National Integration in India

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India is a vast country with a vast population. The vast population follows different cultures and religions; and; belongs to different castes and sub-castes, races and communities. So, the national integration of India invariably depends on the integrity of its citizens. It is the individuals who constitute a society or a nation. Society or nation is nothing without its individuals. The existence of individuals is a reality; whereas the society or nation is a myth. The nation exists because of individuals. Therefore, integration of nation is only a mere manifestation of the integrity of the individuals. Further, in India, integration does not mean centralization. In India, it means unity in diversity in which the components and the whole are equally valid and mutually inter-dependent. It can be rightly said that individuals is the pillar on whom the whole edifice of a nation stands. And it is in this sense that national integration is more a myth than a reality, more a dream than a fact, more a conceived by demagogues than an existing reality. In order to achieve the dream of national integration in India, it is very much necessary to integrate its citizens. And integration of its citizens is not a chore. The citizens are facing with the problems of economic disparity and rampant poverty; persistence of socio-economic inequality between and within the rural and the urban segments of the people; casteism, communalism and religious fundamentalism; and political populism and political exploitations. Due to the problems, national integration in India still remains as a myth. Socio-economic inequality in India is a heritage of long history. Inequality in India’s past was sanctified by the rigid caste system that had ordained professions by the accident of birth in a given family and jati. Feudalism is another big institutional factor contributing to inequality. The loopholes in land reforms and ceiling on agricultural holdings have retained much of ex-landlords and...