More than what meets the eye

Mounik Shankar Lahiri

cross-roads History is at the heart of all major social studies, since besides explaining society at a given time, space, and context, most social theories seek to explain social reality over sustained periods of time. Therefore, a lot of school subjects from the humanities, overlap with the subject matter of history.

At the outset, most of my readers and I have been schooled to believe and subscribe to a very uncritical take on history. History has been taught to us in the form of stories and anecdotes. This is the same way perhaps we have been exposed to literature and fiction and have been fascinated by it. We all remember how, with unbridled curiosity, we would listen to the remorse of Ashoka after the Kalinga War, after which he renounced aggression; or the amazement of Alexander when he was impressed by Porus to have been asked to be treated the same way that a king would treat another king!

All of these have built a fascinating world of kings and monarchs who went about their grand and heroic achievements, like any another day at the office for the average individual today. To add to these, history always seemed to have morals to impress and emulate. It was almost as if our favorite characters could do no wrong and how all that we do today just could have been done so much better only if we could emulate our heroes from history.

The author is a graduate in economics with an active interest in sociology, economics and politics of social causality. He is also passionate about education, especially in the Indian context and is currently pursuing a Master in Business Laws from National Law School of India University, Bangalore. He can be reached at

This is an article for subscribers only. You may request the complete article by writing to us at

Leave a Reply