Ignorance for Indian History, Language and Culture

Posted on February 11, 2010 in Culture-Vulture

Manali Misra:

Our country’s rich past, diverse culture, magnificent architecture and unique geography are popular throughout the world. We all proudly agree to this fact. But hold on, how many of us actually know about our own country’s history? How many of us even think of being well-read about our culture? Very few of us and half among them are the ones who must know about the history as it might be required for their job, other than that, hardly any one cares. Apart from a handful of history lovers, youngsters know just the basic facts about India, though many of them forget even those soon after they pass their school examinations, where history is incorporated as a subject.

History is always considered as a boring subject, so are the people who have a penchant for it. India is considered as the mother of history, legends and traditions. But the present generation is satisfied by knowing just an iota about it. It feels nice to think that the oldest scriptures- The Vedas were written in our country, the longest epic poem- The Mahabharata was composed on the Indian soil, but that feeling vanishes when we realise that all this is in Sanskrit, a language very few are aware of.

Other countries have reconginsed and praised India’s history and culture. It is evident from the following remark of the German philologist, Max Mueller-

“If I were asked under what sky the human mind has most fully developed some of its choicest gifts, has most deeply pondered on the greatest problems of life, and has found solutions, I should point to India”

Nowadays we are so busy in our lives that we can’t find time to read about our motherland. It’s time that we should realise there is a lot to know about India. The intellectuals have always been grateful to India for its contribution in the field of knowledge as the renowned physicist Albert Einstein had put in his words-

“We owe a lot to the Indians, who taught us how to count, without which no worthwhile scientific discovery could have been made!”

A nation full of heritage to be proud of, a nation that has the best places in the world, a country, traveling around which will be a life changing experience for many. We should not let ourselves and our nation down by being fluent in English but not even knowing the basics of Hindi. Most of the teenagers feel that in today’s era knowledge of Hindi is hardly required. Of course, one can survive without knowing or speaking Hindi. But they fail to represent their identity as an Indian once they are in a foreign land. Regular field trips to historical places and classes of history at college and school level can help a great deal in removing this flaw of the youngsters. It is no doubt good to know about the culture of other countries but not by ignoring our own culture. As Dr. Rajendra Prasad rightly said, “A country that does not take pride in its language and literature can never progress.”

The writer is a correspondent of Youth Ki Awaaz.