Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Reading Nandigram

Where to Place the Bookmark?
by Badri Raina | ZNet,
November 18, 2007

I recall a young member of the family who would snatch an Agatha Christie as someone was reading it, sift quickly to the last pages, find out who-done-it, hand the book back, and grin for days with the secret knowledge that the one reading the book did not yet have.

Such are the joys of reading books from the wrong end.

Thus, for many historians of modern Russian history, the only one thing to remember about the Bolshevik revolution is that it led to the Gulag, or that the chief feature of India’s Freedom Struggle was the Partition of India, or that it is the madness of 1989-90 that once and for all must define the character of Kashmiri Muslims, never mind that the very same saved both the valley and the [Kashmiri] Pandits against co-religionist invaders in 1947.

In the same vein, many hold that both Nazism and the Second World War happened simply because Hitler was an evil man, and the Gujarat massacres of 2002 had nothing to do with the history of Hindu-Fascist ideology over a century or so but with the fact that a train caught fire at Godhra.

Nor is there a dearth of readers who believe that the evil nature of science is conclusively established by the single fact of atomic fission; nothing else may be said for science. Period.

Keep reading . . .

Post a Comment