Unity In Diversity, a value taught in childhood to every Indian according to which this great nation indoctrinates the beliefs, faiths and cultures of all religions. It is the unity in diversity that helps people of all religions practice their beliefs while coexisting with each other. A phrase from our moral science book, which when I was taught this concept I felt a sensation of pride. I couldn’t stop admiring the beauty of this moral science chapter by which a billion people of this country strived daily. The sensation remained for quite some time.
In my understanding a person remains a novice so long he/she cannot make sense of the teachings being put forward whether in school or college; a person becomes intelligent when concepts actually start making sense, but what makes an intellectual different from the above two is his/her ability to question the concepts itself.
Challenging my ideals since childhood, I asked myself, what makes us so proud of our Unity in Diversity? To go deep first let us see what makes anybody proud of anything?
So, to take pride in anything, first it must make you stand out amongst everyone, that is to say, it must be unique, and secondly everyone else must look up to you for possessing that asset. I could easily come to terms with latter as the rest of the world does give our nation regards for thriving with such diversity and being the largest democracy. But, what makes us unique? USA, Canada, Great Britain and several other western nations are pretty diverse too, aren’t they thriving as well? The fact that an entity such as European Union exists, does it not reflect that these nations want to co exist as well? The Constitution of India, which is believed that it empowers our Unity in Diversity, was infact borrowed from these several vibrant democracies while drafting.
Yes, we are unique in the most distinguished manner because unlike other western nations it is not the Constitution or presence of word secularism in it that empowers Unity In Diversity, but it is the culture of “vasudaiv kutumbakam”(the world is one family), the culture of “sarve bhavantu sukhina”(Om, May All become Happy), the culture of “ekam sat viprah bahuda vadanti”(There is only one truth (or true being) and learned persons call it by many names) which does so. Sanaatan Dharma or Hindutva is the name of that culture which encompasses these ideals. Even the honorable Supreme Court of India in 1995 stated, “Ordinarily, Hindutva is understood as a way of life or a state of mind and is not to be equated with or understood as religious Hindu fundamentalism”. Isn’t there something fundamentally wrong, when a culture in which within every household, every family member prays to their own God, we end up blaming Hindus to be intolerant. In our culture where children in our homes are brought up intrinsically to have mutual respect we are forcing on them the western concepts of tolerating each other. The fact a person is brought up Hindu, he becomes secular by nature. The whole struggle ends when in lieu of tolerating we start giving mutual respect to each others’ beliefs.
Hence, it is important for us to unveil, the concepts of Unity in Diversity off this garb of tolerance, the foundation of which is laid by Abrahamic belief comprising of the idea, “my way the only way”. It is for this reason, everywhere other than India, where there is democracy and diversity, the concept of unity is empowered by the constitution rather than the people, because they cannot let go of their holier than thou attitude and one ends up with no choice other than tolerating people of different faiths. So, what makes us completely unique, is our culture of mutually respecting each others faiths and beliefs, the teachings and ideals of which should be not only disseminated amongst fellow Indians but throughout the world.