I’m reading The Discovery of India by Jawaharlal Nehru. I have only read less than half of it so far, but nevertheless I find it fascinating. I remember how I used to hate History at school. Learning all those dates and events by heart had always been tiresome and irritating. The problem with History in the school curriculum is that undue importance is given to dates and other details, which you can never really connect with your life.
But actually, the main reason (the only reason, perhaps, except for historians and academicians) for learning about our past (History) is to understand our present, contradictory though it may seem to be. Our present day world didn’t just come to be. It is the result of thousands of years of events – wars, revolutions, reforms, expeditions – in which our ancestors took part with all their vitality . The problems which our society face today, have their roots in the past, and to solve them, we should relate our past with the modern world.
So I think, for being interested in History, one has to be first interested in the problems and challenges of the day. Only then can one savour the chapters of History to their fullest. I think that’s why I’m more interested in History now than I was, perhaps five years ago.
You can read a related post on Dinil’s blog.