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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Unity in Diversity

Rahul Basu rightly reviews the book 'India after Gandhi' in these lines. I really liked them for clear construction of his thought on such a vast topic. "It has become fashionable to deride and denigrate Nehru and Nehruvian socialism and secularism. But it is the Nehruvian ideal, the cliche of 'unity in diversity' that has precisely seen the country through the shocks of more than half a century. It was precisely Nehru's insistence that every culture, every language, every religion, every creed, every caste would have its own place in the Indian polity that, illogically enough, has kept the country together. There has never been an overarching dominant culture to which all others have had to defer. India might be predominantly Hindu, but by no means is it a Hindu Pakistan. "

We need to understand that the cliche “Unity in Diversity” goes beyond the words. Our rich cultural heritage and diversity extends well beyond language and variety in indian cuisine. Cultural, Linguistic, geographical and wildlife diversity of the region gives a rough idea about it.India is so diverse that one life time is not sufficient for anyone to know what exactly it is. The beauty of it lies in diversity. Just imagine how we will be if we were of the same religion, same caste, same color and ofcourse in a tiny country but we aren't and gifted with vast country, different cultures and ofcourse languages. If we all look same in our way of living, race, color and region then aren't we missing a chance to explore this so many wonderful ways of living.

Indians are intelligent enough and our centuries practiced tolerance for diversity has equipped us with strong skills of adaptation. The diversity is mind boggling to foreigners not only in terms cultures & food but the psyche of the people as well. The difference in the south itself is apparent in the way the society has evolved in the last 60 years of independence, where Kerala has taken strides in the social front and rural infrastructure way better than most of the northern states… Karnataka, AP and Tamilnadu have been successful in the new age industries of IT and biotech. Gujjus and marvaris are predominantly business oriented. Among the troops, there is more representation from punjab, haryana, himachal, UP, MP, bihar, rajasthan. Still, Diversity shouldn’t be sacrificed for the sake of a unifying identity.

Amalgam of ethnicity and races against Indian background. It is Melting Pots: Mosaic [Hybrid Culture and Religion]. India as new model for both bio and ethnic diversity. Place of birth of 4 major religion: Hindu, Jainism, Buddhism & Sikhism. Muslim and Christian are fairly adopted here.Jews were given shelter when they were bashed all over the world. Business, Invasion, Settlement and adaption to provide rich heritage. Indian subcontinent is well diverse in each aspect of culture. India, amidst her diversity still stands incredible to the world because she has the ability to evolve while retaining her uniqueness.

Only Europe can match its diversity but not quality. Look at Europe. It got split into small little countries because of the language and culture differences. And today, amazingly they are uniting again, under the flag of EU. It makes economic sense.

Let me end the topic with few quotes:

Rene Dubos -"Human diversity makes tolerance more than a virtue; it makes it a requirement for survival".

Jimmy Carter -"We have become not a melting pot but a beautiful mosaic of different people, different beliefs, different yearnings, different hopes and different dreams".

Helen Keller - "Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much".

Mikhail Gorbachev "Peace is not unity in similarity but unity in diversity, in the comparison and conciliation of differences".

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