Unshared histories and the incomplete Indian

“On this date, 14th October 1879, Mr. Vizeru Rurhia shot [to] death Mr. G. H. Damant at this spot”.  The citation is from a memorial stone in Khonoma village, a remote settlement in Nagaland.  Three wars against the British were fought by the valiant people of this village, it is said, between the mid-19th to the early 20th centuries. 

Vizeru Rurhia is a representative of the millions of anonymous Indians who participated in various struggles to keep alien forces at bay.  Having come together as a nation, it behoves us to know more about the constituent states and the various regional heroes.  Truth becomes a casualty when History is seen through limited perspectives.  The paucity of recognition for unknown heroes such as Vizeru Rurhia can be addressed easily by including their stories, collected from each and every village in India, in textbooks of history through the school years.

Together with region-specific ethnographies, and stories of other bravehearts of Independent India, such broad-based historical content would also do much to strengthen the identity of Indianness and the idea of India. 

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