Despite of different diversities there are bonds of unity in India. These bonds of unity may be located in a certain underlying uniformity of life as well as in certain mechanisms of integration.
Herbert Risley, Census Commissioner in 1911 has rightly observed, “Beneath the manifold diversity of physical and social type, language, custom and religion which strike the observer in India there can still be discerned a certain underlying uniformity of life from the Himalayas to Cape Comorin”. India has never lost the ideal of unity. From time immemorial it found noblest expression in the thoughts of our sages and poets. The entire country is referred to as ‘ Bharata varsha’ and the people are referred to as Bharata ‘Santatih’ (progeny of Bharata) to emphasise the oneness of the country and its people. The bonds of unity in India underlying the diversities are discussed below: 1. Geographical Unity:
India, like every other country, has its own fixed boundaries that are natural. On one side there are high Himalayan mountains and the other three sides are practically surrounded by oceans. India is limited within boundaries that are evidence of geographical unity, a unity which baffles the scholars who themselves live in small European countries and find it difficult to comprehend how such a large country with so much variety of nature can be united. The very name “Bharatvarsha” implies a historical significance that symbolizes unity. The name is not born of geographical necessity but is concerned with the ideal of Chakravarty. This name, the chief characteristic of which is unity, has always occupied an important place in the minds of religious thinkers, political philosophers and poets since each has conceived of the country as a single expanse from the Himalayas in the North to Cape Comorin in the South and from the Brahmaputra in the East to the Indus in the West. Even today, when we address our A country as “Mother India” it includes the realization of geographical unity, Bankim Chandra Chatterijee’s patriotic song “Vande Mataram” exudes the feeling of the Indian unity. 2. Religious Unity:
Although various religious groups in India present elements of external difference, it is not impossible to trace elements common to all. Each religion preaches a fundamentally single religious faith and shares a belief in the purity and value of life and faith in an invisible power with every other religious system. Religious unity in India finds its expression through the places of worship scattered all over the country. Such religious places of the Hindus as Badrinarayan in the North, Dwaraka in the West, Rameswaram in the South and Jagannath Puri in the East represent the religious unity of this vast country. These pilgrimage centres of great spiritual merit comprehend the sentiment of patriotism and a feeling for the unity of the country also. Similarly, there are hundreds of other national monuments to which all Indians, irrespective of race, culture or religions, pay homage. . Mountains like the Himalayas, rivers like the Ganges and a number of temples spread throughout the country make every Hindu feel that every inch of the land is sacred. The Ramayana and the Mahabharata are national epics, sung and enjoyed in every nook and corner of the world. There is hardly any Indian local language in which these heroic and religious tales have not been translated. The legends of Rama and Krishna are sung and repeated with equal fervor among people who speak Hindi and among these who speak such languages as Tamil, Telugu and the rest. Equal respect is given everywhere to the Gita, the Vedas, Purans and other scriptures in India. This respect is given because these religious texts provide much satisfaction and solace to the people. Recounting the names of major rivers in the country such as the Ganges, the Jamuna, the Godavari, the Cauvery etc. on the part of the Hindu during the period of bath is intended not merely to remind-the mortals...
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