Thursday, July 01, 2010

The dictatorship in India

I was recently reading "India: After Gandhi", and was shocked to find out how close India came to a dictatorship with Indira Gandhi. Everyone knows about Emergency, but I didn't know that Indira successfully repealed the writ of Habeas Corpus. And that four out of the five judges of the Supreme Court agreed to having it repealed!

I wonder why this stuff isn't taught in schools: this is exactly the kind of history that is useful and cautionary, unlike the pointless memorization of dates and figures.

At some level, Indians are poor historians. We get a fair amount of our history from external records of visitors: the Arabs, the Greek, the Chinese. We just don't consider History important enough to record and pass to the next generation.