Recently, whenever I quote from History, I have often been told that History is written by the ruler or the victor, therefore implying that whatever I know about India or the world is a lopsided even untrue view of things.
It is this claim that I seek to challenge with my post.
If History is indeed written by the victor or the ruler, how is it that we remember the 1857 Mutiny as our first war of Independence? We lost the damn war didn't we? Yet, we seem to have very clear accounts of the heroism of Mangal Pandey, Rani Laxmibai, Tatya Tope, Tipu Sultan etc. How come we've never heard of the Britishers heroics in that war?
We seem to have very clear memories of Porus conversation with ol' Alex & ensuing honourable discharge; despite Alexander being the victor.
We remember Siraj-ud-Daula as a hero despite his loss at the Battle of Plassey. Mir Jafar who won the battle for the British is remembered as a traitor.
How is it that the Indians heroism is well documented (including Sitting Bull's victory over Custer, an American war hero) despite them having lost overall to the marauding early Americans?
History is fair. It isn't only commissioned by the ruler. There are independent scholars who write it as well, taking into account a number of facts.
So where does this recent phenomenon of lamblasting known History come from? Where does this lamblasing of our schooling as British fed or Congress fed (or Macauly led!!!) come from?
I'll tell you. It's the recently English literate right-wing. After centuries of wallowing amongst dead languages, they've given up & adopted the medium of instruction that will give them access to PR machinery and media (in addition to better paying jobs). And they're using it to further their evil purposes!
I've heard that the Purana Qila excavations have unearthed artifacts about 2500 years old. Great news! I've yet to see a news item that boldly proclaims that 5000 year old remains of Indraprastha have been found! But rumours abound...
Soon, I guess there'll be a theory propogated that the Taj Mahal was actually built by a descendant of Chandragupta Maurya, but the ruling Mughals tampered with History & usurped his claim to it.
That's it ladies & gentlemen... the difference between History & lies!