Thursday, 21 May 2015

Historians the Great

Dear all

In their search for Greatness our historians  till now have identified only three Great rulers, viz Alexander, Asoka and Akbar. Alexander was considered great because he conquered the world at a young age; Asoka became Great became he became an apostle of peace after the bloody war at Kalinga. But what for Akbar?.  Maybe he tried to create an integrated Hindu- Muslim society through his cocktail religion called  Din-i-llahi. However now when our home minister says that Maharaja Ranapratab singh was also great, questions ponders my mind, on what makes a ruler so great. Is it war or its spoils?

Professional historians have told me that a king is considered great when he has made exemplary achievements   including victories and displayed path breaking leadership initiatives benefiting humanity. Even if I accept this argument from the left leaning historians, my conclusion is that only Asoka fits into this  slot because of his dedication  to the cause of Buddhist  Dhamma ( non-violence and righteousness)  which eventually spread the religion of Buddhism in the Indian sub-continent . On the other hand the motive of Alexander and Akbar was mere strategic in nature. Akbar according to me had to display  a ‘’ secular ‘’ mindset as a strategic reason to align the Rajput’s to his side.

While on the right side of the debate, is the new set of scholars  from the Indian Council of Historic Research who after taking cues from the Home minister, is trying to portray the valor of Ranapratap Singh to be christened as Great. Well , then we have a list of warriors who showed remarkable valor and determination from the annuls of history.  Maharashtrians will call for Sivaji the Great, Punjabis will say Maharaja Ranjitsingh  the great and the humble Malayalee in me  will shout Veluthambi Dalawa and Pazasi Raja the Great.

So why open up a Pandora’s box and historians taking positions  and in the process becoming  politicians . Because  historians re  Great…


RAJESH said...
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Rejimon John said...

You perfectly said it. Still, being a student of History, I found minister's comment as nonsense. Seems he has some vested interests.
Generally speaking history is the story of the winner.