Even though, Balbharti made very boring history textbooks, history was my favourite subject in school… Thanks to Sushila Raghavan, our history teacher who made the subject lively for us. These textbooks emphasised and reemphasised that Shivaji was our “national hero”… something that I dint understand clearly then. I knew that our army jawans who protected us from the “evil” Pakistani army were “National Heros”… So Shivaji must have fought against all the “anti-national elements” to get this title!
Class 6… history lessons… about Shivaji’s fight with the Portuguese… lovely! Nice to know that Shivaji gave a “bloody nose” to these guys who had persecuted my ancestors… I started liking Shivaji even more!
And then came the heart wrenching part in the history book. In the war between Shivaji and the Portuguese, the Raja of Sawantwadi allied with the later. Oh………… my……… god! The Raja of Sawantwadi was an “anti-national” and my family sustained under his tutelage for 3 centuries… I belong to an Anti-national family!
It took my dad 2 weeks of reasoning to get me out of the “shock”!