For years, India has been popular for the concept of “Unity in diversity”. Despite the existing diversities – physical, social, linguistic, cultural – India has managed to retain its identity as a country, maintaining a perfect harmony among its people.
This unity is the essence of the existence of India as a strong nation with the world’s second-largest population. Despite glorious diversities, the people of different castes, creeds, religions and languages have lived in India for thousands of years. Incredible indeed!
But when we consider how we treat one another, it raises questions about the concept of “Unity in diversity”. This is apparent in the way we tend to address each another. While the people from East India, especially Bengalis, are associated with fishes and rasogolla, those who belong to Southern India are linked with idli and sambhar.
It has become commonplace to hear these remarks:
- “Oh, you are from the south, idli sambaar haan?”
- “Are you a Chinki?”
- “You guys are maach and rasogolla, poetry and intellect”
Apart from indicating the insensitivity of a particular individual towards the people of other regions, such remarks also show the national integration of our country in poor light.
To a nation like India, which stands strong with its population of billions, what can be a major threat to its existence than the disconnection of the people of two or more states from one another? Many freedom fighters have laid their lives to not just free the nation from the fetters of the British Rule but to also bind the nation as a unit despite the existing diversities. As long as we are united, no one can harm our nation any way. “United we stand, divided we fall”, as the saying goes.
We should take pride in the fact that our country is a union of several states with a different identity of its own in terms of culture and language. The perfect harmony in which they live under one union, called India, is a matter of pride.
The Constitution of India grants and guarantees equal rights and opportunities to all citizens for a reason. Those who oppose or violate it are liable to be punished as per the constitutional provisions. More than the government of the nation, the onus lies on us to ensure that all citizens of India are treated with respect, regardless of the region to which they belong.
The need of the hour is to recognise that racial and linguistic diversity does not separate us from each other but enriches our culture. Despite the differences, we remain politically and ideologically committed to one country. To avoid disastrous consequences, it is imperative that we establish strong, durable links for strengthening the bonds of national unity. What do you think?