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History & Bullshit!!

December 13, 2006 - Posted in Movies , Philosophy , Review Posted by:

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Had this mail converstation with my friends today. Read from the bottom upwards.

Sudeep wrote:

Hey Goyal, your thoughts remind me of this chapter we had in our hindi text books. Its written in Duryodhanas words and he narates his side of the story. He says exactly what you said here. He says to Arjun that I know that you would write the history that will be read by generations to come and you would surely glorify yourself.

Very valid thought. If Duryodhana wrote history, whatever wrong he might have done, we wouldn’t have known about them. And even if he wrote about those deeds, he would have sugar-coated them enough.

Misra wrote:

I totally agree..

An African proverb – “Till lions have their historians, tales of the hunt shall always glorify the hunter.”

Goyal wrote:

Sometimes I feel that history is bullshit. And then my mind wanders back to Star Wars. And how nothing is good or bad. It is just who has power who describes an action as good or bad.

Imagine being a part of Germany, loaded with an illogical debt after the World War I and all your self respect being taken away. Your people dying because the nation doesn’t have money after paying a stupid fine. Would you note hate the entire Western World. I am not justifying the killing of Jews. Its just what is good and what is bad is judged by the perception of the person/race/state in power.

Just imagine what history is to the children of Pakistan, to whom Indians might have been described as tyrants and oppressors. And glorification of Jinnah. Think how the Indian (Congressified) historians have almost forgotten all the contribution of people other than Gandhi/Nehru to Indian Independence, and how they have totally ignored the cleansing of Kashmiri Pandits.

Sometimes I wonder what history would have said, if at all, about the termination of Jews, had Hitler not lost the war!!

Misra wrote:

Hey.. I just watched “The Downfall”.. they’ve released it in PVR.. it’s a German movie subtitled in English.. about the last days of Hitler.. basically the Apr-May 1945 period. The movie is awesome.. Goyal, you toh will love it. The guy who plays Hitler, abhi Oscar de do yaar usko.. some of the scenes and dialogues are really hard-hitting. And it kinda showed a more human side of things.. these Nazis.. they were totally, utterly crazy.. but they weren’t totally devil incarnates.. they too were parents, mothers, fathers.. and in the end, they too were just scared more than anything.. I’m not even trying to describe the scene where this woman kills her 6 children coz she doesn’t want them to grow up in a wold with “socialist nationalism”.. while the film didn’t mince words as it went about showing the crap that these guys dealt out and their incredibly horrifying beliefs.. it also gave a slightly balanced view on things.. and I liked that.. coz it just made it even sadder.

The story was mostly told from the point of view of Hitler’s secretary.. The last lines of the movie are totally hard hitting..

“All these horrors I’ve heard of during the Nurnberg process, these six million Jews, other thinking people or people of another race, who perished. That shocked me deeply. But I hadn’t made the connection with my past. I assured myself with the thought of not being personally guilty. And that I didn’t know anything about the enormous scale of it. But one day I walked by a memorial plate of Sophie Scholl in the Franz-Joseph-Strasse. I saw that she was about my age and she was executed in the same year I came to Hitler. And at that moment I actually realised that a young age isn’t an excuse. And that it might have been possible to get to know things.”

Verdict: Must watch.

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