I used to be a devoted student of history back in my school days. All the drama, twists and so many bizarre events were so fascinating to me. Even today, I give historical fiction a special place in my interests. If there is one big thing history bothers me very often, it is the impact it can have on the way we live today. More specifically the communal, lingual and the religious conflicts we see so often.
Yes, there have been so many blunders, massacres, discrimination, demolition of cultures and heritage, and what not back in time. India has seen so much of backstabbing from the very people who came in to our country when we welcomed them with an act of “Athithi Devo Bhava”. Some stole our wealth, some damaged our culture and others stole our very land to form their own countries to hit back to us even today! The holy river Sindhu (Indus) that has the origins to the words: India (Land of Indus) and Hindu (people who live near river Sindhu) is a part of a country that boasts India as it’s enemy! The so called earthly heaven Kashmir, which means the land of descendants of Sage Kashyapa, stands painted in blood today. I’m not at all intent to criticize any culture or religion, but everybody knows how hard the truth can be to digest. Our history certainly has ample examples of them.
Sure that most of the foreigners who came to our country caused us harm in one or the other way. That has happened all over the world. I’m not interested in debating about the historical blunders we have seen, rather, I’m concerned about what do we do now about them. Well, not much, really.
I never believe in the idea of punishing a person for the crimes his great grandfather once committed. Everybody deserves a fresh start. So history, howsoever hard it might be to digest, should not be taken as an unresolved conflict or something to be avenged. Nevertheless, there are important lessons to learn from it. We can prevent those blunders from happening again. We can revise our strategies to suit the modern world, rather than clinging on to the rules which were meant for the people who lived thousands of years ago (Like Athithi Devo Bhava). We can preserve and promote what is left now in hand. Then at least the coming generations will be proud of us.