top of page

Unveiling historical narratives

Leah Shafer's article sparks crucial conversations about the significance of education and the complexities surrounding Columbus Day. The piece reminds us of the importance of critically examining historical narratives, challenging celebrations that overlook the violent impact on indigenous communities, and embracing a more inclusive approach.

Columbus Day has been a contentious holiday in the United States. While some celebrate it as a day of honor, others view it as a symbol of colonialism and the oppression of the indigenous communities. The school curriculums do not teach the children about Columbus's treatment of indigenous communities which was marked by violence, exploitation, and brutality. Columbus and his men used violence to suppress uprisings and to intimidate indigenous people into submission, enslaving millions. This discrepancy, portraying Columbus as a "historical leader" without acknowledging the darker aspects of his actions, perpetuates a glorified narrative and supportive legacies.

Drawing parallels to Pakistan, historical figures and events are often idolized such as the case of Ayub Khan who's praised for bringing about great economic development in Pakistan, while overshadowing concerns of political repression and suppression of dissent during his rule. Restriction of civil liberties and suppression of opposition are downplayed in historical narratives. In the context of shaping a more accurate historical narrative, a critical question then arises: Can Pakistan reconcile the need for a more honest and nuanced portrayal of its historical narratives of its political figures and events considering the challenges and resistance to established narratives?


https://www.gse.harvard.edu/ideas/usable-knowledge/17/10/columbus-day-problem?fbclid=IwAR0hqFqIX-99DCn2ZnMaWtbP2WV1rEHpip2h3vMPWNmzEe616P59L-Tvd1E



34 views8 comments

8件のコメント


The comparison drawn to historical figures in Pakistan, particularly the case of Ayub Khan, adds another layer to the discourse. It's a stark reminder of how historical figures can be selectively celebrated, emphasizing positive aspects while overlooking or downplaying darker realities. The parallel discussion about glorification versus a nuanced portrayal raises an important question for Pakistan: Can there be a shift toward a more honest historical narrative, acknowledging both achievements and shortcomings, despite challenges and resistance to established narratives?

いいね!

Leah Shafer's article shines a light on the vital conversation around education and the complexities tied to Columbus Day. It prompts us to question celebrations that might overlook the harsh impact on indigenous communities and encourages a more inclusive perspective.

The comparison to Pakistan, where historical figures are often idealized despite controversial aspects, raises a crucial point. In the pursuit of a more honest historical narrative, can Pakistan navigate the challenges and resistance to reevaluate established narratives of its political figures and events? How might this reshape the understanding of the nation's history?

いいね!

Shamsa Kanwal
Shamsa Kanwal
2023年12月01日

The parallel drawn to Pakistan, particularly with the glorification of historical figures like Ayub Khan, adds a global perspective to the discussion. Shafer's insight into how economic development achievements can overshadow darker aspects, such as political repression and dissent suppression, raises pertinent questions about the selective nature of historical narratives. he critical question posed regarding Pakistan's ability to embrace a more honest and nuanced portrayal of its history is central to the broader global discourse on historical accuracy. It requires confronting challenges and resistance entrenched in established narratives. The comment invites us to reflect on the responsibility of education systems, media, and society at large in fostering a more inclusive and truthful understanding of history.

いいね!

Saghaam Fatima
Saghaam Fatima
2023年11月30日

I love your topic! A sanitized and biased perspective of history is maintained by the poor depiction of Columbus in school curricula, which ignores the brutality and exploitation of how he wreaked upon native populations. The issue at hand here is how to reconcile giving a more truthful and nuanced account of history with encountering opposition or challenges from mainstream narratives that frequently further ideological or nationalistic agendas.It is important to recognise the difficulty of this undertaking while discussing whether Pakistan can reconcile the requirement for a more accurate portrayal of its historical characters and events. In order to shape a more realistic historical narrative, difficult truths must be confronted, which can be difficult given ingrained narratives that support political…


いいね!

Thank you for sharing your insights Ayesha. Historical narratives and their creation is quite a complex process. In a country like Pakistan, people are often fed one narrative that glorifies the army and is anti India. The way the state has shaped the entire educational narrative propagates this and this is what most Pakistanis grow up believing. With regards to your question, I believe that reconciling an honest portrayal of historical events with the current established narratives is quite a challenge. In my experience, even if one studies and gets into more depth alternative to the state perspective on historical matters, it is quite jarring to go against what the state has made us internalise. An example taken here can…

いいね!
Post: Blog2_Post
bottom of page