Political Essay

National Integration

(i) National Integration
(ii) Who lives if India dies?
(iii) United we stand, divided we fall

          India is a land known for unity in diversity. Diversity is there but where is unity? It finds echo only in the speeches of the witty politicians. In fact even such ideals are uttered with an ulterior motive. The seeds of distrust and separatism were laid in 1916 in Lucknow Pact. The Congress party accepted the principle of separate electorate for Hindus and Muslims. Communalism be¬came victorious resulting in partition of India. Then there was bitterness among Sikhs and Hindus in 1984. The divisive forces took the ugliest turn in the form of reservation for OBCs in 1990.
          Divide and rule is perhaps the best that Indians could learn from their erstwhile masters. Factionalism is the bone of Indian society. Religion, nation¬ality and principles of secularism are expected to generate harmony in society. It is a stark tragedy that these very ideals have been exploited to divide people to perpetuate dynastic rule for about 50 years.
          Integration and promotion of nation building process is not difficult in a homogeneous society. At least religion is not an obstacle. However, there might be divisions in the society on ideological bases. But adoption of common and uniform values becomes difficult for the people belonging to different religions. India represents such a society where fanatic elements of religions are subject to divisive forces. Thus, secularism is thought of from minority point of view.
          Linguistic diversity divides a nation in terms of regional languages. India has no national language of her own. After independence, state organization was undertaken on the basis of languages. Hindi is not acceptable to southern states. English finds no mention in VIII Schedule of our constitution. Yet it is a pity that it has taken the role of national language.

          For genuine national integration, the fruit of economic development should be shared by each and every section of society. Otherwise the have-nots never think in terms of National unity. Tension and sense of injustice among people is bound to hinder the progress of national integration. Economic development and removal of economic disparities play a vital role in the interest of national integration. Therefore, economic integration will certainly lead to national integration.
          There must be psychological, emotional, cultural and economic integration among the masses. This implies that people must change their loyalties from petty principles to the nation as a whole. Who lives if India dies? This kind of awakening is essential. With hostile neighbours on our borders, we must understand that united we stand; divided we fall. As a matter of fact, India was never a nation with common national fabric to unite people. However, a sense of national unity is not entirely inherited. It has to be constantly guarded against and zealously pursued. It is necessary that spirit of unity should be inculcated in the minds of youth through education.
          Above all, our political leaders should realise that time is running out for the nation. They must think of India, and not of their loaves and fishes. National integration does not mean imposing uniformity or removing differences of identity. Education of the youth on the right lines can bring about national unity based on emotional integration.
          In a sum massive efforts have to be launched at the grass roots level of the society to inculcate importance of national integration in the people. National integrity is possible only if people are aware of national integration. People will have to shun the tendency of asking what their country can do for them. Instead they have to think in terms of knowing what they can do for their country. India is passing through a very difficult phase. Even the greatest sacrifice is too small. Our very survival as a nation is in peril. It is today or never. Anyone striking at the concept of national integration has to be looked upon as the enemy whether he is living in the country or across the borders.