Buy my soft drink

I recently saw an advertisement trying to bring the Indian and Pakistani youth together. I found it most amusing. In my travels I have come across many young people from Pakistan and can sincerely say that the ones who are not religiously mindfucked are indeed much more open than the youth from India. So the basic idea of uniting the youth is somewhat wasted. These campaigns would serve better if they were directed at uniting the power centres. At getting rid of silly issues like Kashmir which bring misery to both the nations and to the Kashmiris. At making people realise that they are being fed versions of history, on both sides of the border, which are tailored to suit the needs of those in power. But that won't sell very many soft drinks, will it.

Now that brings me to the other issue I was thinking about this morning on my way to the lab. That history is what it is, and what it is is a set of coordinates in space-time which are lost to recovery. Once these coordinates are lost, they only exist in memories. And from there, are transferred on to various media like books, pictures, songs - a process which necessarily introduces noise. So basically, history is someone's estimation of what they think the lost points in space-time were.

This logically leads to the question - what is it about history, or for that matter, culture, nationalism or any other fake-noun, that drives humans so heavily? This sense of connectedness with history, or with people who one has never met, heard, or seen. With events one has never been witness to or lived through. This false sense of pride in wars, revolutions, sporting, scientific or literary achievements of one' s own 'countrymen'.

What is a country, after all? Lines on a map? Which are only materialised because men patrol the geographic interpretations of the said lines with guns in armoured trucks? A group of people, often not harmonious amongst themselves, governed by elected or non-elected individuals? One often views immigrants and refugees as people who transgress those border, but this idea deserves a closer look. Would someone who is doing well in a system want change? The answer, if we leave out those who thirst adventure and are a glaring minority in today's world, is an overwhelming no. Thus, only the most downtrodden, the poorest, the most hard-hit people in a system, be it a country, an economy, a sports team or any other system, would want to change their situation. These are the people who our current system views as refugees or immigrants, because their misery forces them to transgress the ideas of nationality and political or economic compartmentalisation.

So where does this lead the discussion about history? To the fact that history, as interpreted by the modern media, is in part a direct result of the concept of governance. It is one of the strategies which the governing entity, consciously or unconsciously, employs to bind its subjects together. And for the most part, this could also be said of fake-nouns such as national and racial identities.