History in schools continues to be a dreary list of dates and varnished mono-narratives. Children are right to detest the history they are made to study
It was in the early 1980s that I read E.H. Carr’s “What is history?". While I didn’t understand it much, the book was still important for me. The basic idea that there could be different histories was a relief. It helped reconcile the multiple narratives that I would hear. One of them was about how the small princely state of Sarangarh had an inalienable right not to join the Indian union, but how it was bullied in 1948 and had to join. The story’s most riveting episode was the climactic face-off with Sardar Patel.