The National Narrative.
Story & story-telling is something that has always fascinated man from antiquity to the present digital age. Every region of the world & culture has its own tales that reverberate in their social or collective consciousness showing their worldview. They tell their young ones who were they, where they came from & what would be their destiny.
Right from the childhood fairy tales to the Grand National Narratives all have the same flavour, albeit in varying degrees!!!
We try to construct an image of ourselves through these tales. Drew Giplin Faust & many other historians have this view. Each old event, personality, thought, anecdote, movement, tussle whether political social, economic or military constitutes an image in our very inner-self & also about the outside world to whom we interact& imagine!
All our daily discussions from office gossips to a child telling about football match all are stories, events of last past hours that fascinates us!!
Each good story or narration has a logical connection within itself, if it does not have that quality we would lose our interest & be lost in the plethora of details. While dandling of a kid, we enjoy its’ tweety-meety but does not give importance to them. As they have no logicality in our grown up sense!!!
While the office gossips & boss favouring someone over others are talks that we love to hear as they are logical & appeals to our imagination!!
Call it E.M Foster story-plot or argumentative or logical discussion in philosophical sense, or Grand Narrative of nations in politics, they have one common point, the point of imaginative appeal to us.
This is what called National Narrative!!!
These anecdotes, events & movements etc. of past are then fabricated into a National Narrative of a nation with time. Such narrative include in itself the epics of past, legends, folklores, civil religions, undefeatable warriors & heroes who did something for their men beyond human possibility.
Also Read: Why we do not see some conflicts?
The leitmotif of such National Narratives or myths is the uprooting of any anti-state & anti-nation attempt by any quarter, whether internal or external. The state & its’ nation(s) never give any space to any dissenting voice that may question this narrative in parts or in whole,
Whether totalitarian regimes, liberal democracies or any other type of governmental structure, a view point is officially sponsored & supported that legitimize & authorize a particular dominant faction & its’ political behaviour.
The National Narrative & Education.
A national narrative has always been a gearing-power in the domestic & foreign politics of a nation-state. At the time of exigency, the national narrative quickly bring forth myths from the past to motivate & organize the population without raising any question or hurdle.
The national historiography took a new turn in nineteenth century when for the first time it was organized on the scientific basis. The historical resources were vetted for their credibility & authenticity. The national historians tried to present an impartial view of the events but at the same time trying to inculcate the patriotic views, the national narrative & myth, among the young students.
This was & is still, considered by the ruling elite essential for ‘nation-building’ & ‘unification-of-all-nations’ living within the same territorial boundaries. They only favour such teaching of national-history that only helps in upping the ‘national solidarity & unity’ leaving-off some ‘bad-things of past’. While oppositely the correct pattern of historiography & teaching is, the chronological order & teaching of historical-events which majority of governments & nations shun aside as something intolerable.