Is History really Bunk?

I distinctly remember an incident that happened almost a decade ago at a social gathering, may be a wedding. A group of mothers were discussing their kid’s school lessons and one of them said , “ These days the kids are so overloaded with work. Why should schools have History as subject!”. I saw the other mothers nodding in agreement. I was secretly hoping it was only for the first part of the statement. Fresh out of MBA School, I didn’t qualify to make a comment, so I kept quiet.

It is still a matter of speculation whether Henry Ford really coined the phrase, “ History is Bunk” or whether the journalist from The New York Times that ran the article rephrased it! But even he himself is said to have retracted the statement saying “, History is bunk to me”.

There are many reasons why History is important and to keep the attention of the reader I choose to talk about exactly 5 reasons why History is a much needed subject for today’s children

1. In a globalized world, we increasingly live far way from what our forefathers used to call home. Study of history tends to provide a deep sense of roots to people. Research has proven time and again why a sense of roots is essential to be a complete human being.

2. History provides us a collective cultural consciousness. History is not necessarily just facts and dates on a book. History is a collection of stories. Our great Mythologies are our histories. Failing to teach these to our children will be the biggest injustice we do to them

3. History helps us understand current affairs better. We understand why certain groups have conflicts with other groups.

4. History is actually a collection of stories that led to a big change. This is the biggest gift we can give our children, an ability to understand and analyze what events lead to change.

5. As a continuation to the previous point and probably the most important “practical” one of all — History helps us understand and teach our children that “ Change is inevitable”

Summer vacations are round the corner and as we struggle to find things to do for our kids, spending some time learning our histories can be a great pass time. Some ideas that come to mind

1. Stories of our childhoods and grandparents childhoods

2. Helping our kids create a journal, so that they can read their histories later and smile about all the “ important” things

3. Simple stories from our religious and mythology books

4. Watching historical movies

5. Stories of current history, but told like a story instead of mere facts

6. Creating a scrapbook about a chapter in history textbook. Example. India’s Freedom Struggle

7. Visiting Museums

8. Planning a holiday — yes, planning a holiday and spending time reading and understanding the history and culture of the place

Today, If any of us is a part of a conversation like I was once part of and should we qualify to comment, we know what to say J

About the Author:

Roomana Basha — Mother | History Buff |Book Lover | Currently reading Manu Pillai’s “ The Ivory Throne” | Founder and CEO Ekdali.com , Latest offering “ Our Freedom Struggle” |