destination india

Friday, September 09, 2005

the untold stories

News item No. 1 - Terming the 1965 war as "wrong," the then Pakistan Air Force chief Nur Khan has said that it was the result of attempts by Pakistani Army to push a large number of militants into Jammu and Kashmir.

News item No. 2 - China today said it does not want any more hiccups in its relations with “strategic partner” India though the two sides don’t see eye to eye on what sparked the 1962 war.
“We are now partners, not rivals. We are friends, not enemies.... If you talk too much of the past, it is out of fashion,” China’s ambassador in New Delhi Sun Yuxi said.
“We will make sure that what happened in history will never happen again (Telegraph India, Kolkata, 7/9/2005)

These are two news items that promise unfolding of many untold stories. The exact reasons for one Nation waging war against another are always shrouded in mystery. Historians try their best to dig up the past as truthfully as possible but, invariably, present different versions depending upon individual perceptions. The concerned historians may not, necessarily, subscribe to the views; the interested parties manipulate the facts to suit their needs. In this connection, the famous findings of a scientist are relevant.

He was experimenting with a grasshopper. He tied a string to one of the legs of a grasshopper and shouted ‘jump’ – the insect jumped. The scientist measured the distance and made a note in his chart. Then he removed one leg of the grasshopper and again shouted ‘jump’ - the insect jumped. The scientist made a second entry and noted that the distance had reduced. In the next steps, the legs came off one by one and the distance jumped kept on reducing. When the sixth leg came off and the insect did not obey his order, he thought for a long while and noted his conclusion – ‘when all the legs of a grasshopper are removed, it becomes deaf’.

This is what history is all about. When the history of Saddam and George Bush are recounted a hundred years hence, what will people say – did WMDs really exist in Iraq? Did Bush push things too fast, was it fair on the part of Blair, did he say his prayers?


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