In The Shadows of History
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Author : Dr. Mubarak Ali
Publisher : Fiction House
Mubarak Ali received a M.A. in history from Sindh University, Jamshoro in 1963. In 1972, he went to London, then Germany to pursue higher studies and in 1976, he attained a PhD (on the Mughal Period of India) at Ruhr University, Bochum, Germany. He later became head of the History Department at the University of Sindh. He was the Director of the Goethe Institute in Lahore until 1996. He is currently the editor of the quarterly journal Taarikh ("History") and has been widely interviewed by electronic and print media in India, Pakistan and the Middle East.
In 1999, while speaking at a seminar in Mumbai organised by the NGO Khoj, Ali referred to fundamentalism's effects on historical scholarship in his country. He described how after 1965, ancient history was stopped being taught in Pakistan, and the mention of the Indus Valley Civilization was barred. The official rule stated that anything outside of the syllabus "is not part of our history". He further stated that the official historiography in Pakistan is committed to the two-nation theory. Questioning it can lead to ten years of imprisonment under the Pakistan Ideology Act of 1991.
Speaking at the "National Seminar on Rani Kot", he called for the reading and writing of history from a different angle, in which invaders should not be acclaimed as "great". He said that archaeological sites do have their own significance, referring to the discovery of Mohenjo-daro which reflected a great civilisation of the region. This discovery played a dominant role in the independence movement of the subcontinent, because until its discovery, people of this part of the world were not considered literate or civilised.
He has written a number of books and articles on Indo-Pakistani history, and has been widely acclaimed as an anti-establishment thinker and historian. He stated in an interview that "No authentic history has yet been written about Pakistan and its independence. There is a lot of confusion among the so-called pro-Establishment historians and educationists. Whatever has been written so far is distortion of history and entirely unbalanced."