India has a diversity of cultures with different religions and a variety of languages. Yet her diverse people are all one. They are all Indians. The Constitution of India has defined national territory, integration and laid down basic parameters for harmonious and equal development of all citizens without any discrimination of castes, creeds, religions and sexes. Besides, it conjures up memories of the brave child ‘BHARAT’, the valorous past of Lord Ram, ideal of warriors, kings, manhood, idolized by Mahatma Gandhi in daily life, Lord Krishna’s immaculate practical teachings, lessons in bravery, justice and wonderful feats, popularly adored and adopted on the Indian psyche. In addition, India illuminates the illustrious representatives of mankind and beacons of humanity, Buddha, Mahavir, Christ, Hazrat Mohammed, Guru Nanak, Akbar, Ashok, Mahatma Gandhi and other brightest stars shining in the firmament of ever born highest dignitaries, Pundit Nehru’s model for nation building, in service to humanity at home and world peace policy abroad.
The Constitution also guarantees life, liberty, equality, fraternity, justice- political, social and economic, worth and dignity of human life, individually and collectively for one and all. It provides for protection of our motherland, the sovereignty and integrity of the nation.
The common thread of national integration and communal harmony, ingrained in our composite culture of unity amidst religious, cultural and lingual diversity, encompasses ancient, medieval and modern India, alike. From times immemorial, bards and folklore have carried forward the messages of harmony and unity of our people in their diversity and maintained the saga of their composite cultures of co-existence. In the ancient times, the system of justice, equity and fair-play based on Panch Parmeshwar and unity of our people was in vogue. Bards and folklore helped maintain unity of our people. The underlying messages of Sarva Dharma Samman, Vasudeva Kutumbakam, Paroupkaro Dharma, Atma Rakshato Dharma, Shanti and Ahinsa that India gave to the world are of utmost relevance today in unifying mankind in general and holding together in harmony our people, in particular.
Traditionally, India has homed diverse religions, classes, clans of men, Hindus, Parsees, Buddhists, Jains, Christians, Muslims, Sikhs, Vedantics, Baha’i’s, Worshippers of stones, plants, trees, air, water, fire, sun, earth, sky, celestial bodies. They hail from the Himalayan peaks and valleys of Shiva, Parvati and their descendants, ancient Maithili plains of Janak and Sita, Ayodhya of Dashrath, Ram and Hanuman, Mathura, Dwarka, Krukshetra, Indraprastha of Krishna, Pandavas and Kauravas, surrounding coasts of India, from the lands of Swamy Ayappa and Adi Shankracharya of Kerala, Chhtrapati Shivaji of Maharashtra, the Gurus of Punjab, Khwaja Gharib Nawaz of Ajmer, Ramakrishna, Vivekananda and Tagore of Bengal. And the Constitution has ordained to protect us all, our body, mind, spirit, past, present and future.
In the medieval India, Bhakti Movement by contemporary poets and bards carried forward the messages of the common stream of oneness of our nation to unify and unite our diverse people further.
In the modern times, since Independence our people have inspired collectively social justice, individually constituted the source of all human freedoms and rights nationally, overpowered by developmental imperatives, evolved India into a unified vision of social justice and liberty, indispensible for the growth of the nation and the individuals with dignity and personal honour to all for unhindered flourishing of their geniuses. Our Constitution enshrines all human charters, declarations and a civilisational laws, drawing as HUMAN RIGHTS on the horizon of a new world, securing the worth, dignity, liberty, equality and justice for one and all.
So the basic structure for maintaining national integration and communal harmony has been put in place by our system of governance based on democracy and the rule of law. But of late, the time tested national integration, tolerance and unity in diversity have been strained by campaign of hatred, calumny and discrimination galore with religions having taken a colour of extremism, violence and hatred and secularism given a distorted perception. But people of India, known for their penchant for resilience, liberalism, tolerance and peaceful co-existence, take such rebel rousing in strides and let such matter pass as a temporary phenomenon. This helps our people restore sanity to let peace, progress and prosperity of the nation prevail to the utter dismay of the prophets of doom. Every time such distortions in the country’s civilisational strength takes place, India emerges as a nation cherishing global survival, security, peace, freedom, justice, happiness, development, care for every child, woman and man, reflecting timeless existence of our finest tradition of unity in diversity, with mutual tolerance, co-existence and brotherhood.
Added to that, ancient national identity, genius and heritage, devoted to peace, progress and unity in human family, interactions with cultures, ideas and thoughts, interwoven in the mainstream of national life, contemporary national struggles of other countries for realization of concomitant aspirations and ideals of people, modern world developments, and evolutions of Constitutions in pace with universal human commitments, have helped modern India achieve a modicum of peace, security and freedom, observance of individual human rights, food, shelter, education and development of all countrymen and compliance of international obligations.
Human rights, individual, collective, civil, political, social, economic, cultural, developmental, constitute the new overall religion of humanity unifying the fundamentals of religions and ‘isms’ of the world, emerging as overriding aims and objectives of all individuals, peoples, societies, governments, and states, proclaiming emancipation and development of all sections of the human society, individually and collectively. All such emerging phenomena, notwithstanding strives here and there, are leading citizens of India to achieve a meaningful goal of oneness of people and oneness of the nation.
With the strengthening of national integration and communal harmony further, a strong, independent, self-reliant and prosperous India can be dreamt of in the front ranks of the nations of the world and in the service of mankind!