Rewriting History

Shrinivas Tilak shrinivast at HOTMAIL.COM
Sun Nov 5 10:11:25 EST 2000

   There is considerable interest in present-day India to rewrite its
history. Some of the attempts in that direction have been denounced as
"fascist." Yet, the urge and rationale for updating a nation's history need
not always be confined to a right wing political ideology.
   A report by the Commission of the Future of Multi Ethnic Britain, which
was published on October 11, 2000, for instance, has been described as
"sub-Marxist" (Telegraph, Oct 17, 2000) possibly because the Commission was
headed by Lord Parekh (Emeritus Professor of political theory, University of
Hull) and Lady (Kate) Gavron (vice-chairman), both of whom are regarded as
left wing ideologues.
   The report advocates that the history of Britain be revised and rethought
because many customary images of Britain are England-centred--indeed,
southern England-centred--and leaves many millions of people (including the
minorities) out of the picture. The report would like to define United
Kingdom as a community of communities, rather than a nation.
   Gerald Howarth, a Tory MP for Aldershot, has condemned the report as
"social engineering." "It is," he said,"an extraordinary affront to the 94%
of the population which is not from ethnic minorities. The native British
must stand up for ourselves" (see Telegraph Oct. 17, 2000).
   Perhaps we need to study the rewriting of history of any nation with
greater care and introspection.
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