India as a Multicultural State

Published: 2021-09-14 10:05:08
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Category: Asia

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Bound by the Himalayas at the north, and the deep blue ocean in the south, India is rich in its diversity not just by topography, but by the people. With people from various religions, faiths and cultures, it isn’t surprising to say in the least we are a mixture of many nations.
India in its own is a state or representation of various communities – be it at a political level or legislative level and this very fact is why India is state of many nations.A state is defined as an organised political community living under a single system of government which may or may not be sovereign and given the vast variety of people, be it in majority or in small amounts, all are accountable to the state as a whole which is why states like Kashmir, Nagaland and Mizoram are given special status and special legislations for the nation state protects every individual in its judicial system and everyone’s rights are guaranteed.
If we were to say India is a nation of many states, the identity of oneself is lost,for one has two identities – one being Indian, the second being their individual cultural identity. Indians wouldn’t have had a cultural sense of belonging if it were just classified under one nation.
Every individual region be it from Kerala to Meghalaya, has taken its own measures to protect their identity and unified together to scream Indian. After all, Patriotism the eternal flame that burns within us.
In the lines of legislation, our country’s law has been able to move past the issues of caste, language, religion etc. In India, we do not experience different statehoods, rather we are all working on the very institution set up by our forefathers -the constitution which is our holy book.
It is interesting to note how various cultures came under the same banner of nationalism. People could have chosen to want to protect their individual identity rather than being classified as INDIAN. Years of perseverance and struggle by our great fighters led us to the stage where we don’t need a dual citizenship card to prove our loyalties to our state and country. We progressed from a country that colonised its own regions to a country that protects its brotherhood.
India is not one country. It is a hodgepodge of many different cultures. India is often touted as the worlds largest democracy. But India is actually an unwieldy collection of semi- autonomous states and union territories., States within India can specify their own languages,and there are 22 such languages spread throughout the entire country, India has no fewer than five action separatist movements,some peaceful and some violent. Yet all of them are dealt with individually and measures are taken to avoid insurgency. That is without counting the ongoing Maoist insurgency in eastern India being carried out by the Naxalites.
If we were to bring a more political approach to how India is a culmination of cultures that is bounded by an institution, then take the example of how We see regional and national parties coming together and forming coalitions. This wouldn’t have been possible if it weren’t for statehood.
Moreover,the people the top most legislature requires the confidence of every person from whichever nation they are. Every single nation of our country is valuable and none of them are differentiated. Ironically it is seen that the people whose representation is the least, becomes the limiting factor for a political party’s win. Therefore India becomes a culmination of nations to form a single state.
Now if we were to consider the other statement to be correct – which is about the fact that is India to be a nation of many states, then the concept of regional politics ceases to exist. For, individual states are governed more by their rules and considering India as a single nation interludes the fact that there can be only a set of idealistic goals to achieve and that is too far centred.
So all in all, we can safely say that India is a cumulative aggregate of nations and ideologies. It means that every individualistic nation gets to follow its own ideologies, cultures in it policy making, leaving room for national matters to be dealt collectively.
It is not an understatement to say that politics in India is dictated by regional parties. These smaller parties hold considerable position and clout in individual states, leading to competitive driven votes. As a result, political alliances and surprise moves are a common spectacle,as governments are formed and dissolved and unanticipated. The sentiment was echoed by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee before the 2014 elections, who said that “The mainstream parties were zero and that the future of India would be decided by regional political parties.” Looking at the political history of India,there can be no doubt that regional parties are indeed the trump card.
As a secular entity, India allows its citizens to choose to practice, preach, spread, propagate, leave or change any religion or none.
No modern country seeks to belittle a religion, nor allow a religion to oppress it. India allows Hinduism or Islam or any other religion to be themselves, as long as they do not try to enter into a realm that is not their legitimate concern.
As a consequence of defining ourselves as a country of different states,we have for too long been held captive to the idea that weaker states and greater concentration of power in the central government will create a stronger India.We have believed unquestioningly that we represent “unity in diversity”. We are actually a diversity in unity. At the core, we have a million differences that had it not been for the spectacular phenomenon called India, would have set us apart as independent nations.
“Our national integration does not mean unity of language,ideology or religion: it is,as we have proclaimed many times, unity in diversity. The real basis of national integration should be widely shared goals and values, commitment to, what for want of a better word we call “Indianess’ without sacrificing the identity of subcultures.”
It is evident from this paragraph that Indira Gandhi wanted to bring together all cultures and nations under the idea of “National Integration” This attitude seems to have resulted from a belief in the melting pot theory and the contention that India is a Nation State.The official position, therefore, is that the various ethnic and cultural communities inhabiting the country should be assimilated in the melting pot of Indian nationalism.
So, to conclude, it is evident to say India is a culmination of many nations under an umbrella institution created to safeguard and protect the citizens which we proudly call India. Every community,every culture, every different festival being celebrated, all are unique, all are special and all are governed.We stand proud with the tricolour.
We may be bound by Himalayas and the oceans, but we are bound way more by the patriotism that burns within us and the love and morality that makes us Indian.

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