By Ara Baliozian
According to prof. George Bournoutian in a recent televised interview, the world doesn't know enough about us. That is why his central concern has been to introduce our rich history and culture to the world, beginning with American academics who appear to be more interested in blacks and Jews.
If American academics are more interested in blacks and Jews it may be because most of them are blacks and Jews.
How many academics do we have?
About thirty years ago I remember to have read a study in which it was stated that there were at least a thousand Armenian academics in the United States alone. How many of our academics, who must number over two thousand by now, are interested in our history and culture?
If the overwhelming majority of our academics prefer to churn out works on odar subjects, why should odar academics be any different?
Even more to the point, why should the world be interested to know more about us?
What have we done to deserve their interest?
What have we contributed to the world except victims?
Do we really want the world to know that we are a nation whose leadership has collaborated with some of the most criminal regimes in the history of mankind, or a nation whose tribal rulers have succeeded only in dividing the people thus making them more vulnerable to foreign aggression?
I have no doubt whatever in my mind that there are Untouchable academics in India today, perhaps even in the United States, who believe they too have a rich history and deserve to be better known to the world. To prof. Bournoutian I ask: How much do you know or are interested in knowing about the Untouchables?
If the world knew more about us, would that be to our advantage or disadvantage? Do we really want the world to know that even after independence our so-called democracy in the Homeland is no better than a farce?
Do we really want anyone to know that after nearly a century in America, our leaders on this continent are no better than benevolent sultans?
How many of our bosses, bishops, and benefactors have been freely elected by the ppeople?
How many of them have the right to say they represent the people?
How many of us can even name these leaders?
Last but not least:
How much have we ourselves learned from our history?
I say to prof. Bournoutian, before we introduce our history to the world, let's introduce it to ourselves, and when I speak of history I mean an account of the past that is both honest and objective, which means, it does not shrink from exposing our failings. Because it is only by acknowledging our blunders and learning from them that we may be worthy of universal interest.
26 August 2008
Read also in Azad-Hye: Interview with Ara Baliozian