04 December, 2020

Britannia's Thug-Of-War

A riveting glimpse into the colonial encounter between Empire and bands of robbers

Britannia's Thug-Of-War
One of the incidental outcomes of the political furore over the beliefs of Mohammed Ali Jinnah is the revelation that India finds revisionist history disconcerting. Thanks to decades of mindless over-politicisation, Indian history tends to be written as a morality play. Medieval history is, of course, the worst sufferer but the perversion extends to the scrutiny of British rule as well. It has become drearily fashionable to view the entire colonial experience through the prism of modern-day political correctness.

A casualty of this warped thinking is the writing of history. Till the 1950s, India had a vibrant tradition of historiography that combined empirical rigour with compelling prose. The narrative tradition may seem dreadfully old-fashioned today but it captured the romance of history and made it appealing to general readers. The tradition of history-writing India inherited from the British was infinitely superior in every respect to the turgid, Marxist, post-modernist drivel being produced from today’s "detoxified" institutions.

Fortunately, there are no...



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