In each story, the characters are either heroes or villains. And that also seems to be the case in the way people and events are portrayed in history books.
Take for example events such as the “War of Independence”. It is seen differently by three different countries, Pakistan, India and Great Britain. The historians of these three nations speak about it from their own point of view and present themselves as the heroes of this conflict.
In class, whenever we discuss topics related to Pakistan, we find ourselves hating other countries. Involved in discussion, some students form extreme opinions based on little evidence or background knowledge.
What if we worked to formulate a type of material where we accept all events in history without coloring it with our own biased narrative, where countries are not afraid or ashamed to defend a lost war?
Looking at recent events, although I wouldn’t call them by name, we can see that a country that mistreats the people of another nation feels no remorse. It’s because they think they’re doing the right thing.
Let us take another example, that of Kashmir. Everyone looks at the scene differently. Here we look at what is happening there as genocide and repression. People there feel hopeless and crushed under a regime they reject. Then those who exert force on them feel they have the right to control them by any means and they take the Kashmiris’ display of self-defense and defiance as a threat and a rebellion. With an abundance of viewpoints, a stranger who has nothing to do with what’s going on there wouldn’t know which side to stand on or which to believe.
Each nation presents historical events to children, through their school history books, with some truth distorted by their own point of view. Many events are even completely erased from history if they show their nation or rulers wrong, or highlight a mistake made in the past. It must be realized that by doing so facts and truth are distorted and false narratives are spread. This is a disservice to future generations.
There is no creative way to look at patriotism or nationalism. We must be brave and honest enough to see and face things as they are. Whether it is a government or an individual, all try to hide their failures and avoid admitting their mistakes.
It’s high time we stopped painting history in our books with colors of our choosing. The real facts cannot stay hidden for long, the truth always comes out. And as children grow, they learn and form better, more realistic opinions. So when we write the story, let’s make sure that everyone and every event is represented factually.
Posted in Dawn, Young World, August 27, 2022