Saturday, May 22, 2010

His + Story = History

History is often His Story, author’s story not the real story. When we are reading the books of history we are tend to believe that whatever is written is pure facts. When the historians write something we make use of it as an ultimate source to know what has happened in the past. Nevertheless we can’t
close our eyes to certain facts that could possibly manipulate the whole history. When something is written we can’t isolate certain aspects that are in and around us influencing the writing. When something is written we add our own colorings, perspective and exaggeration to it.

Author’s mood and the situation in which the history is written and how the author is influenced by the incident all these determine the end result of his writing and the message reached home. Above all everything is culturally and politically influenced. 

Let us take the Gujarat riot as an example. As we all know it was a communal riot between Muslims and Hindus and what were the causes of the riot. If a Muslim author is writing the whole riot and the incidents as a historical document for the reference for the future generation, the whole ‘His’tory is going to be in a Muslim perspective. When someone reads these historical facts in the form of history book, may be after 10 years from now; he would be getting the message home as a history that justifies the stands of Muslims and condemns the Hindus for the whole riot.

If the Gujarat riot is written as a History book by a Christian author the message reached home would be entirely different. It would be written in another perspective all together. Therefore we can’t have a pure and absolute history that is not affected and influenced by the author’s political and cultural background, his perspectives, his ideologies and exaggeration.    

So how do we find the veracity of the historical incidents if everything is influenced? We need to learn to draw lines between what is fact and fiction rather than believing whatever is written. Before start reading the history books we should understand the author and his intention first, then the background of the author and the background in which it’s written. We should also learn that whether the author was affected or was a victim of that particular historical incident.

Thus any historical writing remains His story


1 comment:

  1. Most writers write only if things provoke them.
    A very well written art may be appreciated by one, and may not, by the other.
    Thus every piece of art differs with different perspectives.

    But every piece has its own value. It might tell us the actually happened scene, but might end up in vain, at times, because of no proof available.
    A writer gives out his story and makes it a history, for the future. That itself is a big service done to humanity.