Sunday, July 29, 2007

History Asphyxiated!!


Learning or reading history just for the sake of it is probably wrong..one is supposed to read between the lines there..to assimilate the past doesn't mean to blindly remember the dates and the years but to know why these dates and the years are worth remembering.....neway retrospectively though telling history just for the sake of it would in my opinion be the right thing to do....i mean lets face it ..the manner in which history is told or the tone or the way of telling all these things make a difference in interpreting it..the point is not whether they make a good effect or bad the point is they destroy the main essence of learning history...u gotta make your own interpretations of things... i mean reading the allies' orchestrated books about Nazi psychology would hardly aim at capturing the real picture of the party( guess it would be more gruesome than normal beings like us could handle neway :P but still....)

So its probably the moral or ethical or whatever responsibility of the guys who have the liberty to decide what history to tell others ,its definitely for them to be more impartial...im not talking about the NCERT debate over their recent history book syllabus fiasco..hell nobody learns history from school books neways....

Couple of weeks ago i was in Delhi seating literally in the "middle of the Red Fort" surrounded by the grandeur of Mughal empire the "Diwanni-E-Khaas" making me just realise the meaning of the word "surreal" , heavenly. The much hyped light and music show was finally about to commence(just 20 minutes late..... no sweat :P).This is surely the center of India's history....the place still crowned to be the highest echelon when the Prime Minister gives his speech every Independence Day....What i expected was an unbiased,well documented story of history..but what followed was a total letdown here are few things that i found really disturbing -

1. No mention of Akbar...come on guys fine he wasn't a typical Mughal king ...he had Hindu and Rajput friends ,had quite an eye for the future....and he didn't kill that many people just for not being islamic....so you just delete the greatest Mughal king huh?

2. Shivaji sidetracked completely...i mean this is getting too much.....the Red Fort wasn't only about the Song and the dances and the Shayari ..hell it was a capital of a huge empire..doesn't history necessarily involve ups and down....

3. And the most disturbing fact..Nothing about Sadashiwarao Bhau Peshawa or even Ahamadashah Abdali...SHIT this is the limit..i mean wasn't the great battle of Panipat fought for the sole purpose of protecting Delhi from Abdali??It claimed millions and not just men.....But no the show spends 30 minutes of its 45 sickeningly about the Begmas and the diamonds (which were stolen later by Abdali himself) and the madira and how difficult it was to bring all the marble from Persia....wow this is history of Red Fort huh??

And the worst part is i could point out these things just because i know a little bit about Maharashtra's history....what about the Rajput's and the Jat's ...i mean whats the aim of giving such a lopsided view?? do they really think people don't know the enmity that existed or that a realistic account of history for once would be a political mistake??probably...people would rather shirk away from the truth than facing it....no problem i might also do the same thing who knows....
but for God's sake please let ME make that choice!! let me walk out....maybe indians just might prove to be better at handling the bloody past than everyone thinks.....

6 comments:

Ameya said...

great writing mate..really makes you think...but lets face it ...since when do we have choice when it comes to "learning the history"??...like the old proverb in marathi ...history is always written by the war-winners...to be honest how many FACTS we have learnt in our so called history books? why is it that wen we read historical books(not novels mind you) we find that watever we learnt in school was totally diff ??
no wonder the words "Hey Ram" would haver come out of your mouth too wen you visited Red Fort!

Prajwalit said...

you really have great writing skills man...
but you know... m kinda person who view history with different manner...
Why do we want to spend billions of Rs. on history researches or whateva…
No doubt its very important… but At this moment other things are more important… Think of children who didn’t get to study not only history but anything…
We can use this money for that…
I think in this way…

Btw Very Very Nice Snap…

@$%deja vu$% said...

arre dude.. it was hardly a 45 min show... + they do it for money naa... then no one comes there to see the "realistic" portrayal of the historic events... they want smthin "dashing" !

if u want the realistic view.. take the efforts to listen out both sides... use google... u can't expect anyone to present an unbiased account... it is a human folly... so its up to u always how to interpret history!!...

and can't i say that while talking about the great shivaji maharaj or akbar... even u were biased!.. turned a blind eye toward their -ve points?... think over it

Salil said...

@jitesh,
listen i agree completely with u about how its impossible to be unbiased when it comes 2 dealings with the past.Yes i don't expect them to glorify shivaji nor akbar for that matter...in fact on the contrary its natural for them to portray these characters otherwise..however not to mention them AT ALL is way more disturbing dude..and bad..not taking nething into account is definitely worse than showing an outright hatred which in a sense acceptable....

@$%deja vu$% said...

i disagree again... isn't showing outright hatred also wrong??.. its better if u don't show anything.. coz then the audience will be biased and will be forced to think that shivaji was indeed the -ve man as portrayed...

instead let the viewers see how great a man he really was when they actually visit maharashtra.. or read about him somewhere!

the point i want to make is... everyone tries to glorify ONLY the great people who r natives!!.. like we glorify sania mirza just coz we have a connection!!... not showing shivaji nd all is not as big as u r saying... coz in maharashtra.. when we visit forts.. no one acknowledges the great British leaders who won them... why? .. because they want to show how great shivaji was !!

Vedang said...

i read the entire post and the comments that followed, and i think they veer into the ridiculous.

@salil
the show was about the grandeur of the Red Fort, and not about the people who ruled, or their personal traits, or their glory in battle. While I agree that some mention should have been made, I don't think they were going for prejudice.

@jitesh
history is always narrated so that the narrator looks the vanquisher. we all know this and are not fooled by it. if you want further proof, visit the india vs paki groups on orkut. all idiots there!
as for Britishers not being sung about:

a)they won ALL (not most) of their battles on plain fields, or using sieges. No direct attack on fort. EVER.

b)they used a secret weapon we still can't grasp. Cunning.

c)They made slaves out of us for 150 years. What do you expect?