What unites India? Ask such a question and find yourself drenched in septic arguments. The image of India as a nation is somewhat weird. This country is misgoverned by corrupt politicians chosen by ignorant people, its social structure is divided by castecism and regional politics exploits it aptly to win elections, its constitution spilt the career and education opportunities into categories, and at the same time, cultural differences are high. In Himalayan states like Himachal Pradesh, dialect of language changes almost every 30 K.M. Unification might sound a far-fetched concept here. However, there is some sense of national unification left inside Indian people. Some motivations could be temporary and unintentional, but there are some factors that bring Indians together. Here are top 10 things that unites Indians.
For instance, Indian cricket team represents secularism; player from every religion and region play together to represent India. Sachin Tendulkar isn’t just a player; he is the unopposed God of cricket. He, with his international records, is the pride of India. Not only cricket, but many other internationally reputed Indian figures from various other fields have done the same. A cricket match on a fine day does provoke impulses of patriotism and nationhood among the people across the nation. It might be temporary, but cricket does bring Indians together, cheering for the team.
Under British rule, the building of railway tracks boosted communication between people residing in other parts of the country. It led to a revolution and the fight of freedom from the colonial rule. In the present day, Internet is solving the same purpose. It’s letting people connect and share, in text and visuals. And most importantly, all this information reaches our computer screen within a few seconds of dispatch. It’s breaking the physical and geographical barriers.
Indian film industry is the largest in the world. It touched $1.86 billion (Rs 93 billion) in 2011 and is projected to rise to $3 billion (Rs 150 billion) in 2016. International giants such as 20th Century Fox, Sony Pictures, and Warner Bros have deals with Bollywood. Although, most of the Indian Cinema and media is about entertainment, but there are such producers, directors, writers and actors, who project the real faces of our society, culture, practices. Most of us know about India’s freedom fighters and their struggle through cinema. Indian cinema recreated historical and mythical characters. Indian television is still cashing on epic stories of Ramayana and Mahabharata. Mainstream media has a bent towards TRP, but still it keeps the whole nation informed and aware of what’s happening in other unions of India.
Indian army means the finest of soldiers standing against enemies. Hindu, Muslim, Sikh and people from every existing religion and caste serve the nation in Indian army. At times, such as Pakistani invasion in 1972 and 1999 in Kargil, India stood unified, and thus, undefeated. Indians did count every drop of blood shed by soldiers while defending the nation and its sovereignty. Recently, irrespective or any discrimination, Indian army rescued over 100,000 lives in flooded Uttarakhand, one of the biggest natural disaster. Indian Army is the only institution that is completely secular.
India’s history reveals some instances when India stood together. India’s long fight for freedom, under the leadership of freedom fighters belonging to various religions and castes, makes a fine example of that. Even the Muslim invasions and British colonial rule could not erase the cultural heritage of India. Rather, it blended with Indian perspectives. This hint at some force at work that kept India unified or helped it to preserve its own culture and values.
Secular status of India is actually quite amazing to observe. More than any other nation, religious tolerance does exist here. Muslims, Hindus, Sikh, Christian, Buddhist, and all others have successfully survived and shared opportunities in India for quite a long period. Some political goons do exploit religious beliefs of people, but still temples, mosques, churches and monasteries found space in this country. This tolerance holds a huge value in keeping India unified.
How can you call a nation politically unified amidst the chaos that the cheap, regional and caste based politics have creates? But, the thing is that, people of India elect their representatives through a common election method. People vote like a unit for the nation. The dates of election may vary, but the purpose brings India to a common platform. Moreover, the Government in India is often formed in coalition with influential regional parties. Indian government stands on a political platform which brings representative of every group together.
Political unions of India have one currency and rarely there are any trade barriers between constituent states. States share power sources with neighboring states and sometimes depend on each other to meet the demands of their markets. Developing economy has led to the construction of transportable roads to geographically far reached regions and has paved ways for developed means of communication. Giant web of Indian railways has connected the whole nation. People can travel easily between states to spend holidays, or they can migrate seeking employment opportunities. It’s all connected and unified.
The Preamble of India starts with lines saying,” We the People of India”, and Indian constitution does play a paramount role in keeping Indian states unified. Nation is disciplined under the same set of laws and the fundamental rights are provided to each citizen irrespective of caste and religion. That’s the reason corruption gives a bypass to these laws & regulations. Wealthy and influential political leaders mostly opt to bypass these laws in exchange of huge cash. In constitution, India is completely secular state. May be, it’s forced, but it does keep Indians under the same roof, thus unites India.
More or less, cultural beliefs in India enjoy the same concept. People do believe that India is one of the oldest civilizations mentioned in history of the world. Rich cultural heritage is a treasure-house of music, fine arts, dance, drama, theatre, literature and sculpture. Indian philosophy, Vedic literature, Yoga and its value system enjoys international fame. Many festivals like Diwali, Holi, and Dussehra etc. are celebrated all over the country. Even people settled in foreign counties are connected to India by sharing the celebrations of these festivals.