Wednesday, January 12, 2011

On Falsifying History

I have come across an excellent example of how to cook up history so that people can be easily fooled. A classic example is the spreading of the purported "Lord Macaulay's address to the English parliament 2 February, 1835" which states

"I have traveled across the length and breadth of India and I have not seen one person who is a beggar, who is a thief. Such wealth I have seen in this country, such high moral values, people of such calibre, that I do not think we would ever conquer this country, unless we break the very backbone of this nation, which is her spiritual and cultural heritage, and, therefore, I propose that we replace her old and ancient education system, her culture, for if the Indians think that all that is foreign and English is good and greater than their own, they will lose their self-esteem, their native self-culture and they will become what we want them, a truly dominated nation."

From the style of writing ( or speaking) it is quite evident that whoever cooked up this article was not of the 19th century. It is crucial to be aware of one's history, to know who and what we are so as to not repeat the mistakes of our ancestors. But to cloud it and cover it up with lies is the most vilest thing a person can do. To not know our history is to be blind. And a person who obfuscates history through whatever means is as guilty as a man who has destroyed a person's sight. "Without vision people cast of restraint". How will one know to see the present without having a proper insight into the past; both the good and the bad?

India did have at some point or the other a rich cultural and social heritage. But centuries of cultural decadence and social inequality resulted in it being ripe for conquering by other nations. The heralded ancient discoveries which were found by proper scientific processes were over centuries wrapped in mystery, till at last they became statements without proofs. Rivals in various fields were disposed of easily so as to preserve one's own importance. India was a country divided and this still continues to this day. We find the pettiest of reasons to want to feel different from others to such an extent that we condemn and look down people who are not the same as we are. Unless such madness stops, I care not for any history which covers up the main problem with the country today.

One may accuse the English for their "Divide and Conquer" policy. India was already a country divided; the English just exploited the conditions to their advantage. As do now the politicians who have replaced them. We were able to get rid of the English through a persistent and non violent means. How then do we get rid of most of the elected/ruling class that continues to exploit fault lines for their own benefits. It is so easy to blame the English for the problems afflicting our country. But the only way for our nation to move ahead is to deal with the intrinsic factors rather than cooked up extrinsic ones.