Seeing the True Picture!
It would be to the disappointment and even agony of many if I specifically mentioned any name, but there have passed a number of writers and speakers in history who tried to falsify the facts and lead astray the people. Their words and thoughts not only created violence, calamities and destruction in their time but in the years to follow when their books were read and followed or their thoughts were accepted and put into practice.
Many of the historic events that were taught to us in our childhood never existed in history and many of the beliefs and concepts that are present in the books or being propagated by scholars are absolutely against the truth and reality. This is truly unfortunate that we are in habit of accepting the details told to us and later on discover that the ideals or thoughts that were once very dear to us were all the demolished forms of true facts and the reality was the exact opposite of these. This is because we live in a society where true academia and knowledge has never been allowed to grow, prosper and reach to the maturity and as a result, our society doesn’t have sufficient number of well-acknowledged scholars who should not only nullify the effects of false descriptions and history-narration but should write books showing the true picture.
When I was a school boy, I read a number of books in which the hero used to be an extraordinary person who could handle hundreds of enemy soldiers at a time, who could jump from tall towers and walls, who could walk for many days across the desert and do many other things that we can include among the fantasy.
Similarly, there was an old person among our acquaintances. He was illiterate and only quality that he had was that he was rich and had developed a habit of talking incessantly, as the people around him were also in the habit of nodding their heads to whatever he said. His favorite subject was history and he could narrate a number of tales of brave kings, warriors and commanders if he felt that the speaker had even a little interest in his long tales. We, as children, were really fond of him as his stories took us into the land of dreams where we could see kings, warriors and old castles and kingdoms. Later on, when I myself read the history, I found out that the kings he used to mention never existed in history and the empires that he used to marvel had not come into existence.
There can be many different reasons that resulted in the birth and promotion of such false writers and speakers. If the society is educated and majority of its members know about different knowledge and sciences, a person with incomplete or inadequate knowledge and information can never dare to write or say something that might be against the facts and realities. While a society where majority of the people are illiterate and the number of literate or truly educated members are less, a person with nominal education can be the author and the guide. There is a proverb, “A person with one eye can become the king of blind people” so this person can live in a society as a writer, scholar and the guide and leader. Next and most importantly, there lies a psychological factor that is related with the satisfaction of one’s ego. When one sees that his level of knowledge is better than others and whatever he says are accepted and appreciated without any question, he develops an air of ego in which he considers himself to be the perfect of all and thus tries to leave behind something that should make him eternal in the annals of history. Usually, such a condition happens in societies which are locked and there is not present any contact or comparison with the knowledge or scholars of the external world, otherwise, he could have never developed such false perception about his abilities and talents. When a person is in contact with a world where there are a lot many scholars and experts and where there is present continuous progress and development in the field of science and other studies, one becomes too much careful before hurling something out into the field.
At times, I wonder to see the books in hands of some students that are not authentic and devoid of facts and wonder how much this book would be responsible for polluting their minds and in turn, destroying their future.
Most destructive of these come in form of giving remarks about others’ beliefs, viewpoints, theories or concepts that mould the mind and conduct of the societies. Developing a belief about a specific group after having a look at the conduct and character of few of its members is one of such mistakes.
More drastic situation comes when there is lack of information and people are unaware of the true beliefs and practices of each other. In a city, where people used to live together happily with each other, the sectarian riots broke up and the city was divided by the government into two blocks. A wall was built across which both the groups could not see the reality or true condition of each other. In such a situation when there is fear and confusion, good news hardly come across while frightening or false information not only make their way across but also spread and grow very rapidly. To this situation, a person used to say, “They will tell us that there are evil elements on the other side of the wall and tell the people on the other side that there are wrong-doers on the other side and thus we will never be able to know the real situation and this increasing tension will one day erupt and wipe and burn away, whatever we have”.
A person who is doing so not only massacres the facts of history but also inflicts so many other problems to the people in the form of violence, clash, destruction and never-ending enmities.
Best solution to this problem is to educate the people so that every individual should be wise enough to see the true face of a picture and make decisions considering his own judgment, and not on a false description shown by a person who has hidden motives behind all these.
It is said that when you say good things about others and praise others and try to eliminate the differences among the people, there would not be any harm but if you intend to write or speak something that may give rise to the differences and conflict among people, you need to be very careful and make a very good research of the health of your words and ideas because this mistake may inflict pernicious harms to the society and unity among its members.
Mahmood Hassan Quraishi is a permanent writer of the Daily Afghanistan Express.