North East India Studies Programme
School of Social Science Building II
Jawaharlal Nehru University
New Delhi-110067, India
Phone: 091-11-26704432, E-mail:[email protected]
NEISP, JNU Weekly Seminar Series 2010
Speaker: Pradip Phanjoubam, Editor, Imphal Free Press
Journalistic reportage of war (first draft of history) as much as war history writing, understandably would be so much simpler for those who win, for war and history has always belonged to the winners alone. So much has changed in the present liberated times, and now the vanquished are back on their feet, writing their own histories, providing perspectives which once were never given the place they deserved. The decolonisation process of colonies established by conquests is complete at least physically and politically, although psychologically colonial legacies still remain as dark shadows. The abiding spirit in these modern “liberated” times is no longer one of “end justifies means” but of equality and empowerment. But if writings of the conquerors were marked by a general arrogance, the prospect of history writing by the newly arisen vanquished, is beset with other problems.
The need of the latter is to resurrect a dead and defeated spirit. This effort must hence also be to overcome the trauma of defeat, and to rediscover lost pride in the self. The understandable resort is often to lionise almost unconditionally their heroes and with the same brush vehemently demonise their vanquishers. The danger is, this path to rediscovery of the self may not be always truthful. Not only can this leave gaping holes in scholarship trends, but also make the resurrected self still not adequately equipped, either to come to grip with the reality of his present or to visualise a realistic picture of the future, increasing in the process the complexes suffered by this new self.
This approach is marked by a presumption that a grave wrong had been committed in the past and the absence of peace in the present times is primarily because of this. The implication is, this “original sin” will not only have to be atoned for, but reversed altogether, before the original state of supposed peace and harmony is restored. The danger of this peace model is, those seeking it may eventually end up discovering they have been crying over spilled milk.
Date & Time: 7th October 2010 (Thursdaty) at 3.00 P.M.
Venue: SSS-II Committee Room
All are cordially invited to attend
Atom Sunil Singh