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dated January 1,2004: The Proper Pursuit of History

Editorial: Dr. P. V. Kane uttered a timely warning when, presiding over the Indian History Congress at Waltair, he dealt with the scope and purpose of history. With some points that he raised, particularly evidences of Dravidian influence in the North, there may not be complete agreement. But no scholar of critic will cavil that history cannot be made a handmaid of politics. It is all to the good, as UNESCO publications urge, that the teachers of history should draw the attention of students to the universality of human nature and to the many stages of the world's past history, which show the need for international friendship and brotherhood. The writer of history, and the seeker of historical truth, however, cannot ignore facts or tamper with evidence. Rulers of totalitarian countries let their people view only one side of the picture. Dr. Kane was justified in pointing out that no honest history of India can be written based on the principle set forth in the report of the 1938 Committee on Basic National Education that, as India had adopted non-violence to achieve her freedom, Indian children shuld be taught of the superiority of non-violence over violence. Dr. Kane held that translating this principle into historical studies would mess up the scientific study of Indian history from 1200 A.D. India has now sufficient confidence in her own culture and her traditions, and does not require to be cushioned against the revelation of unwelcome facts in her past.

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