National Integration - The Indian Perspective Category : Secondary School Level

National Integration - The Indian Perspective

Category : Secondary School Level

Integration is 'unification into a whole- of all the diverse elements in a community’. National integration thus implies unification of the diverse populace of the country.


India is a secular country of rich cultural heritage with diverse races, religions, languages, castes, customs and traditions. Despite this diversity, India has always had a basic unity and distinctive identity. A major challenge was faced soon after independence viz. to bring together several princely states (over 500) under the Indian Union. This stupendous task was achieved and will be remembered as the first step towards national integration.


One sprint of unity got India it's freedom from British rule. This unity found its manifestation during Chinese aggression (1962) and Pakistani attacks (1965 and 1971). It is strange, but true, that India displays its mettle in crisis when its destiny is threatened, but exhibits conflicting attitudes otherwise. We, as a country, are still learning that only when there is peace, unity and harmony amongst the people, can India achieve continuous growth, peoples' welfare and develop into a great nation. National integrity, for ever, is vital for its security and prosperity. The current trend of fissiparous, disruptive and disintegrating tendencies such as communalism, terrorism, casteism, regionalism and linguism must end.


National integration remains a crucial issue in India notwithstanding the fact that India can boast of a civilization which is 5000 years old. True, some the divisive factors may be inherent in the history, geography and culture of India, but there have been forces which accentuate these factors. Religious fundamentalism is one such force and linguistic diversities constitute another. There are people who hold an exclusive view of religion which drives them into sectarian frenzy that does not admit any tolerance of other faiths.


Despite a shared culture of so many years, linguistic chauvinism has often generated tensions and conflicts among different communities threatening the fabric of national unity. Linguistic regionalism reached a crisis stage with the Telangana movement (1953), and so the states were reorganized (1956) along linguistic lines. With it came the expression of local culture instead of a national one, and proliferation of pan-Indian opposition parties. The recent anti-North Indian outburst in Mumbai and some other parts of Maharashtra by a local political party is an exhibition of linguistic regionalism only. The age-old caste system and discrimination based on caste and creed has significantly contributed to weaken the bond of unity in the society.


The devil of communalism has no place in secular


India as it reinvigorates national peace and integrity. Still, scattered instances of the violent hatred do occur e.g. the recent past (2002) flare-up in Gujarat. The monster of terrorism is another problem which creates chaos and disturbs national peace and harmony - most recent was in Jaipur (Rajasthan), others some time ago in Mumbai and Malegaon (Maharashtra), Rampur, Lucknow, Faizabad and Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh), Hyderabad (Andhra Pradesh), and Delhi, not to speak of the 'attack' on Parliament in Delhi.


All such forces of dissatisfaction, unrest and disintegration are ugly heads of the dragon and pose a serious challenge to India's unity, social fabric and integrity. Education and a positive change in peoples9 psychology can play a vital role in strengthening emotional integration by broadening the outlook, fostering a feeling of oneness, nationalism, spirit of sacrifice and tolerance so that people rise above the narrow group interests and strive for national good.


No doubt, the primary responsibility for protecting, preserving and promoting social peace and national integrity lies with Government, who has taken various steps such as setting up of National Integration Council, instituting educational, employment and welfare schemes for minorities and socially and economically weaker sections of society, health, laws to deal with crimes against women, laws to curb terrorism, encouraging smaller family concept 'we two, ours two’; but civil society and its institutions such as Peoples9 Integration Council have a key role to play. The only religion for the Government should be economic growth, equality, justice, human development and social empowerment.


So let us live as a nation for 'United We Stand; Divided We Fall’.


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