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History is a preacher
By MH Mozaffari

The advancement of science and technology, medium of communications, languages, books, conflicts and migrations have a vital role in creating civilizations and impact over them. Throughout the historical relations between two great civilizations and nations that is Iran and the Sub-continent these elements have played a very vital role. 

Some historians and writers have tried to exaggerate the role of military intervention in the historical relations between nation and state, but the fact is that this did not have that great role to play and their duration is also of shorter period in the long term of historical relations between nations and the civilizations.

All nations have felt the bitter experience of natural disasters like flood, earthquake, drought and volcanic eruption and also of man-made disasters in their history. Inspite of the destructive and devastating impact of these disasters on the historical relations between the nations, civilizations and culture, they were tolerated and recovered from their impact. The totalitarian regimes and their dangerous thoughts brought a lot of sorrow and problems on mankind and the world war 1st and IInd was the creation of the same thoughts. It is important to review the bitter experiences of mankind and try to avoid repetition of the same problems and to take positive and creative steps.

After the settlement of the dust of first and second world wars all the nations of the world felt the necessity of peace and security, justice and peaceful co-existence.

After the Second World War the European nations despite deep differences are trying for unification. So it is very important how the present generation is going to look at the past and the future. From this angle historical studies are necessary and can be creative.

When we study the history of mankind, we come to realize that people tried for three important things, that is social justice, freedom and spirituality. In order to achieve these goals they have tried their best for peaceful co-existence with each other.

People of sub-continent and great and ancient Iran have a very long pre and post history relationship.

Before colonialism, men were not very active in sea and ocean traveling. The silk route played a very important role in establishing creative relationship between east and west, north and south. Ancient Iran was the main junction of this historical, cultural, social and religious relationship at that time except for very short period of time (compared with long historical relations). This route played an important role in history of Asia, Africa and Europe.

Among the other elements which had very important and creative role in building relationship between nations and civilizations is the element of immigration whether individual or collective. Among the collective migrations three are very important which are as follows:

1. Aryan immigration to sub-continent and Iran - which have brought two important civilizations of the world. 
2. Zorastrian immigration from Iran to Gujarat which inspite of small numbers has contributed a lot in the cultural, economic and social development of India and their significance is felt in the form of big industries and the institutions they have established in different parts of India. 
3. Immigration of Mir Sayed Ali Hamadani towards Himalayan region and the Turkistan of China also had deep cultural and artistic impact over this region. - The immigration of Syed Ali Hamadani brought crafts and arts to Kashmir. A new dimension was added in the field of embroidery, calligraphy and other delicate and artistic enterprises like carpet weaving and shawl weaving. Further more, new ornaments for women were introduced. New crafts, arts and new dresses were also introduced.

Depriving the people of their genuine hope and justice creates sense of revenge among certain individuals or groups and brings catastrophe like the incident of 11 September in New York. This happening within a few hours has darkened the future of global economy and international market and threatened the peace and security at regional and international level.

It was much better if globalisation could have happened in love, friendship, justice and spirituality. Hope that mankind in heart could have globalised like the famous Iranian poet Sadi who says : "human beings are like parts of body (lit: limbs of one another), as they are created from the same substance. When the world causes pain to a single part, the other part also cannot be at ease. You who are indifferent to the sufferings of others, do not deserve to be called a human being"

History should be studied with positive attention so that it can create positive result and better future for the coming generation. Hazrat Ali has very rightly said: "Surely there are lessons for you in the past centuries" (Sermon 181 of Nahjul Balagha).

The writer is director, Iran Culture House at New Delhi. These are excerpts from his address at the the Maulana Azad Centre’s recent seminar on "Iranians in Gujarat – their impact on society, economy and culture"

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