Sunday, January 17, 2010

A historian wins Infosys award: Isn't that crazy?

She is none other than our present Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s daughter. Professionally she is a Professor of History in Delhi University. Recently, she was honoured with Infosys Prize for her contribution as a historian of Ancient and Medieval history. I am very surprised that a historian was awarded by infosys. Isn't that crazy? I’m really curious as to why infosys stated its interest in history!

Since, my college days, history students such as myself have been branded as people who are interested in simple facts and figures of the past. Others may also think that a historian's main interest is nothing but things like what Akbar was doing during the Mughal period. If you think the same way as these people, my answer to you is quite simple and clear. You are ignorant on the subject of history as much as I am ignorant in engineering studies. Ok let me stop defending my position as a student of history.

There was a time when the growth of globalization with multi national companies had an impact on the education of history. History has almost become an unwanted subject in many colleges and universities since more and more students have started joining technical courses. However, the last few years have witnessed a revival of the history subject in many technical universities like IIT, medical institutes etc. When more and more multinational companies are expanding their businesses, understanding history is pertinent for successful entrepreneurship in many countries.For instance, India has a strong historical culture which even globalization cannot change. This scenario pushed many technical universities to expand their perspectives in their fields of business. Even infosys has also taken its step in this direction.

I congratulate Ms. Singh on her success and wish her a great future ahead. I hope one day she will be interested in the history of Mizoram just as sister Daman Singh did a very significant research on the forest history of Mizoram (The Last Frontier: People and Forests in Mizoram).

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