In the case of India, a Western scholar, especially from the United Kingdom, inevitably tended to look at Indian history as if the last few thousand years were some kind of preparation for the coming British rule in India. And there was also a nationalist reaction to this. It seems to me that our historians get too caught up in the details and therefore miss the main theme.
Both approaches were limited and both failed to look at the picture from a broad perspective. Fundamentally, the nationalist approach and imperialist approach distort history. Sometimes they suppress history.
We have had examples of some sort of organized approach or philosophy of history, which has led to interesting results. One of the books I had the opportunity to read in the spare time of my prison life was Spengler’s The Decline of the West. I was fascinated by it, just as one is fascinated by something evil. I definitely don’t like his blanket approach.
It seems to me that as soon as we begin to look at history with a biased approach, it distracts us from some obvious facts that do not fit into our theory.
And we choose things that agree with our own thinking. As long as we understand the main currents of history correctly and emphasize a point to attract attention, there will be no harm. The emphasis on the social dimension has certainly gone a long way in balancing one’s approach to history.
The old idea of writing the history of any country has become increasingly obsolete. Today it is impossible to think about the history of a country isolated from the rest of the world. The world is integrating. We really need to look at today’s history from a world perspective.
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