Here is your essay on the different forms of diversity seen in India for school and college students:
The diversity in India is unique. Being a large country with large population. India presents endless varieties of physical features and cultural patterns. It is the land of many languages it is only in India people professes all the major religions of the world. In short, India is “the epitome of the world”. The vast population is composed of people having diverse creeds, customs and colours. Some of the important forms of diversity in India are discussed below.
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1. Diversity of Physical Features:
The unique feature about India is the extreme largest mountains covered with snow throughout the year. The Himalayas or the adobe of snow is the source of the mighty rivers like Indus. Ganga and Yamuna. These perennial rivers irrigate extensive areas in the North to sustain the huge population of the country. At the same time Northern India contains and zones and the desert of Rajasthan where nothing grows accept a few shrubs.
2. Racial Diversity:
A race is a group of people with a set of distinctive physical features such set skin, colour, type of nose, form of hair etc. A.W. Green says, “A race is a large biological human grouping with a number of distinctive, inherited characteristics which vary within a certain range.”
The Indian sub-continent received a large number of migratory races mostly from the Western and the Eastern directions. Majority of the people of India are descendants of immigrants from across the Himalayas. Their dispersal into sub-continent has resulted in the consequent regional concentration of a variety of ethnic elements. India is an ethnological museum Dr B.S Guha identifies the population of India into six main ethnic groups, namely (1) the Negrito’ (2) the Proto-Australoids, (3) the Mongoloids (4) the Mediterranean or Dravidian (5) the Western Brachycephals and (6) the Nordic. People belonging to these different racial stocks have little in common either in physical appearance or food habits. The racial diversity is very perplexing.
Herbert Risley had classified the people of India into seven racial types. These are- (1) Turko-Iranian (2) Indo-Aryan, (3) Scytho-Dravidian, (4) Aryo-Dravidian, (5) Mongo o- Dravidian, (6) Mongoloid and (7) Dravidian. These seven racial types can be reduced to three basic types- the Indo-Aryan, the Mongolian and the Dravidian. In his opinion the last two types would account for the racial composition of tribal India.
Other administrative officers and anthropologists like J.H. Hutton, D.N. Majumdar and B. S. Guha have given the latest racial classification of the Indian people based on further researches in this field. Hutton’s and Guha’s classifications are based on 1931 census operations.
3. Linguistic Diversity:
The census of 1961 listed as many as 1,652 languages and dialects. Since most of these languages are spoken by very few people, the subsequent census regarded them as spurious but the 8′h Schedule of the Constitution of India recognizes 22 languages. These are (1) Assamese, (2) Bengali, (3) Gujarati, (4) Hindi, (5) Kannada, (6) Kashmir. (7) zKonkani. (8) Malayalam. (9) Manipuri, (10) Marathi, (11) Nepali. (12) Oriya, (13) Punjabi, (14) Sanskrit. (15) Tamil, (16) Telugu, (17) Urdu, and (18) Sindhi, (19) Santhali, (20) Boro, (21) Maithili and (22) Dogri. But four of these languages namely Sanskrit, Kashmiri, Nepali and Sindhi are not official languages in any State of the Indian Union. But all these languages are rich in literature Hindi in Devanagiri script is recognized as the official language of the Indian Union by the Constitution.
The second largest language, Telugu, is spoken by about 60 million people, mostly in Andhra Pradesh. Most of the languages spoken in North India belong to the Indo- Aryan family, while the languages of the South namely Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam and Kannada belong to the Dravidian family.
It is said that India is a “Veritable tower of babel”. In the words of A.R. Desai “India presents a spectacle of museum of tongues”.
This linguistic diversity notwithstanding, there was always a sort of link languages, though it has varied from age to age. In ancient times, it was Sanskrit, in medieval age it was Arabic or Persian and in modern times there are Hindi and English as official languages.
4. Religious Diversity:
India is not religiously a homogeneous State even through nearly 80 per cent of the population profess Hinduism. India is a land of multiple religions. We find here followers of various faiths, particularly of Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Sikhism, Buddhism, Jainism Zoroastrianism. We know it that Hinduism is the dominant religion of India. According to the census of 2001 it is professed by 80.05 per cent of the total population.
Next comes Islam which is practiced by 13.04 per cent. This is followed by Christianity having a followers of 2 03 per cent, Sikhism reported by 1.9 per cent, Buddhism by 0.8 per cent and Jainism by 0.4 per cent. The religions with lesser following are Judaism, Zoroastrianism and Bahaism.
Then there are sects within each religion. Hinduism, for example, has many sects including Shaiva Shakta and Vaishnava. We can add to them the sects born of religious reform movements such as the Arya Samaj, Brahmo Samaj, and The Ram Krishna Mission. More recently, some new cults have come up such as Radhaswami, Saibaba etc. Similarly, Islam is divided into Shiya and Sunni; Sikhism into Namdhari and Nirankari; Jainism into Digambar and Shwetambar and Buddhism into Hinayan and Mahayan.
While Hindus and Muslims are found in almost all parts of India, the remaining minority religions have their pockets of concentration. Christians have their strongholds in the three Southern States of Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Meghalaya. Sikhs are concentrated largely in Punjab, Buddhist in Maharashtra and Jains are mainly spread over Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Gujarat, but also found in most urban centres throughout the country.
5. Caste Diversity:
India is a country of castes. Caste or Jati refers to a hereditary, endogamous status group practicing a specific traditional occupation. It is surprising to know that there are more than 3,000 Jatis in India.
These are hierarchically graded in different ways in different regions.
