History - It’s Beyond the Past
What is History?
History is derived from the two words “His” and “Story”; which means the story of a man. History covers a multitude of aspects from multifarious eras and multiple topics like the evolution of the earth, and the evolution of man, to ancient and novel inventions. History is deciphered into ternion periods i.e., ancient, medieval, and modern.
Why history is important to study?
History encourages us to comprehend multifaceted cultures across the globe so that novices can think ahead of their time, they can associate with folks coming from different parts of the world. History doesn’t cause us to study and ponder on one civilization, one religion, one country, etc. It assists us to acknowledge all and sundry. It helps us explore how past societies, systems, ideologies, governments, cultures and technologies were built, how they operated, and how they have changed.
What are common misconceptions about history?
1. History is boring!
Really, can you believe it? Each and everything that you see, living or non-living has its history and a story to tell. You can roleplay your favourite freedom fighter, prime minister, or president, or there might be some episodes that inspire you to be like them or act like them. It inspires you to research and understand the third-person perspectives.
2. History is just about deceased people!
Even though the people are not there or the era has passed, it has left behind many learnings, experiences and answers. Finding out about things already occurred helps you to develop inquisitiveness to know more about the various tiny and huge inventions. E.g., who came up with the idea of the first computer? Was it Charles Babbage or Alan Turing? Who came up with the idea of a backpack, shoes, comb, etc.? What made them think about these basic necessities? Were people readily open to these ideas?
3. History is just the memorization of people, places, and dates:
History is miscellaneous. The apprentice should be trained to see the big picture of an episode. For e.g. which events led to that episode, who were the people involved, why they were involved, and what were the repercussions of those events which led to that episode? Instead of shoving information in the head of the apprentice, we should make them more inclined to retain this information.
4. History is all lecture and text reading:
It's definitely untrue! It's about exploring your circumambient. It's about taking long walks with elders and asking them, instead of high rise what was there before, how was Bengaluru before the emergence of IT companies, and why all IT companies are situated in Bengaluru when we have a shortage of water? It's about visiting a museum and developing a close-knit relationship with our ancestors. It's all about dwelling in the sea of unknown knowledge.
5. History is never relevant!
All history is known as the collection of the past. But without the past, there is no future. The mistakes which our ancestors made; our political leaders make sure to do not repeat them. History helps us improvise our inventions, and understand the law of physics, it would be a shame to admit that the architecture of our ancestors is far better than the new construction of high rises, it is way more beautiful, strong, and untethered.
History helps us to develop and refine our skills. How?
1. Reading and Writing
History guides us to analyze the work of distinguished historians from the abysmal writings of their own time. We can comprehend history from primary and secondary sources which give us insight into the work of the following few historians mentioned here although there are many more like Herodotus, Edward Gibbon, Karl Marx, Fernand Braudel,
Leopold von Ranke, Kalhana, Al Biruni, Hsuan Tsang etc. Primary sources (written at that time) and secondary sources (written about a period, after the fact).
2. Craft your own opinions.
- In history, we have the privilege to craft our own opinions about events because there is no decisive truth about the events. E.g., the victory of one group was a loss of another. In the modern world, the conquest of Afghanistan by the Taliban is not good news for India, but if we study about their success there is no powerful government and leader who can fight back. So, with this event, we realize the importance of powerful leaders, government, and military who will never let down their people by fleeing to another country.
- Studying the events and happenings of the past, analysing them and drawing conclusions helps us prevent mistakes and learn about well-worked theories. It helps us to make informed decisions and guides us to overcome obstacles.
We all are living history!
As said by Martin Luther King Jr.
‘We are not makers of History; We are made of History’.
All people and cultures are living histories because we have inherited our past through our ancestors. History matters because it helps us as individuals and as societies to understand why our societies are the way they are and what they value. For Generation Z we are history and outdated because we didn’t renovate our rooms with LED lights, and we don’t have TikTok installed on our mobile phones.
Why History is fun?
Learning about history can be a great deal of entertainment because we have thongs of movies like Mohenjo-Daro, Gandhi, Border, The Ghazi Attack, Panipat, The Thugs of Hindustan, etc. History is a complete package of fascinating stories ever told like Panchatantra, Shakuntala, The Last Mughal, Discovery of India, The Train to Pakistan, etc. Regularly new stories with varied genres like treasures, mysteries, adventures, folklore, etc. keep emerging from the past to the mainstream.
The study of history, and our past will help us in enhancing our skills and will help us to acquire traits as a better version of a global citizen.