Wednesday, January 7, 2009

A sudden interest in History

I used to hate History in school. It was mainly because of the dull way in which it was taught to me, as merely a collection of events with more stress on memorising dates. Sometimes when you have bad teachers you end up hating the subject as well.

My interest has suddenly turned to history now.

Why should one study history, I wonder. Isn't history all about cold blooded murders in the name of war? Isn't history more about singing the glories of so called "heroes" who killed hundreds and thousands of innocents in the name of war? Well it is and it is no longer worth reading history just to show off ones ability to remember dates and events.

I feel that history should be studied so that we are reminded of the barbarism that is still left in mankind inspite of the centuries gone by, to understand how one person's eccentricity or someone's selfish interests can send a nation to war . History should be studied so that we are reminded of the indifference that is so much a part of people how much ever educated they might be. Starting from indifference to what is happening to one's neighbour, indifference to the suffering of others, to indifference to who is ruling ones country.

History helps in knowing about cultures and the events that have shaped different races of people and made them what they are. History is more like what one learns from his bosses. In my opinion one learns more on how things should not be done than on how things should be done from his bosses.

I don't know if this is right but I find history interesting when I approach it by first understanding the main characters involved.

World War II is a lot more interesting when you understand Hitler's eccentricity and his fascist intentions to create extra space for Germans in Europe, Hitler's political genius in constantly projecting the versailles grievances to justify his every move, Stalin's selfishness in expecting the war between Hitler and France / England to prolong so that soviet can benefit, churchill's remarkable oratory powers which rallied and uplifted the whole British nation in an hour of crisis.

I don't know if this is the right way to learn history but I like it. My mind is full of questions and I have a lot of secrets to uncover thanks to a wasted student life spent hating history!


karthik said...

The only problem with history is that none of it is true ;) At the end of the day, history is written by people who won or the race which had the upper hand at that point in time. The overall theme is twisted and contorted and changed based on the then political climate and also in some cases the future political view.
Even the modern history is full of distorted facts and ambiguities.
I guess that's the beauty of it and at the end, one can pick and choose and add one's own imagination

Partha said...

History is meant to be written or rewritten rather by people who succeed :-)

Janani said...

I agree with you that bad teachers can make you hate even an interesting subject as history (Been there :-)) But your post is motivating enough for me to browse through the pages of history and appreciate it..:)