Pakistan needs independent historians
Daily Times, July 6, 2008
ISLAMABAD: Famous historian Dr Mubarik Ali on Saturday said a prosperous Pakistan needed independent historians so that the recent past mistakes were not repeated. The Lahore-based historian said this while delivering a lecture on “Problems of Writing History in Pakistan” at South Asia Free Media Association (Safma) media center here. “No nation could prosper unless professional and independent historians and not government servants recorded its history,” Dr Ali said, adding that all politico-economic and other policies should be framed after taking the recent history into account to avoid a repeat of past mistakes. “Those who control the past also control the present and future,” he said Mubarik said that the history recording was controlled in government institutions and if the nation wanted an independent history for future reference, it must develop its institutions where independent researchers were produced and groomed. He said dictatorship was fatal to research and history recording, as new ideology or views could not be nurtured and resultantly an independent and unbiased history could not be recorded. Pointing out defects in the country’s ongoing history recording process, he said neither the educational institutions were producing professional historians nor independent research methodologies were being developed. “Due to absence of professional historians we are still unable to decide whether ancient Indian history should be made part of the country’s history or it should be started after 1947 or from the Indus Valley civilisation. staff report
“While recording history, we have subtracted Emperor Akbar only because of religious politics,” he said. He was of the view that history recording must be independent and above all biases and prejudices.
He discarded the famous Two-Nation Theory and said there was not much difference in Hindu and Muslim societies as a whole. He said cast system existed both in Hindu and Muslim cultures. In recent history we do talk anti-Hindu but don’t talk anti colonialism or anti-British, he added.