Today, 16th August, is the anniversary of Direct Action Day. It is a day that should be known to every Indian. It should be a day that is sombrely remembered every year by the entire country, just to keep memories of our gory past alive and to remind ourselves that pitfalls of history have a remarkable tendency of re-appearing on the road to future too.
Direct Action Day is a lesson that should have been given mandatorily as a project to every high school student of the country, just to keep them sane, wise and intelligent.
However, it is a term most Indians hardly get to hear in their entire life time, leave alone students.
Those who wrote our history books, those who decided on the agenda to be pursued by the country, made sure that every trace of this day was erased from the collective memory of this country.
They have been completely successful in their mission of erasing a part of our collective memory, or deliberately making light of it.
However, history has a knack of springing up at a time when you least expect it to.
Scenes of people scampering to get on to flying aeroplanes just to run away from an obscurantist regime in Afghanistan remind us of how volatile and fragile peace can be and how fast the wheels of history can bring back certain situations before us.
The blood curdling chapter of India’s modern history should never be forgotten. It should never be allowed to be erased. Every Indian must try to know more and more about that black chapter of our civilisational book.
Because, if we do not know the ghosts of the past, the small poxes that took millions of lives, we will never be prepared to tackle new viruses and we will never be able to draw right lessons from history that can be used for a better and more secure future.
No civilisation is immortal. Civilisations have fallen and evaporated within a short span of a few decades.
Who would have known that Afghanistan, once a rich land of art, culture, music, philosophy and everything that makes this world beautiful, a land which was an integral part of Indian civilisation, would turn into such a devastating killing field.
Civilisations need protectors too.
Direct Action Day should be a knowledge project for all sane Indians. They must know everything about it.
But, not only from Wikipedia or Google, and not only from sanitised versions of actual history.
But, from those writers and books whose heart beat for the people of this country.
So that history can be prevented from repeating itself.
Because, we owe it to our ancestors. And because any repeat of such black chapters of history needs prevention.