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Mains Test Series

Salient features of Indian Society, Diversity of India.

Q. Highlight the reason that makes Indian Society Unique in sustaining its culture.

Answer: Indian culture has one of the longest history among various world cultures. For ages, India accommodated different elements of Society without letting them lose their separate identities. 

India has a huge cultural & socio-economic diversity  

  1. Multi-Ethnicity: An ethnic group is usually based on a common language or dialect, history, Society, or culture.
  2. Multi-Lingual Society – 22 languages are recognized in the 8th schedule as the official languages of the country. However, more than 500 dialects are spoken in India.
  3. Multiple classes: In terms of Income and profession, Indian Society is highly diverse.
  4. Multi-religious Society: India is home to four major world religions: Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism. Hundreds of belief systems are followed in India.
  5. Multi-cultural Society: India has many festivals and rituals celebrated throughout the year, which help preserve cultural heritage and traditions.

Reasons for making India Unique in sustaining its culture:  

  1. Accommodation: India follows the ideal of “Sarva Dharma Sama Bhava”, a Mosaic model of accommodation in which different cultures are brought together, creating a new national identity while maintaining its Identity.
  2. Indian model of Secularism: Indian secularism is different from Western secularism. In India, the state remains equidistant from all religions but can interfere in religious matters in case of public order, health and morality.
  3. Unity in Diversity: In India, secularism is not an end in itself but a means to address religious plurality and seek to achieve peaceful coexistence of different religions.
  4. Historical perspective: Indian Society has accepted diversity since ancient times. We see rulers like Ashoka and Akbar who talked of peaceful coexistence and patronized differences.
  5. Adaptability: Indian Society has shown fluidity and has adjusted itself to changing times. For instance, Kabir’s couplets are revered in Hinduism, Sikhism as well as in Sufi Qawwalis.
  6. Constitutional Morality: The Indian constitution promotes the ideas of liberty, equality, Justice and secularism, which have become celebrated Ideals in public life.  
  1. Government initiatives like Ek Bharat Shrestha Bharat for the intermingling of culture and Prasad, Hriday scheme for the preservation of Indian cultural cities align with Indian Society’s effort to sustain its culture.

Conclusion: Indian Society has faced numerous challenges of communalism, discrimination, racism and related violence. Still, Indian Society has been able to sustain the fundamentals of its culture with the help of Principles like Sarva Dharma Sambhava (equal respect for all religions) and Vasudaiva Kutumbkam. 

Jawahar Lal Nehru, in his book The Discovery of India, writes that Indian Society and culture “is like some ancient palimpsest on which layers upon layer of thought and reverie had been inscribed, and yet no succeedi

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