History was not one of my favorite subjects in school, I didn’t like it the way it was taught and tested in schools, that method put too much emphasis on remembering the names, dates and other insignificant details of the incidents rather than understanding the analyzing the significance of those events. But eventually I met people in y life who reintroduced this subject to me in much more interesting way and then I started reading books to understand more about some past events, now I love to read history and like to read accounts from both the sides. One can find many historical accounts (reports about any incident happened in past), either written by experts (after thorough research) or by witnesses (who were involved in some way in real incident). Many of these reports are sometimes contradictory to each other, some glorifying the incident while others criticizing it, so which one to believe? Which one is true? This is very important and valid question and there is no easy answer to this, my approach is read as much as you can from both sides and then decide yourself.
I think rulers (kings in past or governments now) always feel the need to present history in biased way to infuse patriotism in people, they want more heroes from our past, our lineage so that we feel proud about it and I think this strategy worked very well so far. But some how I always wanted to know both the sides, Mahabharat taught me that there is no absolute right or wrong in this world, everything is relative, depends on which side you are standing. I have no shame or hesitation in accepting or talking about some dark spots in Indian history, according to me they are also part of our history. They belong to us as much as many other glorious things which we mention proudly, I don’t deny them, don’t feel uncomfortable but like to discuss and know people’s views about these things, it helps me to learn and grow intellectually. I always tell my kids that before forming any opinion about any incident, person or any other things try to know as much as possible, try to know both sides (positive and negative) and then only form any opinion, and be prepared to change that opinion if you receive any additional information which contradicts it, because nothing is permanent.
Read, reading is good, it improves our knowledge, sharpens our minds, but I always try to read diverse opinions, try to get neutral opinions or at least views from both the sides, it helps in balancing my own views. If we look at history only through eyes of winners, losers will be always villains, if we read only losers perspective we will always feel winners didn’t play a fair game, so our vision will be clouded depending on which side we are looking at, our job is to make it as much less clouded or blurry as possible. It’s easy to point fingers at others but it’s also a good habit to pause and take a look at our own backyard may be after that we will stop accusing others.
History is very engaging and mesmerizing subject, it has potential to teach us a lot, at the same time if we are not careful then it can also fill us with lot of negative emotions and hatred against each other, we need to be very careful about how we interpret the historical events. We need to make sure that we have all the required information before forming any opinion about any country or community or religion. There are already enough conflicts around us we definitely don’t need any more of them, and always remember history is past so don’t allow it to ruin our present and destroy our future, if we are careful about all these things then history is amazing subject.
Thanks for reading and please share your opinion on this subject.