The political figureheads of yesteryears put in every Indian’s mind the immaculate concept of ‘Unity in Diversity’. Then there was the need for unity among Indians who lived against each other, thanks to the British India regime. The British were unequally successful in pocketing the break-away factions and petty kings of those days, thereby having a majority of the country’s ruling kings on their side.
As years rolled on and with more and more frustration creeping in every one’s life these political heads decided that there was something that needed to be done. Unity was the foremost necessity and then there came the blessed caption, Unity in Diversity, which is still a part and parcel of the Indian Constitution.
Now that nearly sixty years have gone by and where does this caption stand in our daily lives needs to be assessed. It would be worth evaluating if at all any Indian believes in this divine caption.
Let us split this caption into two: Unity and Diversity and look at each individually. Diversity would be the key here, because, it is the basis on which unity could be achieved (or, should I say, was allegedly to be achieved). Diversity then was referred to the various cultural, political and religious clouts that existed. It was this feature that made every Indian unique and gave him or her a feeling of being an Indian. Where has the feeling of diversity led us to? We are still live in a diverse society. There has been a significant development made in every possible way, but not much is done to keep the diversity as it was. Diverse are our beliefs, varied are our emotions, sceptical is every Indian, ignorant are we to the ways of politics and sadly gullible are we to the bullies in the society.
Modern society is a mixture of various religions, cultures and ranging classes. The upper class, the medium class, the lower class is what we have got as a by product of the caste system which prevailed in the early days of post independence. Apart from this, we have classes and divisions within our own religions and communities. Why is that Mangaloreans are so reluctant to stand up for a fellow Mangalorean while every Keralite stands up for a fellow Keralite. In a foreign country, if you happen to meet a a Mangalorean and ask him where he comes from, he would say India, while Keralites, to the same question would reply Kerala. Does this tell us something?
Unity has long been forgotten. We stand united only when a neighbouring country pushes its troops along our borders. Our soldiers put their lives on the line to protect us from these intruders. Those very soldiers expect us to be united not just at the time of crisis, but also afterwards. I believe they do not ask too much from us. But what do we, the privileged citizens, give them in return?
…Apart from this, we have classes and divisions within our own religions and communities.….
We throw back at them a divided community where one neighbour is busy running the rumour mill, members of one religion and faith are bent upon persecuting the followers of another faith, one politician is hatching plans on how to deceive the general public or how to over throw his political opponent, one newspaper is favouring a section of the society and one website is going all the way to ensure that its rival bites the dust or it gets the best from all sources and resources.
We do not need this and certainly this is not what our forefathers dreamed of. They had a unified India in their sights and dreams and they gave their lives and everything in working towards this. Let us work towards achieving this goal and make our society and communities stronger and unified in the diversity they dwell in. Let us bin our ego and envy and march towards re-establishing the basic fundamentals of a United India. Jai Hind.
Author: Melwyn Vaz- UK