History as per definition in Cambridge dictionary is the study of or a record of past events. However, any attempts to distort history through post facto reinterpretation or ascribing motives based on subsequent developments is fraught with dangerous consequences. If it’s not a faithful record of events, it’s not quite history but some other subject.
The reason for this rather cryptic start to this blog is a series of posts and articles that are doing rounds in social media on India’s first Prime Minister, Pt Jawaharlal Nehru, whose birthday we are celebrating today as children’s day. These posts talk about his errors of judgment and wrong decisions in the context of Kashmir, Pakistan and China, his westernised lifestyle, his alleged weakness for good things in life, his disagreements with Sardar Patel and his purportedly Muslim lineage, Not that there are no contrarian articles on his socialism, his moderation, developmental agenda to make India self sufficiently and his secularism.
I think the success of any democracy lies in the freedom of speech and expression, but let’s use history only to make our present and future better so that mistakes of the past do not come back to haunt the nation again. Let’s leave Gandhi, Nehru, Patel, Azad and even Indira, Rajiv and Atal Bihari Vajpayee in the annals of the history for these people cannot defend whatever we write or say about them now!
Let’s simply celebrate 14th November as a happy event called children’s day irrespective of whether we agree or not with what these people did or thought!