7 Most Important Measures for Improving National Integration in India
In fact, in dealing with obstacles, our attention is naturally directed towards helpful factors, and we have already referred to the same at relevant places. But for a further clarification, we are reiterating the same onwards:
1. Political integration:
We have already stated earlier that some persons harbor doubts regarding political unity of India. It is true that in the past many rulers established their independent principalities in the country and ruled over them for decades but there has always been a wave which succeeded in binding all the people of this ancient land into one thread.
Our places of pilgrimages, instead of being centered at one particular place, are scattered all over the country. For example, look at the Badrinath, Rameshwaram, Kedarnath, Dwaraka Dham and Jagannathpuri.
They are situated at the four corners of the country. Out religious leaders thought of “one India” and wanted that the people should also feel likewise and should travel throughout the country freely and feel themselves as citizens of one great land.
Since ancient days people have been very much eager to take to pilgrimages and they used to travel throughout the whole country with great reverence. People from the north used to go to pilgrimage in the south and vice- versa.
Similarly, people from the west went to the east and vice-versa. Thus there has always been a cultural give and take and people considered themselves as citizens of one country. Similarly, some big rivers in the various parts of the country have been regarded as holy and worthy of worship.
The Ganga and Yamuna in the north, Godavari in the middle, Krishna and Kaveri in the south, Sindhu in the west, and Brahmaputra in the east are considered as holy and they are worshipped by the entire people of the land.
The mountains situated in various parts of the land also have been similarly honored. Likewise various cities of the country have been accepted as sacred places and also as great cultural centers.
All these prove that our great ancestors have always tried to bind the country into one thread. This cultural unity has always reminded our people that they are citizens of one land. That is why under the banner of Indian National Congress all came irrespective of their different religious loyalties and different stations of life, rich, poor, lower and higher: In the freedom struggle days the unity that our people evinced was genuine and natural.
History is a testimony to the fact that whenever, an able leadership was available the Indian people have presented an example of unity. In the reign of Ashoka and Akbar this type of unity was seen.
During the period of Revolt of 1857, this type of unity was seen, although it could not succeed in its objective due to certain causes. Therefore we have to strengthen the points of unity and discourage the disruptive forces.
2. Emotional unity:
For national integration, the people of the land must come together into one emotional thread. There can be no national integration unless all the people consider themselves as one. Through emotional integration we get the power and implicit sanction of the people for national integration.
A big army may conquer a country but until the power, will and sanction of the people is there, the victor cannot tie the people in one thread. That is why, after victory, a conqueror always tries to seek the approval and sympathy of the people. The history of any country is its testimony.
Therefore for national integration, the most urgent need is for effecting emotional unity of the people. For fulfilling this objective we have to impress on all concerned that India has always been one and it will always remain one.
We have to infuse in them the spirit that culture of India is such that everyone should be proud of it. In fact, this is exactly so. When someone talks about Indian culture in a foreign land then the Indian present there are thrilled.
When we look at the Bay of Bengal, and the Indian Ocean in the south, or the Himalayas in the north we are filled in which an emotional wave and we become full of devotion for our land, India. When we see the Ganga, Yamuna, Kaveri, Krishna, Godavari and Brahmaputra, then we consider them as sacred rivers of India and our heart is filled with emotions of reverence.
When China invaded India in 1962, a wave of anger swept over the entire land. The Pakistani invasion of 1965 on India, too, created the same feeling of anger and anguish. Similarly, if any part of our land is invaded, we forget everything and are prepared to sacrifice our lives for the cause of our mother land.
This kind of feeling is all the time present in our people throughout the whole country. Thus we are already bound in one emotional thread. It is for the strengthening of this thread that our poets and writers have attracted the attention of the people through there eulogies of the great rivers, mountain and seas. Through education we have to attract our people towards all these vital points. Then we shall be bound in one emotional thread.
3. Social unity:
In the foregoing pages, we have referred to the various types of social inequalities found in our country on the basis of religion, caste, community, class, regions, wealth and poverty. People of the various factions of society do not have a feeling of sympathy and brotherhood for each other.
