In the age of AI, when everyone is talking about things being fast-paced and too technologically driven, I would like to talk about some positive changes in the teaching world.
For example, earlier History was considered a very non-glamorous and dull subject. Students often memorized the dates by rote, and it was only for remembering birth anniversaries, death anniversaries, wars and battles. History should be more in the form of storytelling through animation etc., so that students find it engaging and exciting. Symbiosis Schools, have smart boards in every classroom, and pictures and animations are shown on these to make a History chapter a memorable experience rather than a chapter that the students need to memorize. While many may think that History is only about the past, History is also about the future. When one reads about a country’s culture, one can predict its future trends, too.
Even Indian mythology is essential. We had hardly tried to connect our rich Indian mythology to our modern-day teaching. Therefore, I am delighted that the National Education Policy discusses the importance of imbuing this aspect of our History in the curriculum. At Symbiosis, we have a 2 credit course on Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam to teach this mythological and philosophical approach to all the students as we want to bring home the relevance of Udaar Charitam tu Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam to the students.
I have been a student of the sciences and later took up the study of medicine, but I cannot emphasize the importance of History as a subject. One of my favourite authors, Yuval Noah Harari, in his book 21 Challenges for the 21st Century, has related History to the future. In his own words, the author says, “My first book, Sapiens, surveyed the human past, examining how an insignificant ape became the ruler of planet Earth. Homo Deus, my second book, explored the long-term future of life, contemplating how humans might eventually become gods, and what might be the ultimate destiny of intelligence and consciousness.” I agree with his thought that the past and the future cannot ever be segregated. They are integrated, and it is best to acknowledge our past to build a strong future. When one learns History passionately, the events start falling into place. You will begin to relate several happenings worldwide and their consequences and thus predict the future.
As Indians, we should be proud that the Mahabharata is now being taught in Management classrooms, not just in India but also in several Western countries, and we should also try to delve into these lessons ourselves. The lessons given to Arjuna by Shri Krishna also apply to many modern-day practices and can help in decision-making. Even while creating and maintaining International Relations, Indian mythological lessons have proved valuable.
Parents can play an active role here and can bring their children closer to Indian History by enjoying shows related to Indian mythology with their children on the television or a tab and make the children take pride in their rich heritage. In this manner, the children will amass knowledge and learn about their country’s History.
We have a rich history to take lessons from, imbibe values and nurture our thoughts. But to do so, we must embrace our History, walk down the chapters and absorb the information.