Society in India

Topics: India, Religion, Jainism Pages: 17 (5388 words) Published: August 24, 2013
1.0 1.1 1.2 Objectives Introduction Concepts of Unity and Diversity 1.2.1 Meaning of Diversity 1.2.2 Meaning of Unity

Unity and Diversity


Forms of Diversity in India
1.3.1 1.3.2 1.3.3 1.3.4 Racial Diversity Linguistic Diversity Religious Diversity Caste Diversity Geo-political Unity The Institution of Pilgrimage Tradition of Accommodation Tradition of Interdependence


Bonds of Unity in India
1.4.1 1.4.2 1.4.3 1.4.4

1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8

Let Us Sum Up Keywords Further Reading Specimen Answers to Check Your Progress

After studying this unit you should be able to explain the concept of unity and diversity describe the forms and bases of diversity in India examine the bonds and mechanisms of unity in India provide an explanation to our option for a composite culture model rather than a uniformity model of unity.

This unit deals with unity and diversity in India. You may have heard a lot about unity and diversity in India. But do you know what exactly it means? Here we will explain to you the meaning and content of this phrase. For this purpose the unit has been divided into three sections. In the first section, we will specify the meaning of the two terms, diversity and unity. 9

Social Structure Rural and Urban

In the second section, we will illustrate the forms of diversity in Indian society. For detailed treatment we will focus on the four forms of diversity, race, language, religion and caste. In the third section, we will bring out the bonds of unity in India. These are geopolitical, the culture of pilgrimage, tradition of accommodation, and tradition of interdependence. Above all, we will note that the unity of India is born of a composite culture rather than a uniform culture.

We begin by clarifying the meaning of the terms diversity and unity.

1.2.1 Meaning of Diversity
Ordinarily diversity means differences. For our purposes, however, it means something more than mere differences. It means collective differences, that is, differences which mark off one group of people from another. These differences may be of any sort: biological, religious, linguistic etc. On the basis of biological differences, for example, we have racial diversity. On the basis of religious differences, similarly, we have religious diversity. The point to note is that diversity refers to collective differences. The term diversity is opposite of uniformity. Uniformity means similarity of some sort that characterises a people. ‘Uni’ refers to one; ‘form’ refers to the common ways. So when there is something common to all the people, we say they show uniformity. When students of a school, members of the police or the army wear the same type of dress, we say they are in ‘uniform’. Like diversity, thus, uniformity is also a collective concept. When a group of people share a similar characteristic, be it language or religion or anything else, it shows uniformity in that respect. But when we have groups of people hailing from different races, religions and cultures, they represent diversity. D.N. Majumdar wrote a book with the title, Races and Cultures of India. Mark the words in the plural: Races (not Race); Cultures (not Culture). Thus, diversity means variety. For all practical purposes it means variety of groups and cultures. We have such a variety in abundance in India. We have here a variety of races, of religions, of languages, of castes and of cultures. For the same reason India is known for its socio-cultural diversity.

1.2.2 Meaning of Unity
Unity means integration. It is a social psychological condition. It connotes a sense of one-ness, a sense of we-ness. It stands for the bonds, which hold the members of a society together. There is a difference between unity and uniformity. Uniformity presupposes similarity, unity does not. Thus, unity may or may not be based on uniformity. Unity may be...
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