History · Politics

Creating a reliable, accessible resource for knowledge about India

There is way too much fake and misleading laden ‘history’ floating around on social media and other corners of the Internet, deeply influencing people’s opinions and evaluations of events and personalities. [For one worrying example, see here.] I think, like many others, that we need to radically change the way we talk about the nation and its history with the younger generation. Only then could we expect them to become more aware of their present and past, and less vulnerable to propaganda and fake ‘facts’. [For example, see this: We Need to Teach Our Kids to Feel Responsible, Not Proud, as Indians]

As a first step in that direction, it makes sense to begin by trying to make information/knowledge accessible to willing adults – whether parents or teachers or simply responsible citizens. Over the last two years i have realized that there is a phenomenal amount of knowledge and information about India that exists but is hardly known to most of us – either because it is restricted to academic circles or because we are naturally too engrossed in other things to come across that.

I will be working, thru a Facebook page, towards making that knowledge more accessible. It is high time we had, and passed on to kids, a fascinating, honest, and constructive conception of India – as against the militant, hate-filled, enemies-infested versions that are dominant today. We need – and our kids need – citizens/humans around us, not vengeful and hate-spewing hypernationalists.

Though originating in opposition to the dangerous hijacking of knowledge by anti-social elements, this FB page is NOT about verifying what this or that source is saying, or about conforming or denying any fake news. This is mainly about presenting the work of scholars, both Indian and foreign, who have devoted years in studying and trying to understand our country and its people. The aim is to assist the reader in understanding India and having a better idea of the making of India, instead of telling authoritatively or righteously what is right and what is wrong. All history is, after all, interpretation of facts – and never exactly 100% factual: what is important is to be able to distinguish malevolent interpretations/histories from ordinary history.

The page lays no claim to a ‘pure’ knowledge about India. In fact no one can – if anyone’s claiming it, they’re deluded. India is way too big and profound for those kinds of claims. The aim of this social media effort is to create a stable, reliable, accessible resource of knowledge, and provide ideas and insights to everyone interested in understanding India – including influencers on the ground: common citizens, history teachers, parents, etc.

Do make it a point to Like this and also ask everyone and anyone you know to go for it.

The Making of India: https://www.facebook.com/indian.history.culture.society/

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