries, the Ahoms accepted the Hindu religion and the Assamese language, scholars say.
- The Ahoms embraced the language, religion and rituals of the communities living here — they did not impose theirs on those living here.
- Today, the Ahom community is estimated to number between 4 million and 5 million.
Why is Sukapha important in Assamese culture?
- Sukapha’s significance — especially in today’s Assam — lies in his successful efforts towards the assimilation of different communities and tribes.
- He developed very amicable relationships with the tribal communities living here — especially the Sutias, the Morans and the Kacharis.
- Intermarriage also increased assimilation processes. He is widely referred to as the architect of “Bor Asom” or “greater Assam”.