NEW DELHI – History helps shape national perceptions and perspectives and undergirds national security. However, the boundary between historical fact and fiction is more porous than students of history might think. History is not only written by victors but also is used by most nations as a political tool in intrastate or interstate context.
Indeed, many countries create self-serving or sanitized historical narratives. Autocracies have a monopoly on presenting and interpreting history. China, the fairy tale Middle Kingdom, weaves legend with history to foster a chauvinistic Han Chinese culture centered on regaining lost glory.