Mubarak Ali

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History is a repository of human experiences and one can not only understand the present by studying history but also find solutions to its problems as well.

Dr Mubarak Ali (born 21 April 1941) is a Pakistani historian, activist and scholar. His main theme, in most of his books, has been that some history books written in Pakistan had been 'dictated' by the ruling class (the so-called 'Establishmint in Pakistan') and, in his view, those history books represent 'perversion of facts'. Mubarak Ali maintains that history books should be written from the perspective of masses, not of rulers.

Quotes[edit]

Culture[edit]

  • When we talk about culture, it includes literature, paintings, music, dance, sculpture, folklores, festivals, and celebrations.
    • In Search of History, Chapter I: War and Peace in Historical Perspectives, p. 1
In Victory and defeat, War is a drama which most historians, poets, and writer like to narrate with passion and vigor.
If history remains neutral and does not condemn and declare such acts as immoral, it would fail to create any consciousness about these evil deeds.
  • Culture plays also an important role in the life of minorities, who are generally discriminated in such societies where there is no political and religious freedom. Under these circumstances, their cultural values and symbols help them to retain their identity.
    • In Search of History, Chapter: Cultural Intervention and Social Change, p. 13-14

War and Defeat[edit]

  • In Victory and defeat, War is a drama which most historians, poets, and writer like to narrate with passion and vigor. It is such a powerful and moving topic that when they describe scenes of battlefields, killing and bloodshed, dialogues between victors and vanquished, they make epics out of such descriptions which sensationalize and thrill the coming generations when they read them. In case of victory or defeat, both sides eulogize their warriors and transform them into heroes, who sacrifice their lives defending honour and dignity of their country.
    • In Search of History, Chapter: Cultural Intervention and Social Change, p. 13

Writer[edit]

  • There are two types of writers: those who write to support the existing system and prove and augment its legitimacy through their writings. On the other hand, there are those who critically examine society and make an attempt to restructure and reform it on the basis of fresh ideas.
    • Dimensions of History, Chapter: Intellectuals and Society, p. 56

History[edit]

What History Tells Us[edit]

  • History records that those who ruled with an iron hand and implemented oppressive and draconian laws, in the end failed to keep their power. People can endure suppression up to certain limit and a certain period of time; after that they rebel to get rid of callous rulers.
    • What History Tells Us, p. 8
  • History is full of the accounts of those who imposed their absolute power against popular will.
    • What History Tells Us, p. 8
  • History is a powerful subject which can be used to create a true historical consciousness. Unfortunately, it can also he misused and we often sec how politician distort it to whip up the emotion of people in older to achieve their political agenda. As they have a large following their version of history becomes popular among their followers. If not corrected the falsification of history is accepted as the absolute truth. This reaise the question whether historians should challenge the popular emotions of the people and correct historical facts or keep silent and let the falsification go on unchecked.
    • What History Tells Us, Chapter: Task of the Historian, p. 25

In the Shadow of History[edit]

  • In our society, we don not study history to understand the process of change but just to entertain ourselves with past events. For this reason, history is not regarded as a useful subject. The history that we teach in our educational institutions is political history and, as such, it is used by the ruling classes.
    • In the Shadow of History, Chapter: Why should we study History? p. 4

Dimensions of History[edit]

  • History is a repository of human experiences and one can not only understand the present by studying history but also find solutions to its problems as well. However, historians sometimes present a very pessimistic view of life whereas at other times, they inspire dejected and disillusioned people to struggle for survival.
    • Dimensions of History, Chapter: Challenge and response, p. 56
  • Historical process is not a linear one. It is also not stagnant. On the contrary, it moves ahead and brings changes to social, political and economic structure.
    • Dimensions of History, Chapter: Divvying up History, p. 72
  • If history remains neutral and does not condemn and declare such acts as immoral, it would fail to create any consciousness about these evil deeds.
    • Dimensions of History, Chapter: The judgment of History, p. 77

Power[edit]

  • Power intoxicates those who hold it.
    • Dimensions of History, Chapter: Surrender of Power, p. 91

Architecture[edit]

However, the question who built Taj Mahal no longer remains a mystery.Surely it was not built by Shah Jahan but by architects, calligraphers, masons, stone-cutters, and metal workers and ordinary laborers who built it and made it a symbol of creative mind of the Indian society.
  • However, the question who built Taj Mahal no longer remains a mystery. Surely it was not built by Shah Jahan but by architects, calligraphers, masons, stone-cutters, and metal workers and ordinary laborers who built it and made it a symbol of creative mind of the Indian society.
    • In Search of History, Chapter: Conspiring against Taj Mahal, p. 47

External links[edit]

  • Mubarak Ali: What History Tells Us?, Tarikh Publications, Lahore, 2012
  • Mubarak Ali: In the Shadow of History, Lahore, 1998
  • Mubarak Ali: In Search of History, Lahore, September 2009
  • Mubarak Ali: Dimensions of History, Tarikh Publications, Lahore, 2012
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