The Challenges of Cultural Diversity

The Challenges of Cultural Diversity


How can India be made a state-nations instead of a nation-state? Discuss.


Background : A perusal of the events that took place after independence, makes it clear that India had to choose state-nation in lieu of nation-state. The British had left behind them, three giant Presidencies including other small presidencies, a number of princely states and a number of provincial states all scattered and disorganised on the basis of ascrptive identities i.e. language, caste, ethinicity, culture, religion, etc. Mumbai and Madras Presidencies were multi-lingual states viz. Marathi, Gujarati, Kannada and Konkani speaking people in Mumbai Presidency while Tamil, Telugu, Kanada and Malayalam speaking people in Madras Presidency. These provinces and princely states had soon raised their claims for their reorganisation on linguistic basis. In these circumstances, Government of India had to constitute State Reorganisation Commission and accepts its report on their reorganisation. Thus, India had to establish her federal government in which states were given the status of federal units.

Recent studies : Recent case studies and analysis demonstrate that enduring democracies can be established polities that are multicultural. Such democracies can be established only when cultural exclusion of diverse groups is ended and multiple as also complementary identities are built. In this way, citizen can find the international and political spaces to identify with both their country and their other cultural identities. Such efforts will build their trust in common institutions and they can support and participate in democratic politics. The UNDP Human Development Report, 2004 states that modern India is facing a grave challenge to its constitutional commitment to multiple and complementary identities. This report says that Hindus are willing to impose their single identity on other peoples from other belongs and so-called religions that train them in conspiracy to insuit the over religious. It says that flaws have been found in nation-states and state-nation can only cure this situation. The report says national unity and cultural diversity can be maintained by opting for this assumption. As per report, irrespective of federal units 28 in number and 7 UTs already existed, more division can be made on the basis of ethnic, religious, linguistic or indigenous identities—these will co-exist peacefully claims the report.

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