Tuesday, September 26, 2017

History depends on who writes it

History is considered as a collection of facts of what had happened in the past. But more often than not, History becomes the perception of the presenter. This is not just true about History but even about the present. People or institutions presenting the facts color things based on their own underlying motives and understanding. The terrorist for a country or religion or sect is a martyr/freedom fighter for another country or religion or sect. I would not take names or historical events as it gets into controversies quickly. People get passionate about these things without even realizing that this is because they have been exposed to one type of perspective only for their whole life. They have been trained to either love, follow or hate some concepts in life.

For example just look around. I am sure each one of us thinks strongly about certain religious, national or historical issue. And we are quite opinionated about them. If I belong to religion A, I had my own take on religion B.

Is there a neutral way of looking at history. I think it's quite difficult for any individual to attain that kind of objectivity. We, humans, are the victim of self-righteousness. Also, we have limited capability to build perceptions logically. Before we even realize a lot of things about ourselves, our attitude and approach is ironed into us by our surrounding. Once that is fixed in our mind, it's difficult to think in a different way. Is there a hope?

The modern connected world is changing that in some way through the social medium. With people getting exposed to different ideas of the world, probably in long run, we will be able to evolve a neutral way of looking into history. I wonder if we can rewrite the world history in a Wikipedia way where all the conflicting views on the same facts and events can be collected at one place. This will allow people to see each other's viewpoint.

I may worship a historical figure because he was a great fighter and helped my country to expand the territory. But does the people belonging to those territories also think in the same way, or they just consider him a dacoit. 

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