UNITY IN DIVERSITY IN INDIA
Unity in diversity has been an old concept in India. We can still see a number of people bringing water from Gangotri, the source of river Ganga. They walk thousands of miles to Kanyakumari to offer the water there to die sea. On the way they worship all the deities they come across. They are religious people. But basically they are backed by a hidden national aspiration. They are the symbol of national unity in the country. They yearn for salvation through ‘Desh Darshan’. This concept is not religious but national. The word Hindu does not convey an idea of a religious sect It conveys the feeling of national aspiration. It is in this context that there is unity in diversity in the country.
There are about forty languages spoken in the country. Out of these some are the major languages. Thus India is a multilingual nation. But almost all the languages have been derived from Sanskrit, Ardha Magadhi and Prakrat. The latter two were also at some stage derived from Sanskrit. There are common derivative words from Sanskrit in all the languages. There has been a notion that Hindi is close to Sanskrit. But Malayalam having sixty five to seventy per cent Sanskrit words is closest to the classical language. It may look strange that there are a number of families in Tamil Nadu alone whose mother tongue is Sanskrit. It is sad that the Britishers divided us linguistically and we accepted their division. Otherwise there is a strong linguistic unity in the country.
Food of course differs from place to place, so does dress according to climate. But ‘lungr and “dhoti’ in some form or the other are common among men and saree among women. Food differs because of climate and availability. The surnames may differ from village to village. But the names are similar. Ram takes many shapes as it travels from Kashmir to Kanyakumari. Raman, Ramanna, Ramulu are some of these.
Religious sensibility is rather the rock on which a common culture has developed in the whole country. Spiritualism is the path on which all aspire to travel. The moral concepts are common throughout the country.
‘Dhriti’, ‘Kshama’, “damosteyam’ etc., the ten ‘lakshanas’ of Dharma are accepted throughout the country. The same stream of culture flows and unites of all the people shades and colours.