It may also be noted that the practice of caste system is not confined to Hindus alone. We find castes among the Muslims, Christians, Sikhs as well as other communities. We have heard of the hierarchy of Shaikh, Saiyed, Mughal, Pathan among the Muslims, Furthermore, there are castes like Teli (oil pressure). Dhobi (washerman), Darjee (tailor) etc. among the Muslims. Similarly, caste consciousness among the Christians in India is not unknown. Since a vast majority of Christians in India were converted from Hindu fold, the converts have carried the caste system into Christianity. Among the Sikhs again we have so many castes including Jat Sikh and Majahabi Sikh (lower castes). In view of this we can well imagine the extent of caste diversity in India.
In addition to the above described major forms of diversity, we have diversity of many other sorts like settlement pattern – tribal, rural, urban; marriage and kinship pattern along religious and regional lines and so on.
Unity in Diversity
India is a big country. Her civilization is around 6000 years old. She has given birth to the world’s most important cultures and religious. She has also accepted different cultures of the world. People of many races have come to India and settled here. She has absorbed different faiths, cults, beliefs, sects, religious, language, manners, lifestyles, etc. Unity and synthesis are the embodiment of Indian culture.
India fundamental unity rests upon her peculiar type of culture. There is no single character or aspect that can be defined as culture. It is expressed through language, literature, religion, philosophy, customs, traditions and architecture. India has achieved cultural unity by fusion of many cultures. She has assimilated the good qualities from all cultures. Various cultural groups live side by side in India. This has made Indian society a multi cultural society.
In India people of different religious live together. Hence she has a multi religious society. Besides Hinduism other religious like Christianity Islam Sikhism, Buddhism and Jainism have a large following in India. According to 2001 census Hinduism other religious like Christianity, Islam, Sikhism, Buddhism and Jainism have a large following in India. According to 2001 census Hinduism is practiced by more than 80.4 percent of the people there are 13.4 percent Muslim 2.3 percent Christians and 1.8 percent Sikhs . The rest of the people follow Buddhism, Jainism and other religions.
India is famous for religious festivals. Hindu festivals like Diwali, Dussehra, Holi, etc. are celebrated all over the world. Muslims celebrate Eid. Christians celebrate Easter and Christmas. Sikhs celebrate Guru Nanak Jayanti. Buddha Purnima and Mahavir Jayanti are celebrated by the Buddhists and the jains respectively. During these festivals people exchange greeting forgetting their religious affiliations. That India is a clear from the preamble of our Constitutions.
We find a kind of emotional unity in our country. the very name of our country India brings us emotionally close. We may be in any part of the world but we will always be called Indians no matter what religion we follow and what region we belong to . India diversity has always been recognized as a source of its strength. When the British ruled India women and men from different cultural religious and regional background came together to oppose them. India freedom moment had thousands of people of different background in it. In his book The Discovery imposed from outside but rather it is something deeper and within its fold widest tolerance of belief and custom is practiced and every verity acknowledged and even emphasized.
Independent India inherited a conservative community which followed the rigidities of the caste system and had diverse religions. The Indian Constitution gave paramount importance to secularism. It declares that there would be no state religion in India. The state will neither establish religions of its own nor confer any special patronage upon any particular religion. The typical Indian concept of secularism is defined as Sarva Dharma Samabhava.
The Indian civilization has always been based on religious and moral values. Herein lays its unity and strength. In all parts of the country, cultural unity the unity of the way of life and outlook transcends the vast diversity in faiths and beliefs at times bordering on superstition, magic, charms and other practices. One may travel from one part of the country to another and everywhere he will recognize a common thread in some aspect of life which makes him feel at home. This is because the Indian culture has preserved its fundamental character through the ages. We have experience revolutionary economic and political changes in recent times but our past remains very much with us. Our rich cultural heritage has passed from one generation to another and in this process it has got nurtured and renewed.
Indian culture has remained alive and dynamic because it has always been tolerant of different cultures. It imbibed the good qualities other cultures and constantly upgraded itself. Influence of various cultures has made it rich and vibrant. Significant contributions have been made to it by the Dravidians, Aryans, Greeks, Persians, Arabs, Mughals and Europeans. The Persian and Western influences on our art literature painting and dress have now become an integral part of our own culture.
At times we have witnessed conflicts and disturbances. Certain anti national and external forces try to disrupt the unity of the country by encouraging communal feelings and sentiments. The demolition of Babri Masjid, Mumbai blasts, Massac of innocent Sikhs i the 1984 riots Gujarat riots of 2002, blasts in the capital of the country, terror attack in Mumbai etc. resulted in the loss of thousands of lives. The militancy problem in Jammu and Kashmir and the North East have further weakened the secular fabric of India. Terrorism should not be allowed to raise its ugly head and destroy our basic unity. We can overcome this problem id we bury our differences and work united for the unity and integrity of the country. In recent times there has been a cultural awakening of the educated youth who have become aware of the beauty of our art forms and crafts they have started taking interest in educating themselves about their rich cultural tradition. The government has also started organizing big cultural events to promote national integration.
Now National Youth Festival is celebrated from 8th to 12th January every year. This is a major activity under the programme of National Integration camp. The idea behind this Youth festival is to organize a gathering of the youth so that the concept of National Integration, spirit of communal harmony brotherhood, courage and adventurer may be propagated. It is the effort of the government to strengthen the common bond of unity that ties the people together in spite of the diversity in their religions and rich culture. We should strive to maintain the relationship of common brotherhood. We should uphold the torch of unity irrespective of our different faiths and creeds.