Wednesday, August 24, 2011

cultural pluralism

: India is a plural society both in letter and spirit. It is rightly characterized by its unity and diversity. A grand synthesis of cultures, religions and languages of the people belonging to different castes and communities has upheld its unity and cohesiveness despite foreign invasions, and the Mugal and the British rule. National unity and integrity have been maintained even through sharp economic and social inequalities have obstructed the emergence of egalitarian social relations. It is this synthesis which has made India a unique mosque of cultures. Thus, India present seemingly multicultural situation within in the framework of a single integrated cultural whole, what Pandil Jawaharlal Nehru in his “Discovery of India” terms as “Unity in Diversity”. In India, past traditions as well as present circumstances favour the growth of a novel type of nationhood which promotes a common national culture, but at the same time ensures various communities freedom to maintain and develop their cultural and religious tradition, so long as they are not detrimental to the unity and general welfare of the nation. This is cultural pluralism. Foreign invasions, immigration from other parts of the world, and the existence of diverse languages, cultures and religion has made cultural tolerant, on the one hand, a unique continuing and living culture, with its specificity and historicity on the other.
Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, Islam, Sikhism and Christianity are the major religions. There are twenty two official languages, besides several hundreds dialects. There is diversity not only in regard to racial compositions, religious and linguistics distinctions but also in patterns of livings, life styles, land tenure systems, occupational pursuits, inheritance and succession law, and practices and rites related to birth, marriage, deaths etc.
Post-Independence India is a nation united against several odds and obstacles. The idea of unity of India is inherent in all its historical and socio-cultural facts as well as in its cultural heritage. India is a secular state. It has one constitution providing guarantees for people belongings to diverse regions, religions, cultures and languages. It covers people belonging to all socio-economic strata.

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