Unity in Diversity: Rise Of Religious Movements
The idea of ‘unity in diversity’, in brevity, refers to oneness in the varieties even after the existence of various differences. It is “unity without uniformity and diversity without fragmentation” which justifies the very notion of endurance of people belonging to different religions irrespective of the physical, cultural, linguistic, social, religious, political, ideological and/or psychological differences and also brings forth a more complex idea of unity based on an understanding that difference enriches human interactions. The keynote of the distinctive culture thus evolved was a synthesis on the basis of eternal values.
Being the seventh largest nation and second most populous country in the world, occupying about 2.4% of the total land area of the world and possessing about 15% of the total world’s population, there’s no doubt that India would reflect such diversities in social, cultural, economic, political, religious, racial and other matters. In spite of the diversities mentioned, Indian culture portrays a fundamental unity, the impression of which can be traced in the literature and thought of different communities around India. Though we speak of unity in diversity in India, there arise certain circumstances whereby the different religions, cultures or races or sects come into conflict. Taking into account the period after the Independence, a chain of reform movements, revolutionary movements and revivalist movements, resistance movements in different regions or sometimes throughout the country. The regional movements, over the years, have shown the country’s inclination towards regionalism.
In respect of religion in India, there is no end of its range. India is a place of unification of different languages and cultures world-wide. People from around the world with different cultures are living peacefully with enthusiasm and unity. They all celebrate religious festivals with great enthusiasm. Besides this, the aborigines living in the jungles or in the hill areas have various ancient religious customs which they carefully observe.
The Indian people composed of several racial elements have a range of languages among them. Statistics prove that there are more than two hundred languages at present in this country. Each region has its own language. The local people speak in their own language. In North India, most people speak in Hindi. While in South India, the languages for communication are the Dravidian languages such as Tamil, Malayalam, Telugu, Kannada, etc. Further, in West Bengal, there is prominence of Bengali language. The people of Odisha mainly speak in Oriya. Besides Hindi and Dravidian and other regional languages, many tribal groups have their own language. In exhibit time English dialect has assumed an imperative part in binding together the general population of the nation. English is a standout amongst the most famous between dialects among instructed class. Indeed, even in present day times, we as a whole commend our National celebrations, viz. Independence Day, Republic Day and Gandhi Jayanti, and so on with a feeling of solidarity. These festivals are widely celebrated at schools, colleges, universities, offices, societies across all the states of India. Every Indian watches the Flag Hoisting ceremony at Red Fort and listens to the speech of the Prime Minister. In every state, similar event takes place in which the Chief Minister of the state addresses to the audience through a speech.
Regional diversity along ethnic lines was finally being addressed be it in the ethno racial, ethno-regional, ethno-linguistic or ethno-national sense. Religious ethnicity was disregarded due to the profusion of diversity in religious observance and belief systems that led the makers of the Indian nation state to follow secularism. There was however, discontent amongst several ethnic groups, as they felt that their sub-nationalist identity had not been considered or had been trivialized by the Indian State, leading to mass uprisings and movements such as those in Telangana, Bodoland and in the demand for Khalistan. The “Indira era” in Indian political history saw some of the most violent backlashes against the State as movements across the nation sprang up, often with bloody consequences. Be it in the Naxalite movement or the Khalistan movement, the Indian State grappled with the repercussions of denying groups of people a legitimate existence based on their regional identity, diversity and multiple national consciousness. Some of those movements exist even today.
India is a large country. The spoken language of one state is quite different from that of another. They wear different clothes, celebrate different festivals and perform various rituals. People belonging to diverse cultures belong to different religious faiths. In spite of these diversities, Indians feel a sense of unity and oneness among them. One may conclude that Indian is a land of Unity in Diversity. However diverse India may be in its cultures, there has been a state of unrest throughout. The presence of such huge figure of ethnic groups within the territory has been dominantly responsible for the various radical movements from different regions of the state, from different religions around the state.
Author: Vaibhavi Perugu
College: Symbiosis Law School
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