25 July 2013

Our Notion of History

I will keep it short and to the point (Indian perspective - my opinion):

  1. History as List of Events:  We do not get a sense of life style and its evolution by reading textbooks. Events, mostly involving powerful people, do not tell us about common people. In my opinion, history should be taught as evolution and life style along with events as things change. 
  2. Ideological Interpretation of History: When there is an accident you dont look at it through a political ideology. Using an ideology to interpret history is misuse of audience for history to further cause of the ideology.
  3. History According to Current Ethics: All historical events should be viewed in the ethical framework of their time. It would then be necessary to agree on what ethical standard was at the time. Although not accurate they would help improve our interpretation and sense of ethics.
  4. History as Fact: There are as many versions as there are people even for an accident that took place minutes ago. How can we be so sure about thousands of years of history? School textbooks preach history as if they are facts. Right degree of confidence or otherwise should be indicated along with "fact" of history. School children must be ware of sources even though they may not fully comprehend quality or authenticity.

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