History that misleads generations is more dangerous than a weapon of mass destruction, Governor P. Sathasivam has said.
He was speaking at ‘Panditha Aadaravu,’ a programme organised by the Kerala Council for Historical Research (KCHR) to honour historians T.K. Ravindran, M.G.S Narayanan, and K.N. Panikkar here on Thursday.
Mr. Sathasivam said students whose study of history often ended at the school level lived with distorted visions of the past and were easily taken in by those misusing history to retain power. Teachers should be oriented to a correct approach to the study of history by institutions such as the KCHR.
Myth and story
Educational institutions, especially schools, had an important role in creating awareness of the importance of history as concept of history was intertwined with myth and story in many school textbooks.
As a historical event could have many truths to tell, students at the college or university level had the task of unlearning some of these myths.
Mr. Sathasivam said scientific study of history was initiated in Travancore and British Malabar in 1890. Though it took some time to strengthen evidence-based study of history, the State had produced some of the best historians in the country. Those felicitated were historians of national and international repute. Their studies and interpretations had helped shed light on many events, establish the veracity of some others, and understand the sociological aspects of different ages.
The ‘Panditha Aadaravu’ was a recognition to the contributions of these scholars to the documentation and interpretation of our history.
He lauded the KCHR’s efforts at digitisation and creation of an up-to-date historical, archaeological, and heritage atlas of the State for use in academic institutions. He promised the cooperation of Vice Chancellors of university in the venture.
Earlier, the citations for Mr. Ravindran, Mr. Narayanan, and Mr. Panikkar were read out by academics Suresh Jnaneswaran, Kesavan Veluthat, and K.N. Ganesh who are also their students. Mr. Narayanan was presented with the citation by Mr. Veluthat, and Mr. Panikkar by Mr. Ganesh.
The citation for Mr. Ravindran was received by his son Rajeev from Mr. Jnaneswaran. Mr. Sathasivam presented ponnada and a memento to the historians.
Minister for Education C. Ravindranath presided. K. Muraleedharan, MLA; Higher Education Principal Secretary Usha Titus; and KCHR chairperson P.K. Michael Tharakan and Director Haritha V. Kumar spoke at the function.