We have always been cramming the dates, years of the major events that have happened in the past or the main points of the revolution that happened. Those sure were the pain in the brain, the main reason of this beautiful subject being boring. What would have happened if we did put more emphasis on pondering over the ideas that triggered all those wars and revolutions?
It would have been better in my opinion that rather than making students cram the date of the attack on Bastille, the idea behind the attack was targeted, making students think whether it was the right way to do it? It would have better if the philosophy of Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Maximilian Robespierre was earmarked, and the opinion was taken of each student on that, training their brain on HOW TO THINK rather than WHAT TO THINK.
How does it affect the future? You know the basic problem in India is we feed students; we do not make them search for the food. There must be a reason why we are a hub of cheap labour in the world but not of high skilled labour and leaders. The root cause of this is the blocked vision and the one-dimensional brain that is the result of constant feeding without thinking. A labourer won’t question your ideas, but a thinker would dare to question the thinking and could even change it and that’s where the creative thinking comes from, expanding your horizons, increasing your dimensions. You can see the world with the eyes of Albert Einstein or Max Weber by not merely reading their ideas but to think over it.
We all have read about Hitler, and we have crammed what he did. If we had been more possessive about his thinking itself, we must have known how one man can control the peoples’ mind. He was one of the powerful orator the world has ever seen, flowing peoples’ mind with hatred against one race and then controlling the stuff that their mind should feed through media, newspaper and other magazines, eliminating the THINKERS and the people he felt weren’t suitable by his standards or were opposing his draconian actions. In the end, the majority of the people left were his followers and the next thing we know was the start of WW2.
Now see your country’s leader, are there any similarities? If there are and there isn’t a big opposition against him, people must have learnt History from a wrong way, now tell me how cramming the date of Hitler’s birth would have helped us?
Let’s take another example, we all are aware of the India-China standoff that occurred recently. It wasn’t the first time China has done that. China’s shenanigans commenced from blunders that Pt Jawaharlal Nehru made in the 1950s which also were the great catalysts in India losing the 1962 war.
India happily ignored Chinese claims until the early 1950s. Maps released by Beijing in 1954 showed the north-eastern edge of Jammu and Kashmir (Aksai Chin region) as the territory of the Chinese, which triggered the alarm. Instead of vigorously addressing the issue with China and trusting the country, the Jawaharlal Nehru government decided to remain silent. The obvious way out was to sit across the table and solve the problem. A diplomatic solution was possible, this was the moment. The controversial borders were not delimited, only delimited. (Singh, 2019)
The sheer cowardice of Nehru has been haunting us ever since. One can’t change the historical mistakes but we sure can learn from them.
History should be treated as a subject that imparts important modern competencies like writing, critical thinking, reasoning and decision making. This makes the matter more relatable, beneficial, engaging and in the long term, helpful for the country.