If historical knowledge is to be meaningful, then the past has to be understood and explained. It is not enough just to get information from a source, whether it is an archaeological artefact or a text. It also has to be interpreted. This requires asking a number of questions about its authorship, function, audience and significance – and, above all, about its reliability as evidence. This is particularly called for in the study of ancient history, since its very remoteness in time makes it difficult to grasp. There can be a thin line between what we like to believe happened and what the evidence is actually telling us.
Courtesy: Himal South Asian
Recent events have provided an opportunity for a critical examination of the objectives of school education in Kerala. C. Gouridasan Nair writes in The Hindu on the recent controversy over a Class VII textbook.
The 58 word text in a Class VII textbook in Kerala, which has been a subject of controversy from the many communal organisations in Kerala. These organisations which has the support of the opportunistic Congress led UDF, allege that the text promotes "atheism", "Marxism" and is "anti-religion". We will let our readers judge for themselves. The text is reproduced, courtesy The Hindu newspaper.
The Institute for the Study of Secularism in Society and Culture of Trinity College, Connecticut conducted a survey of the worldviews and opinions of Indian scientists last year. 1130 scientists, all of them holding doctorate degrees, from 130 universities and research institutes were surveyed. The saddening result: those who should have been in the lead of developing and defending scientific temper in our country are themselves in the thrall of superstition and prejudice.