Gopinath Bordoloi was the first Chief Minister of the Indian state of Asam, and also a leading Indian freedom-fighter from Assam.
After rising through Congress ranks in the 1930s, Bordoloi's biggest battle came as Bengal's Muslim majority wanted to include the overwhelmingly Hindu Assam in a Muslim-majority Pakistan. Organizing protests and engaging the colonial government on the highest level prevented mass communal riots in Assam and allowed for it to preserve its territorial integrity within India. After India's Independence, he worked closely with Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel to secure Assam against Communist China and East Pakistan, and also organize the return of millions of refugees who fled East Pakistan due to widespread violence and intimidation during partition. His work gave a base of communal harmony, democracy and stability which kept Assam secure and progressive right up till the 1971 war over East Pakistan's independence. He was awarded the Bharat Ratna posthumously in 1999.