Actress Aishwarya Lekshmi and actor Vikram and Karthi, whose period film 'Ponniyin Selvan: 2' released in theatres on Friday, feel that a certain level of unfairness has been meted out to the indigenous empires or dynasties of India by our education system, largely.
Recently, the removal of references to the Mughal dynasty from the coursebooks in Uttar Pradesh sparked a controversy and caused debate around what should be the part of academics in history.
The indigenous empires of India have very less mention in the school level history books compared to the dynasties that arrived in India as a part of the conquest.
Talking to IANS, Aishwarya Lekshmi said: "From what I know, yes there has been some level of unfairness towards the indigenous empires of India. It would take a lot of research to get a little bit of information about them in that direction. Kalki's novel 'Ponniyin Selvan' (on which the Mani Ratnam magnum opus is based) is actually a window to the 10th century of southern India, how progressive we were at that time and how much chasing westernisation led us to go back in time."
Actor Vikram seconded Aishwarya's as he feels that Indian society was quite progressive back then for its time. He said: "At that time, America wasn't even discovered and we had thriving societies under different empires."
Karthi, who plays Vallavaraiyan, in the film, shared with IANS: "Only when the British came, they started doing a lot of research and started documenting the history. I'm sure a history student would know a lot more about each dynasty as per their specialisation. But, for school level history a proper panel of intellectuals should sit and decide what should be included in the course material to give a holistic view."