Columbus Myth

‘Myth’ is no alien word in our generation particularly in this age of information .Though commonly this word is used against peoples’ superstitions or pagan religious beliefs. West, being in the pinnacle of Civilization is not yet immune from the fallacious and deceitful A.K.A mythological beliefs that Christopher Columbus discovered America.

Christopher Columbus was not a name of any saint or D.C comic figures but a simple ship Captain with great navigation skills. Despite his mastered navigational talent, he mistakenly thought that he had discovered a short-cut route to India which in the end turned out to be a ‘discovery’ of a New World and thus he was famed.

Even in this modern education by the West, he is still commonly considered to be the discoverer of America which is simply a lie or, more accurately said, a MYTH. Saying Columbus discovered America sounds like someone entered in your house and shouts ‘AHAA, I discovered this house.’  It would be more fair and perfect to say, Columbus invaded America rather than saying he ‘discovered’ it. The talented Columbus was somehow convinced that it is possible to reach India by sailing due West across Atlantic Ocean. Impressed by his zealous confidence, Queen Isabella I of Castile and Leon financed his voyage of exploration in 1492 which in reality marked a brutal European occupation of the Native Americans.

On August 3rd he sailed from Palos, Spain, with three small ships, the Santa María, commanded by Columbus himself, the Pinta under Martín Pinzón, and the Niña under Vicente Yáñez Pinzón. When Columbus landed on an island called Guanahani which was renamed San Salvador by Columbus, he actually thought that he was on the Eastern side of India. And thus those natives were named Red Indians. Columbus then returned to Spain in order to bring 1500 colonists in a large fleet of 17 ships.

Columbus achieved a promotion as an admiral of the open sea, and was authorized as a governor-general of all new lands he had ‘discovered’. With no surprise, he lost his respected governing position within a short time due to his lack of administrative calibre and villainous nature. Some of us may wonder, how come the continents of America is not named after Columbus, the man who is fallaciously alleged as the ‘discoverer of the New World’, but it is named after someone else! 

The answer to this little mystery is, an Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci who substantiated the matter that Southern America did not represent Asia’s eastern outskirts. It was after his name ‘Amerigo’ the two continents got their names ‘America’ in the year 1507. Now bursting the myth, it is humanly impossible to identify the first ever human in history who actually landed on the great American Islands, only GOD knows.

But for obvious reasons, through historical analysis, it has been found that many men trod on the land of great Americas long before Columbus. For instance, the Chinese record of centuries old Maps show that, they explored America a long time before Colombus. Among the Europeans, history suggests that Leif Erikson a Viking Icelandic explorer, landed on North of America before Columbus did. Even some Muslim Historians claim that, many Muslim explorers had visited America during the Abbasid period.

Likewise every mythology has got a motive, the reason why Columbus is over praised, undisputed discoverer of America is that, he had originally marked the era of European colonization and he did set the notion of transforming Civilizations, in one hand bringing and settling the Europeans and in the other hand cleansing the Natives out of their own motherland. It was estimated that in between 15-30 Million Natives were massacred and it is no irony that the European genocide is hindered in our education of History. Truth is indeed bitter.

By: Arafat Hossain, (A Level, MDIC)

 

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