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Saturday, November 01, 2014

The Tyranny of Indian History as taught in schools...1

The enthronement of the BJP has brought back the debate yet again on Indian History or what goes for History in the Indian Schools. I think studying Indian History as it is taught in schools is one of the several forms of tyranny inflicted on our children. A Tyrant according to WiKi has among its entries 

Plato and Aristotle define a tyrant as "one who rules without law, looks to his own advantage rather than that of his subjects, and uses extreme and cruel tactics—against his own people as well as others"
Precisely. Our History text books have no 'laws' guiding them, they don't know why they are there. The chaps who write them can't look beyond their own rather than the pain they inflict on their 'subjects' / students and use the extreme cruel tactic against their own children of having to mug up stuff that doesn't make any sense to them merely for the sake of getting through the school education.

The current debate on 'what form of history should be taught to our children?' is a political question that the students will be least interested in currently.  Most Indian children don't study history beyond their schools. Many 'Department of History' in Indian Universities are looked down upon as unfortunate subjects in which those who couldn't score high enough to join 'professional' courses such as Engineering and Medicine end up eventually or those in pursuit of a 'Degree' while pursuing family business such as Politics, Smuggling, Goonda-gardi, Trading in Oil, etc., did as a part time study. 

The few that did History for the sake of History end up as the scholars and professors that eventually become politicized and discuss the politics of history and what ought to be taught as history in Indian schools. They can't do anything that is relevant to the ordinary people of India in their daily life.

Our history books often start with the finding of the Department of Archaeology, move on to what is described as Indian History as written by English scholars and then degenerate into a narration of more politically correct rendering of the world history in recent times and an apologetic rendering of the recent Indian history. It has a pan-Indian history and often does not acknowledge or even name several local histories. A vast country / semi-continent such as India has several local histories, each community in this country has its own history, most village have their histories.   An archaeologist recently mapping the tamil village names that have appeared in inscriptions in Tamilnadu has more than 2700 entries of places that have their names in inscriptions and this is work in progress and in initial stages, remember this is just for Tamilnadu.

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