Is history important?Why study history at all?
Past is the prologue of the future.
From the past we learn our mistakes as well as our potentials for growth and development.Hence study of history is important.Selfanaysis is good for future systematic planning to achive success and for an aimoriented approach.
.Is chronology important and if so why?
Chronology means a chronological succession of events.This is a relative phenomenon since it is strictly regional.To make it meaningful ,we have to compare the chronologies of two or more regions ,or better still ,the chronology of a series of world events with a simultaneous event in the cosmos(in the world of stars and cosmos)then it becomes meaningful.Otherwise ,the chronology as such (without these)has no meaning in history.So,the development of a system which draws the chart of the position of heavenly bodies ,in relation to the fixed stars and in relation to an event on earth(be it the birth of an ordinary/royal/divine child or the coronation of a king to start a new branch of royalty called a saaka )means that people have developed a sense of theory of relativity .It is very simple to understand that .But the lack of interdisciplinary awareness of our scholars makes it difficult for them to understand this significance.
The statement in the rgveda when the yagna was being conducted such and such asterisms were on the sky denotes this high thinking capacity of our ancestors.the gene of that ancestor is in us.that is one of our potential .The gene of the warring tribes also is there(unfortunately).The scholars are happy to inherit the warring gene,and that makes all the difference between a discussion and a mudthrowing between scholars .(when they disagree)
I would suggest the scholars to read the chronology given in scriptures and then compare it with the known lineages of kings available from different states (old empires and royalty ,from rishi or guru parampara)and this geneology to be compared with the astronomical combinations.without doing thtat just saying that the chronology is a myth and /or it is absolutely true is not an objective approach.For this an extensive study is needed.compilation of results of various people and making it into a metascience would be ideal.
What should be the principles behind the study of history?
Every people(nation)has aunique geographic and climatic history which shapes their economy,trade,social relationships,customs,dresscode etc.This natural geographical features are responsible for our unique developments of culture.
India is having a monsoon tradewind starting from the Arabian sea and from the bay of Bengal at clockwork precision ,cyclical and this determines our economy,trade,navigational history,cultural and philosophical peculiarities etc.Even the townplanning,Vaasthu,construction of portcities,smallscale industries,defence strategies,shipbuilding and navigation are all because eof the proximity to sea and the monsoon winds and the availability of numerous riverways for inland transports.
Hence the study of these features and the subaltern history of the people should be given more importance than the chronology of political leaders of the present.The navigation of the naasatya and Bhujyu in rgveda shows that they knew the secret of tradewind from the time of rgveda.(at least)and for that thousands of years of observation of monsoons,starwatching for finding the spatial relationship,complicated mathematics,and production of goods(agricultural and others)for profit making,weight and measures for trade etc must have developed.The fact that veda speaks of these itself show that they were not inland people ,but people who were wellversed with the sea and searoutes.The migration of birds and animals,etc also mentioned in the Rgveda as a corollary to this.The rishi parampara of Rgveda if closely followed ,and then compared with the Mahabharatha parampara will give some very interesting facts .(which we will discuss later)
The current chronology is insufficient because it is very relative and does not even attempt to correlate with chronologies of other parts as a metascience should do.
The Europeans are blamed for everything by the present Indian scholars for our decline.Nobody thinks that it could be the other way round also.The local chieftains who were warring with each other for political supremacy control of trade and commerce and economy were actually inviting the new traders to help them in destroying the fellow countrymen.And ,naturally ,they did help.But ,they understood the weakness of desire in these chieftains and behaved in the sam e coin to them.I think ,that is only human nature.There is no need to criticize colonizers for everything.We have to do a selfanalysis from the past history and realize that we were over desirous of power and money and luxury and that was the caus eof misery for us.British rule had actually given a new regeneration to our thinking process which was numbed by the incessant wars between petty chieftains.If they have done some mistakes,the reason was our petty nature and their ignorance of the past of India ,being foreigners.That is a pardonable mistake.because they were outsiders .But unpardonable on our part who are insiders and yet donít know anything about ourselves,our weaknesses and our strengths-potentials and the drawbacks.History should be in such an objective way to make our younger generation realize both.Not just glorification ,not just criticism either.Be objective.Find out our strengths,potentials and develop them and be glorified with real reason.
This would be the best method.The very English language with which we now communicat e globally,the irrigation systems,better research tools and technology were all the regenerative processes the colonizers started in India.So ,untoward criticism may be avoided.Selfcriticism will promote development (Not the criticism of others .Ofcourse they too might have been responsible but not to the same extant as we are. The recognition of this fact makes us more wise).But that also should be with a problemsolving attitude.We should be able to give solutions.to the current problems we face from our assessment of the past history .Otherwise just the study of history becomes useless .
Think where we went wrong,what went wrong,and how best we can correct them ,
Not who was at fault .
Yes .History is definitely important.But not to increase separatist feelings among citizens but to improve our social ,economic and political conditions by learning from past mistakes and for better management ,administration ,and for understanding the gene and the brain of our ancestral stock which we too have inherited as a genetic/environmental potential and to behave in a rational manner for th e betterment humanity ,for the betterment of entire world .That is the message of India and its great civilization that history should convey.
Dr Suvarna Nalapat