Introduction: India is a land of “Unity in diversity”. The high mountain ranges, vast seas , large river-irrigated lands, countless rivers and streams, dark forests, sandy deserts, all these have adorned India with an exceptional diversity. Among the people there are numerous races, castes, creeds, religions and languages.
Meaning of “Unity in Diversity”
The term “Unity in diversity” refers to the state of togetherness or oneness in-spite of presence of immense diversity.
It refers to the spirit of singleness or the feeling to totality when diverse sets of people, organisations or states are unified together.
“Unity in diversity” is a concept where:
- diverse groups of people co-operating and working together as a single force,
- different areas or states being united as a single country,
- different people set aside their differences and look forward towards a common goal,
It is a concept where the individual or social differences in physical attributes, skin colour, castes, creed, cultural and religious practices, etc. are not looked upon as a conflict. Rather, these differences are looked upon as varieties that enrich the society and the nation as a whole.
Unity in diversity is a very important principle because we all live in a diverse world and it is crucial to respect each other and to support each other no matter what our culture, background, gender, orientation or other differences may be.
What does Unity in Diversity Teach Us?
Unity in Diversity teaches us that our differences do not need to keep us apart. We can be different to each other whilst still being firm friends with each other, supporting each other and working together for common goals.
Unity in diversity is a lesson that everyone should learn from their earliest years because it helps us to live together in a kinder and more loving way. This simple saying teaches us not to divide ourselves against each other into different camps, because this is where real conflicts can begin. Rather, the principle of unity in diversity teaches us that, fundamentally, we are all equal to each other and we all have equal rights.
Diverse Races enriched the Indian Ethnicity and Culture
In India, there are a large number of ancient culture prevailing or still practicing today. Though there are several numbers of diverse cultures in India, still it has unity in diversity.
The modern Indian civilization has been nourished and developed by multiracial contributions. From times immemorial, diverse races migrated into India by via land and sea routes and get themselves settled here. In course of time they are absolutely absorbed in India’s social life.
The ancient ethno-linguistic groups, such as, the Aryans, the Austrics, the Negritos the Dravidians, the Alpines and the Mongoloids, had combined to constitute the modern Indian race.
In the historical period, diverse branches of the aforementioned unique ethnic groups – the Persians, the Pallavas, the Kushanas, the Greeks, the Sakas, the Huns, the Portuguese, the Arabs, the Turks, the English and the European races came to India, and enriched Indian ethnicity and culture by their contribution to the same.
India is a Place of Re-union of many Religions
In respect of religion in India, there is no end of its range. India is the place of reunion of many religions and languages of the world. People from around the world with different cultures are found living in a peaceful manner. Here, the Hindus, the Muslims, the Sikh, the Christians, the Jews, the Buddhists, the Jains and the Parsees (Parsi community) live abreast of each other. 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. Again, in different regions and among different races, social customs and usages assume different shape and character.
Diverse Languages and Unity in India
The Indian people composed of several racial elements have a range of languages among them. Official accounts confirm that more than two hundred languages are 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 language. While in South India, the language 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 speaks in Oriya language. Besides, Hindi, Bengali, Urdu, Dravidian languages and other regional languages, many tribal groups have their own language. In modern times, English language has played an important role in unifying the people of the country. English is one of the most popular inter-language among educated class.
In different regions, people use diverse languages, but Sanskrit is widely acknowledged and honored as the language of spiritual scriptures and literature. It was through Sanskrit that the learned community of many of the provinces exchanged their ideas and thoughts. Different languages that are currently used in different provinces owe their origin to Sanskrit.
In spite of the fact that there are numerous languages among various races, there is a sense of national unity and oneness among all the Indians. It is this spirit of patriotism that binds us together as one nation.
Concept of Indivisible India
Ancient times: Since the ancient times, the powerful kings were inspired with the ideal of one, indivisible India. This prompted them to make conquests of lands stretching from the Himalayas to the seas. Chandragupta Maurya had tried to build one nation in Ancient time. Ancient India was known as ‘Bharatvarsha’.
Modern India: Even in modern times, we all celebrate our National festivals, viz. Independence Day, Republic Day and Gandhi Jayanti, etc. with a sense of unity. 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. The unity or oneness that we display during these National festivals display the indivisible character of India.
Sense of Unity among diverse Cultures and Society
The social customs and traditions which the Indians observe irrespective of caste, race and creed in all parts of the country contains within them a sense of Unity. It has kept alive a message of Unity in Diversity in India.
Following the different tradition and culture which diverse societies in India have developed, there lies a sense of unity which keeps the people of India bonded together. This fundamental unity can be observed among all the Indian tribes and races.
Hindu-Muslim Unity in India
Though, there are differences between the Hindu and the Muslim communities in regard to their customs, ideology, and rituals. But since centuries, they were born in and brought up by the same mother-land. They live together and have deep respect for each other. The Hindus send greetings to their Muslim friend on the occasion of Muslim festivals such as Eid, Muharram, etc. Similarly, the Muslims also wishes good luck on the occasion of Hindu festivals such as Diwali, Durga Puja, etc. This explains the growth unity between the Hindus and the Muslims in India. On many matter, they influence one another, and are inspired by the ideals of oriental civilization.
India is a large country. Different regions observe variations in climate. The spoken language of one state is quite different from that of another. They wear different types of garments. They celebrate different festivals and perform varied religious rites. 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. Thus, we conclude that India is a land of Unity in Diversity.
Edited with inputs from various contributors.