18 Jan 2024 : Daily Answer Writing

Q1) Identify any three salient features of Indian society and discuss their significance in building a national identity.

ANSWER

Indian society is a vibrant, diverse, and rich mix of people, culture, traditions, and values. The salient features of Indian society can be seen as:

Cultural Pluralism:

  1. Linguistic diversity is a significant aspect of India’s cultural pluralism. E.g., 22 languages are officially recognized in the schedule 8 of the constitution.
  2. Diverse religious practices followed across the length and breadth of the country. E.g., upnayan ceremony in Hindus; Amrit chakhna ceremony in Sikhs; navjot ceremony in Parsis etc.
  3. Indian society gains its vibrancy from various festivals. E.g., Deepawali, Holi, Eid, Christmas, Baisakhi etc.
  4. Performing arts are a vital aspect of India’s cultural robustness. E.g., Bihu, Dandia Raas, Chhau, Kathakali, Bharatnatyam etc.

Centrality of nature and environment/minimalism:

  1. Indian society, since time immemorial, has lived in harmony with the nature. E.g., Aranyakas (ancient scriptures) itself mean forests.
  2. Indian society puts environment in a higher pedestal giving it a transcendental status. E.g., sacred groves.
  3. Sustainability has always been an inherent aspect of Indian society. E.g., Reuse of things at home is a common practice, food wastage is avoided, joint families, generally, have lower carbon footprints etc.

Institution of family:

  1. The institution of family is at the centre of Indian society. E.g., the various aspects of social lives like marriage, education, profession etc., are influenced by family values.
  2. Family has a seminal role in socialisation of individuals. E.g., interaction with relatives; celebration of festivals etc.
  3. Family, in Indian society, is not only a relational concept but is an important aspect of emotional stability of an individual and social stability of the county.

The above three aspects of the Indian society help in building a national identity, as can be seen from:

  1. Cultural pluralism of the Indian society is an important part of India’s global projection of its soft power. E.g., White House celebrating Deepawali; popularity of Yoga etc.
  2. India has emerged as the global leader showing the world the path towards sustainable development. E.g., LiFE initiate, ISA, Green Grid Initiative, CDRI.
  3. In an increasingly divided world, India’s traditional values are a guiding light towards peace, amity, and cooperation. E.g., Indian concepts of Vasudev Kutumbkam.
  4. India’s active role towards conservation of biodiversity at a global arena complements its beliefs of oneness with environment. E.g., Cheetah reintroduction, stress on blue-economy, commitments under UNCCD etc.
  5. The idea of grand salad bowl of Indian society has given India the identity of preserver of human rights. E.g., Citizenship amendment act caters for persecuted minorities from India’s neighbour.

India’s society is an important part of Indian identity in the global stage. However, it is an imperative for all the stakeholders in Indian society to maintain its sanctity and preserve it from the ills of communalism, hatred, and intolerance.

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