Why does Vijayanagar Empire, one of the greatest kingdoms down South get hardly a mention in our history books even though it’s reign has been praised as a Golden Age? How many history books deal with the Naval Warfare of the Chola dynasty? Or the Ahoms in North East, who reigned over a large area, and effectively checked the Mughal advances? How many are aware that there is a Great Wall of India, which was erected by Rana Kumbha, to keep out invaders? Why do we not hear much about revolutionaries like Bagha Jatin, Alluri Sitarama Raju, Dheeran Chinnamalai, Veer Surender Sai? Why is the Naval Ratings Mutiny just a footnote in our books?
Three years ago, these were the questions that flashed across in my mind. I had been sharing posts and tweets related to history, or more specifically Indian History, prior to that. However most of that was scattered randomly all over the Net. And that is when I came up with the idea of having a dedicated history blog. The idea became a reality on July 2,2014 with History Under Your Feet.
Why History Under Your Feet?
It was around a decade back, when I was working in Bhubaneshwar, a place that is home to some of the most ancient temples in India, gateway to Konark’s Sun Temple and Puri Jagannath Temple. And close by is Dhauli, the place where the Kalinga battle was fought, and the conversion of Emperor Ashoka from a warrior to a pacifist took place. During a break in an otherwise hectic schedule, was just having a talk with one of my colleagues, on the places I had visited around, and their significance. My colleague who was from Odisha himself, explained more in detail, about the historical significance of those places. And what he said in his own words, really struck me “You know it is like History Under your Feet, you are standing on a place, and that could well be the site of some historical event or other”. History Under your feet, yeah that term just stuck in my mind, and it was true in a way. Every place in India, even the smallest village, has some history or other connected to it, dating centuries back. It may not be too well known, but as you dig deeper, you find that there is a connect somewhere or other. You see it sometimes explicitly, you do not see it sometimes, but you feel it, that sense of history when you pass through a place.
I started with a series on Vijayanagara Empire , one of the most glorious empires ever, that has unfortunately not got the due attention it deserved. That series was the basis for my own book City of Victory, which I published a year back. From the exploits of Lachit Borphukan against the Mughals to the sacrifice of Sambhaji for the cause of Dharma. From the Naval Ratings Mutiny to the last stand at Reazang La during the 1962 Indo - Chinese War. And it was not just wars, battles and kings. The blog covered scientists like J.C.Bose, social reformers like Swami Dayananda, Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, doctors like Yellapragada Subba Rao. We covered lesser known kings like Chhatrasal, Malhar Rao Holkar,the Ranas of Mewar to revolutionaries like Preetilata Wadedar, Kerala Varma Pazhassi Raja,Alluri Sitarama Raju. And yes glad to say that this blog has been turned into a book too.
Three years down the line, where do we stand. Well the blog has got a decent number of views, but more than that has made a good number of people aware of the history, aware of the history they had not known earlier.
And today I start a new journey,as the editor of this History Page. From a blogger to a self published author to editor of my own history page, it's been some journey. While I will still be writing, my focus will also be on encouraging new writers on history and mentoring them. Those interested can mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org for further details.
And finally, whether as a blogger, an author or an editor, my passion is one and the same, study of history. I am not a scholar, nor an intellectual, I am just a regular IT professional with a love for history. This history page is just another step in the pursuit of passion. A passion to study and explore history, and share that knowledge with others. And now to mentor and guide other writers too. To all those who supported me in this journey, I am hoping for the same kind of support.