The Murder of History by KK Aziz

Shocking revelations in The Murder of History

One thing which is common among all the history books, written by Pakistani authors, on Pakistan and auto biographies of those who used to be at the helms of the affairs in Pakistan is that they start and end on happy notes. Rarely a book’s preface is so full of dejection and contains a dismal outlook on the future of Pakistan. The Murder of History is one such book. K.K. Aziz laments the criminal silence of intelligentsia, civil society, establishment, government and even the parents of the millions of students who were taught a fabricated and biased version of history since the inception of this country.

While reading op-eds, books, comments on social media and listening to a conversation or debate on sensitive issues, one often gets hints of two different kinds of histories of Pakistan. One, which is taught and propagated via Pakistan Studies from class 1 to class 12 and the OTHER ONE. What is that other side of the history? Afraid of being declared a traitor, many signal in whispers. Mr. Aziz is not the one who is afraid.

With a clear and conscious mind, he pin-points the flaws in our text books. Sarcastically comparing Mehmud of Ghazni’s invasions to India with the East India Company’s capturing of Mughal Emperors Shah Alam and Bahadur Shah Zafar, he takes us to the 1857 mutiny. This mutiny of 1857 is taught as the ‘war of freedom’ in text books but Sir Syed Ahmad Khan and Mirza Asadullah Khan Ghalib, who kept themselves at distance with this mutiny, are both considered to be intellectuals of high esteem in the same text books.

From the British taking the throne of India to the separation of sub-continent and from the Quaid –e Azam taking oath as Governor General of Pakistan to Zia- ul Haq’s martial law, almost all the important occasions are taught from a biased and systematically engineered perspective. This biased perspective, which glorified the aristocrats, politicians and Princes of United Provinces (UP) and graduates of Aligarh, according to the author, was a planned and well-thought strategy of Urdu Speaking politicians and aristocrats who had greater influence on All India Muslim League. These personages from UP had been sidelining, marginalizing and ignoring the Bengali Muslims from late 1870s. From division of Bengal to Lacknow Pact, All India Muslim League, under the influence of Urdu speaking personages, ignored the Bengali Muslim’s pleas. With strong arguments, author criticizes the UP migrants to Pakistan for misusing the authority and sympathy endowed to them by luck and the people of Pakistan. They deliberately distorted history, culture and language of the original inhabitants of Sindh and Punjab. They imposed Urdu as a national language which was spoken only by 3 percent of the population. Punjabis, under the influence of Urdu Speaking intelligentsia, discouraged their native language and culture. They were forced to feel ashamed on voting for the Unionist Party which ruled Punjab for over two decades. Punjab’s support for Urdu alienated it from other provinces who thought of it as a co-conspirator in this war of power. Such tactics resulted in a confused generation who is disillusioned and disconnected from it’s past. Also separation of Bengal not only justifies this argument but also weakens the two nations theory.

This book is a very shocking exposure to the extent to which our so-called heroes went to glorify a past which was supposed to be lamented on. Everyone interested in the real history, not the one being taught in Pakistan’s textbooks, must give this book a read!!

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