Shaped Not Shaper of His-Story…

faces.jpgThe dictionary defines the phrase ‘making history’ as doing something that is significant and unforgettable. People make history when they raise themselves to a new platform, a higher plane and do something that most would not.

Karl Marx once said, ‘History does nothing; it does not possess immense riches, it does not fight battles. It is men real and living who do all this.’

When Neil Armstrong first placed a foot on the moon, he created history. When Tensing Norway conquered the Everest yet again history was made. The history that has inspired us and goaded us, the history that tells us about the diversities in the characters of Hitler and Churchill, the history of the glorious freedom struggle that India was pitted with, the success and finally the independence, every chapter in human history has one thing in common which is, essentially, its creator: us, men of flesh and blood.

History was made when speech was created, when the wheel was invented and when fire was made. The Gandhis, the Hitlers, the Lincolns and the Lenins have shaped history and the actions of the masses of people who idolized them. Courageous and skillful leaders seize the opportunity and change things for the better. Some might say that it is history that raises individuals to perform such astonishing feats, but it is essential to remember that with the pedaling we receive no help. The journey is entirely a man’s own.

Is there a contradiction? Was it history that has taught us to become what we are? The point is that there is no paradox. In the case of the chicken and the egg, we fail to understand who came first, but when it comes to humanity and history, the picture is very clear, we know – it was man who came first and, then, owing to man followed history.

History is a series of recorded events. It can neither be termed as good or bad. The twin towers destroyed by the will of a single man and his followers still made history.

People may think that history produces stalwart individuals and it is the conditions that history provides us that bring out great men and women. If that is the case then, why did India wait for 100 years of oppression to gain independence? Why did the United States of America wait for a Thomas Jefferson to take the lead? Why do we not see a Napoleon and Lincoln at every other corner? Because as is fairly apparent, the circumstances cannot dictate an individuals’ path, it is indeed the other way round.

Uttara Balakrishnan