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The Significance of National History

"The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.- George Orwell"

There are some words which come to you in a way that they keep coming back to haunt you at the most uncertain hour. As these words revisit you time and again, they look newer and fresher than before as if they have come having bathed in a some pond of eternal truth which has cleansed them off any rare blemish of untruth that might have been left in their being when they were written. These words of Orwell stand like a far away lighthouse in the in the middle of the darkest of the night, standing forlorn, yet silently serving the purpose of showing the path. 

Recently there was a debate on the Television, with Pakistani guests, on the subject of terrorism (what else?). An interesting thing happened. When an Indian debater tried referring to shared history of thousands of years, so as to make Pakistani guest contemplate how Pakistan has turned into a theocratic, Islamist state- a global producer of terror, starting from a shared origin and history. As Indian debater said, in a good faith,"Let us go back in the history 5000 years."

Retort immediately came from the Pakistani Guest, "Why go so far in the History? Let us start from 1948."

The mark in the history to which the Pakistani wanted to return in order to take a considered view was very well calculated- not 42, not 1947, let us go to 1948. He knew the going even one year further will bring us to 

a) A shared heritage

b) Bloodiest political segregation of humanity on the basis of religion

As his position was to attack India on what he wold contend a secular and democratic cause, both will be defeated by going to 1947 or any further. Negation of history would allow him to remain deluded about the grand position he was taking, however much it was inconsistent with his being it might be. He needed his world to begin from 1948 to succeed. 

I was reading a book on Indian History recently. It is actually a book on Geography. The book is called "The Ancient Geography of India" by Sir Alexander Cunningham. The book covers the Travels of Buddhist Chinese traveler, Hwen Thsang and details of the campaign of Alexander, and maps the information from these sources with the geography of the time when the book was written, that is, year 1871.  This book was written over a period of 13 years, way far back at a time, when wars were not fought on stealth and cheating and therefore, academicians and Intellectuals had not yet been signed up as political pawn, unlike those card-carrying communists who were given the task of text-books in the Independent India, and who just as the Pakistani individual mentioned above, were interested in a History which began not much before them, them here being Marx. 

As I was sharing the interesting information, which reflected Hindu History of Kashmir, a Kashmiri bumped in together with Pakistani on Twitter, attempting to discredit this believing this to be some Hindu conspiracy to reclaim, at least intellectually Kashmir and Pakistan. When one of them debated, He insisted we start discussing from 1949. Now, this guy did not want history to begin from 1948, he wanted it to start from 1949. He wrote location as India Occupied Kashmir in profile and was supported by Pakistanis in his foolhardy intellectual challenge. His premise was broken the moment he was told that the information came from a book published much before Pakistan came into existence and thus has nothing to do with current political conspiracy. 

Why did he want the history to begin from 1949? He wanted to skip the portion when Pandits lived in the valley, when Tribal irregulars from Pakistan attacked his forefathers and created such mayhem that they reached out to India for rescue. That world when Pakistan was the invader and attacker in the history of Kashmir, he wanted to pretend, did not exist. 

Human mind is very interesting. It not only gets influenced by the information available to it, it is often creative, cunning and crafty enough to create the data which helps it reach the conclusion it has already set its eyes upon. Those who train and brainwash these people have their agenda. They want the problems, the strife to remain, for it legitimizes their war, however gruesome it may be. For Hitler it was supremacy of pure Aryan race, for them, it is a deep rooted faith in Islamist supremacy, which is merely waiting for its turn to rule the world. Those who carry their nefarious agenda, would never want a Pakistani mind to go beyond 48 and a Kashmiri mind to go beyond 1949. If they could go beyond that, Pakistani will understand the failed experiment their nation has become. With the world's second largest Muslim population in the nation from which they separated on the fears of Muslims not being safe, the premise of creation of Pakistan stands defeated. They are searching for the legitimacy of their origin in a cause which could defend their existence as a nation. So a nation which has GDP lesser than a large size european MNC, which has terrorists as state's strategic assets, which declares gun-trotting terrorists in neighboring country as freedom-fighter, tries to find rationale of its creation and existence in Islamic cause. A nation which should be bothered about uplifting the poor state of its own state, is concerned about Muslims in India, Palestine, Indonesia and all such places. It survives on the basis of creation of a fake history which starts in 1948. Thus it wipes off common history and shared heritage. In the process, it creates a vacuous and intellectually empty, rootless state. When East Germany found no reason to exist with the failure of communism, it merged back into West Germany. That is because irrespective of all rivalries, they remained aware of their history. 

Carl Sagan said- 

"You have to know the past to understand the present."

Vested interests in Pakistan would never want their citizens to know a shared heritage going into thousands of centuries. They would want people to believe that the history began with Mohammad Gori. The world does not begin (or ends) with Military conquests. But when citizen and the world around is losing faith in their existence, any ray of possibility of undoing the mistake of 47 will hasten the quick recoiling of Pakistan into the embrace of India or to implode into non-existence. They would not want Pakistanis or the Kashmiris to know the past, for then they would understand their present better, and also the futility and failure of their present. That is however, the reason that Indian history be cleared off the propaganda and taught in earnest to Indian all across, including Kashmir. Will we not have people unashamed and unembarrassed if they knew that the last days of Chandragupta Maurya of Magadh (Current Bihar) were spent in Karnataka. India existed as a singular entity in the days when it was for administrative world broken into 82 Kingdoms. Still it operated, breathed and was looked upon by the world as a single entity called Hindustan. That had no distinction of North and south, Kashmir and Dravid, it was one. We would immediately understand the regressive play of politics in today's world when we are technically one state and sovereign. People who create their space by creating fissures in the society will immediately lose relevance. Maybe, it would take a generation or two, learning about our history and heritage will re-connect us with our land and our people. There shall lie our salvation as a nation beyond factionalism of today and of 1947. You cannot negate the past and hope for an honest future to emerge from this dishonest deception.
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