Continuing from the earlier post about the Pakistani narrative about Hindu-Muslim relations in the sub-continent, and the idea that Pakistan is the real inheritor of the legacy of the Mughals, where we had asked who you think we are referring to when we talk about greatness and barbarism, is this post which is about their discussion on this topic. The question they were talking about today was about who decides whether something or someone is great, or not. Whether someone is a terrorist, or a freedom fighter, as the saying goes … one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter.
Well, they were talking about two men who overshadow history around the world, or at least in large parts of the world … Alexander III of Macedon, and Timujin, known respectively as Alexander the Great, and Chenghez Khan. Both these men took war to a number of nations, over vast territories.
Alexander invaded large swathes of land including Persia, Egypt, across the Hindukush, and into India (or modern-day Pakistan), where he had to turn back. Along the path, there are a number of narratives about the invasion. While Alexander is considered great by one narrative, in another narrative, he is considered the accursed, a manifestation of the devil, and the legend also goes that he had horns, as you will see in the video here.
On the other hand is the Mongol invasion. Starting out from Mongolia, they conquered China, and then diverted their attention westward. This is when they conquered Central Asia, and reached the gates of Europe, creating probably the largest empire in the history of mankind.
As you will see from the videos, the emphasis of these two narratives is quite different. One portrays war as a romantic thing, while another focuses on the barbarism of war. War is barbaric, and that is so no matter who wages it. But that doesn’t seem to be the way history is written.