Let’s denounce and dethrone the politicians in the garb of historians who man our education centres, and also those who dismiss them by means of pamphleteering; for, the truth of our past must be told
This is the way history should be written. Unlike the unfortunate students of history in India, those in the United States will now learn, in the wake of a path-breaking anthropological discovery, that prehistoric ancestors were not nearly as homebound as once thought. Yes, in America, the history curriculum is revised constantly in the light of any new truth science digs out. Beaming in the light of the evolution of the study of ancient DNA, in this case, a scientist from the team exclaims, “When we look at the data, we see surprises again and again and again.” The finding that “human populations are moving and mixing all the time” may some day develop to challenge even the out-of-Africa theory, political correctness be damned! As anthropological studies in the American Museum of Natural History have found, our prehistoric ancestors did not quite live or move around in the stereotypical fashion that school textbooks and university-recommended books of history brainwash us to believe. If our educationists eventually accept the fact that the current Indian civilisation is at least 8,000 years old, if historians in Britain accept that their demography changed 4,500 years ago, how far are we from accepting the fact that it is impossible for the Caucasoids, Mongoloids and several other pure and hybrid lineages in humanity to have originated from Africa, which must be the origin of Negroids alone? Science has been challenging the set notions of history across the educated world in the West although academics, by and large, speak a language so jargon-laced that the moot points are often lost. The indecent slugfest between Marxist and RSS-affiliated historians in India, for example, can end if anthropologists, archaeologists and palaeontologists, basing their theories on physics, chemistry and biology, replace the breed of historians from the humanities who rely mostly on the hagiographies and travelogues of ancient and mediaeval times. The children of Nurul Hasan in academia post-1969 have projected every Indian culture as an import. While the British ICS officers who masqueraded as historians helped hurt the self-esteem of revolutionaries in the colonial era, what makes communists look down upon their own nation remains an intrigue. On the other hand, the ‘Sanghis’, who find everything holy about ancient India, which, according to them, is also the origin of all knowledge, have reduced the subject to a joke. In the West, the mere observation that two individuals might be biologically different attracts the accusation of racism, much as its departments of history now incorporate scientists as well. Historical studies need to break free from the aristocratic and crude propagandists alike.
Imagine a classroom that isn’t a conventional one: where students of history are not learning the past from sheets of paper but by conducting carbon-14 dating on fossils preserved in their laboratory. Visualise a lecture session that is held at an excavation site. Think of a ‘period’ in college when future historians are deciphering the deoxyribonucleic acid patterns of extinct animals. When these scientists come together to form an institution that would rightfully lay claim to the subject called history, what we were and how we lived with the resources on earth will be crystal clear. Motivated narrations of yore must end. This proposition will but be challenged by those fond of status quo. When they begin losing a scholarly debate, they argue it is better to focus on the present to build a better future. But then, even future depends on the very science that exposes the past. Expanding the scope of research from living to non-living things, the student also comes to know the formations of stars, planets, satellites and other objects in the sky. And then he realises that not only the life on earth but also the very earth will perish one day, as will the sun like millions of stars and their respective solar systems. Whether it is the past, the present or the future, science is inescapable. But let’s begin by denouncing and dethroning the politicians in the garb of men of letters who man our education centres, and also those who dismiss them by means of pamphleteering. Further, we must also discard the anachronism called a book in this age of the Internet, which can be a boon for seekers who are properly guided. For, the truth must be told.