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From Feeling Proud to Saying "Hainnnn": The Impact of History Books

I have always been very patriotic. Someone who still believes this country will one day become what it was supposed to become. I always used to scream at top of my lungs at Wagah border. And I absolutely loved the Pakistan army. Seems like I really was "ill-informed".

When my Pakistan studies teacher used to teach me about the Pakistan army's heroics in its wars against India, i used to feel very proud. And when I read the books, my opinions were shaped accordingly. I gave my Pakistan studies CIE in 2016, so that's when all of this was happening.

Fast-forward 3 years, and I enroll in Pakistan studies at LUMS. The narrative changed, and so did my reaction. The "hainnnn" really was a constant during lectures.. well I didn't say it out loud but still.

I was too young to understand how the content of books that we consume at early stages has this immense power of shaping our opinions and how we see the world. I started to understand this when I read history through the lens of different perspectives, which is how it should be.

When youngsters consume content that spreads hate between groups, tensions can rise, leading to conflict. When Afghanistan children studies content with violent images, and guns examples in it, it had to had consequences.

I believe the world has a huge responsibility in making sure every step is taken to prevent content that spreads hatred between groups because this can essentially lead to conflicts in regions that has consequences not just limited to that particular region, especially in today's world.

Curriculums should be designed to produce a well-rounded personality, that believes in peaceful coexistence and respects differences in opinions, which is where Pakistan currently lacks,

Usama Khan


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