Fixing Failed States

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Book Details

Book Name

Fixing Failed States


Ashraf Ghani


265 Pages




634 KB

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How to read history?
Every historian writes history from his own point of view. His likes and dislikes influence his writings. Also, every history is written in a special environment and special circumstances that affect both the expression and interpretation of events.

The reader needs to pay attention to two points before reading a history: the historian and the era of history writing.

The reader should first know who wrote this history. If we know the historian, then his own tendencies regarding the interpretation and interpretation of the events will not be hidden from me.

For example, in the past, most historians were courtiers. Paying attention to their position can make it easier to judge their views.

The court historian did not dare to criticize the king or his government. He used to choose and describe the events in such a way that his master’s ruler would become the leader. These historians used to find perfection in the faults of their masters. For example, Shams Siraj Afif, a famous historian of the time of Feroz Shah Tughlaq, a king of the Delhi dynasty in the fourteenth century, has praised the king in his book (Tarikh Feroz Shahi). He wrote without referring to the corruption and bribery of Feroz Shah’s era that once a soldier did not have his horse to show it to the mansabdar during the military inspection. He did not have enough money with him to pay his mansabdar as a bribe and there was no quarrel with him. When Firoz Shah came to know about the soldier’s problem, he called the soldier and gave him an ashrafi.

After passing the inspection, the king asked the soldier if the inspection was successful. The soldier replied that after bribing the mansabdar, he was considered present. The king said: Alhamdulillah.

Feroz Shah was a weak king and could not take serious measures against his tyrants. Court historians made a moral virtue out of this weakness of the king. They wrote that he did not carry out military operations because he hated war and bloodshed. But the truth is that when he saw himself helpless, he did not turn away from killing his opponent.

In fact, Feroze Shah’s administration was full of corruption, and it was a weak administration that was not able to eliminate corruption. If he did not take measures against his staunch opponents, it means that he was not a skilled general.

On the other hand, there were historians who did not respect the court. Ziauddin Barni and Abdul Qadir Badauni are the same historians. Both of them were deprived of the support of the court and were angry that their merits were not appreciated. They have strongly condemned their contemporary rulers against this indifference of the court. The reader can easily find differences in their histories and that of the court historian of their time, Abul Fazl. Abul Fazl praised the personality of King Akbar, but Berni saw various weaknesses in Akbar’s personality.



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