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Home Food for Thought Reflections My View of History

My View of History

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This is a subject taught in every school, and reflects the views of the writer, even though he assumes the role of an impartial observer.    The early indoctrination forms the minds, but need not necessarily last, as with every new year, one grows and is faced with new situations and experiences, and the current history (its writers who can reach to the mind of the reader) influence his views, and change them.   In the modern world, the Internet has managed to reach to every nook and corner of the world, and so the immense literature that is being uploaded everyday, in one form or another, tends to divert the views of people.   Advertisers can influence new market trends and people follow them sheepishly, and so too ideas can lead to wars, and that too can be endorsed by voters and their leaders with equal ease.    What Pope Benedict XVI said recently, that Satan has unleashed his energy, but the ultimate arbiter of History is God, and I tend to agree with him.

My own sense of history was formed by western writers, as I grew when the British ruled India.   After 1947, history books were written by Indians, who also learnt in Institutions created during the British rule, and relied on libraries started by them. Many were influenced by current history as was being enacted in their life times, of the early 20th century, so all literature, movies, and magazines portrayed the world view of the West.

Moment of Change

On a given day, and time of the hour, many are born, but end up in different situations. How is it possible that a child who comes with a blank slate can turn out into a Saint or a Criminal?    The answer lies in the early childhood impressions, which are formed in the family, which is the varying factor if everyone's life.    One has no control in which family he or she is born.    Thus history changes its course because of some individuals, who make unique decisions, which can result in peace or war, chaos or harmony.    When they bring peace, they get medals and awards, but when they go to war, there are two views.   The winner is given accolades by his followers, and the vanquished is portrayed as the evil one, who needed to be destroyed, for the greater good of the people whom the winner represented.    Thus the world view of this history is from the eyes of the winner.    However, the vanquished has no means to advertise his views, they fester in the shanties, and ghettos left over by the war and devastation, and is fed into the minds of the young ones, by the parents of the vanquished, and the pain makes the experience real, and this pain lasts for generations and results in further wars, when the tables are turned, and the Vanquished becomes the winner, and the winner becomes the vanquished.   In both world views, there are the "Evil Ones"  and the "Good Ones" - but they are the same people, branded so by the opposing parties.    This view then extends to larger and larger stages, and encompasses the whole world, with false hoods, and twisted history, on which people base their decisions, which result in greater harm.

Our part in the current history

Many of us are just followers of opinions, and carry one our daily lives unaffected by upheavals that take place in the world.   In rural areas, people are blissfully unaware, and are life and death march in unison.   In  large cities, where television and newspapers reach the minds of the population, minds are formed and react as they see one side as just and the other as unjust.   Everything is seen in black and white.  But there are some who make the difference, and who are they?    Are they in firm control of the events that flow from their actions?    If one views the present, one may not get the complete answer, but if one looks at the past, he can guess where all this is going to lead.   That is why the age old proverb has been repeated so many times: PEOPLE WHO FAIL TO LEARN FROM THE MISTAKES OF THE PAST, ARE CONDEMNED TO REPEAT THEM.

Who am I?


I start with me.   I am now 76 years old, and what have I learned from all these years?  Have I ?


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