I used to hate studying history

History was one of my most boring subjects in school. It was mainly because I had to memorise so many dates and events and names and so on, I never understood what the point was when it had all got over long ago. Of course some of the stories were interesting, but overall it was the most boring subject on Earth especially due to my total lack of motivation! :mrgreen:

Over time, many years after I finished school, I happened to come across one answer – the maxim that those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

Today I was watching the movie Bombay again, it showed Babri Masjid demolition era, and the violence that followed.

The parents of this particular couple in the story, who were from different religions and had opposed the marriage vehemently at first, but when faced with a life and death situation, one of them saves the other by identifying him as his own brother.

There were two little boys – 6 year old identical looking twins. Its a very colorful and melodious beginning in the movie, but eventually, after the indiscriminate destruction of the mosque, communal riots break lose. These little brothers are fleeing for safety amidst the mob fury, but are caught by a group of arsonists. Threatening to set fire to them they ask them “are you a hindu or a muslim?”  again and again. Both the terrified boys reply one religion each, what can they say when their names are Kabir Narayan and Kamal Basheer! It confuses the mob who repeatedly ask the same question, and then just decide to just burn them both and start pouring fuel on them! Its a heart rending scene… a metaphor of exactly what happens in every community riot. Within any external classification of people we make based on birth or background, inside we are the same just like these twin brothers.

The violence, pain and suffering is portrayed with graphic realism – its quite clear how people in power manipulate circumstances, while it is the poor common man who is affected. The innocence of the children and love in this inter-religious family is a stark contrast. I can’t imagine any movie conveying this brotherhood any more clearly than this movie.

It seemed that not everybody appreciated it though, as a matter of fact bombs were thrown at the director’s house after the release. But I don’t think any common man could’ve got away from this movie without getting this point).

One of the songs of the movie Malarodu Malaringu…

When flowers are joining together,
why people are fighting with each other?
Let the madness of religious fanatism be buried.
Let the world find solace in religion.
There is no sorrow in these tears.
Blood dosen’t have different colours.
Breeze dosen’t have stipulated direction and purpose,
Let our hearts join together

Often misunderstood, this was the core idea of Gandhi’s non-violence…

Gandhi was not talking about defeating or overthrowing anyone.

Satyagraha—Gandhi’s nonviolent action—was not a way for one group to seize what it wanted from another. It was not a weapon of class struggle, or of any other kind of division. Satyagraha was instead an instrument of unity.

You may wonder, how did Gandhi himself come to this
amazing attitude? He said it this way: “All my actions have their
source in my inalienable love of humankind.”

You see, love for the victim demanded struggle,
while love for the opponent ruled out doing harm. But in fact, love for
the opponent likewise demanded struggle.

Why? Because by hurting others, the oppressor also hurts himself.

Of course, the oppressor isn’t likely to be aware
of that. He may be thoroughly enjoying his power and wealth. But
beneath all that, his injustice is cutting him off from his fellow
humans and from his own deeper self. And when that happens, his spirit
can only wither and deform.

Now, that’s not obvious, and if you don’t believe it, I don’t know any way I might convince you.

3 Responses to “I used to hate studying history”


    Dear Sanju,
    Your thoughts are right. History has become history and that history need not be taught to the present generation. School curriculum has to be refurbished to include contemporary subjects like civic sense, disaster management, rules of democracy, ways of living with values attached for obtaining a meaningful education, preservation and protection of natural resources, austerity, global warming, global dimming etc., so that the minds of children will grow with a touch of mature subjects that affect their daily lives.
    Some lessons have a hidden agenda of ‘hate muslims’ eg., some muslim rulers had invaded India and defaced statues of Hindu gods, destroyed a number of temples and other places of worship before looting and carrying away the riches. Can we say that the Babri Masjid episode of the film Bombay is a retaliation to what happened a century ago; 26/11 was in retaliation of that episode???? Enough is enough.
    What kind of picture it creates in the mind of a Hindu youngster who is sitting next to a muslim boy? Will it not make him look at that boy with disdain and hate because he may think that the next boy’s great grand forefathers were those rulers?
    There is every possibility because childrens’ minds are like wet fertile land and the seed that is sown will grow into a huge tree and it should not yield only fruits of that kind.
    It is time for educationists, academicians and authorities to evaluate each and every lesson that is taught in the subject of history from primary level, remove lessons that create such unhealthy thoughts and include subjects of contemporary living.
    In the present day context with LS elections around even highly educated young aspirants for LS have stooped to the level of making open ‘hate speeches’ that does not augur well for the party the boy represents nor for the party itself.
    Muslim population in India is more than the entire population of Pakistan. Can we wish away those brothers and sisters? Why can’t those who are making such incindiary speeches come out exactly what they want to do with the minority communities that have coexisted with amity for centuries in this greatest living democracy in the world? Does this kind of politics help India to preach global peace?
    Put on your thinking caps, get up, go vote and create a secular and stable government at the Center and put a full stop for the uncertainties that will haunt us after the elections.
    Let us live and let live. Mistakes are not meant to be repeated. They have to be banished for ever so that our future generation will be grateful to us because we made an on line correction to our polity when the entire edifice of secular democracy was about to be demolished with such hate politics.
    It is now or never. Yes we can. Jago Re. Jai Ho!

  2. Sanjay M Says:

    thanks sir for your important and relevant message its really more important than ever to vote now.

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