For the sake of national integration we should bring the various people together in a common bond. For this some cultural functions should be organized and all should be urged to come to attend the same.
All should be given the idea that everyone’s interest lives in the national interest therefore no community should try to strengthen itself at the cost of national interest. We shall have to forget our loyalties to our religion, caste, region, class and community for the sake of social unity.
Here we mean only to say that all these various loyalties must never be permitted to come against national interest. Evidently, we do mean that one must not love his religion and community.
But there must not be sectarianism and regionalism. We must always remember that the nation should come first and anything else afterwards. It was due to this feeling that people coming to U.S.A. from various religious, sects, groups, states and regions succeeded in establishing a powerful nation.
These people sacrificed their narrow sectarian feelings and attitudes in the interest of their nation. As a result, today the various countries of the world are desirous of having help from U.S.A Thus U.S.A. has now emerged as a world leader in many affairs.
Some political parties in our country have also encouraged groupies, caste and religious loyalties. It is an open secret that in selection the various political parties select candidates for various constituencies on the basis of religion and caste. This is prevalent since 1947 and no political party is free from this narrow bias.
Even some of our great freedom fighters could never summon up the courage to seek election to assemblies and Parliament free from narrow prejudices relating to loyalties for particular religions or communities.
To use religion, caste and community for fighting elections is to misuse the same for narrow political ends against national integration. We shall have to sum all these vicious practices for the sake of national integration.
4. Inter-caste and inter-provincial marriages:
Some people advocate inter-caste and inter-provincial marriages for obtaining national integration. On the very surface, this proposition appears to be unpsychological, if not foolish, because marriages have not to be imposed on any two individuals.
Marriages have to be ceremonized on the explicit consent of the parties concerned. But what is really meant by inter-caste and inter-provincial marriages is that if this happens it must not be frowned at. In fact, it should not be only welcome but should also be encouraged if the concerned two partners themselves offer for the same.
If this practice becomes prevalent, without any pressure from any side, it will definitely strengthen the bond of national integration in due course. However, in view of the prevailing circumstances in the country, it will never be proper to launch a movement for inter-caste and inter-provincial marriages.
5. Economic unity:
Earlier we have already hinted at the economic inequality existing in our country. For the sake of national integration we have to see that no part of the country ii particularly backward from the economic viewpoint. For this the backward classes and the minority people should be accordcd special assistance for their general uplift.
In government services and in distributing economic assistance these people should be given special preferences. Happily, our central government and state governments have started suitable measures in this sphere.
6. The national language:
The issue of national language has become very vital for our national integration. According to the Constitution Hindi in the Devanagari Script has been accepted as the national language and this decision was to be implemented by 1965. But when in 1965, this clause was implemented, in certain parts of south India and in some parts of Calcutta disturbances were encouraged and some youths lost their lives in the same.
The then Prime Minister of India, Sri Lai Bahadur Shastri rushed to the South for effecting calm and peace in the region. Because of these disturbances the problem of national language has become very complex.
Some political leaders of various states in the country are in favor of Hindi as a national language but very judiciously all of them have decided to proceed slowly for Hindi and our leaders have rightly proclaimed that Hindi will never be imposed on any state.
In the interest of national integration this policy of going slow with Hindi appears to be quite appropriate. As long as the people of the other states do not come up on their own in favor of Hindi as a national language, this clause of the Constitution must never be implemented.
We have to encourage the non-Hindi State people with love and sympathy to learn Hindi because it is not honorable for the nation to keep English, a foreign language, as the State language, forever.
Our people in general can never be experts in the use of English. So we shall have to accept some Indian language as the national language. However, this must not imply that English is useless for us.
In fact, it is of great international importance and every educated citizen of the land should try to be as proficient in the use of English as possible. We shall have to depend upon English in the international field and also in the areas of sciences and technologies up to some extent.
So we shall have to make adequate provision for the study of English in our educational institutions but we have to make up our mind about a national language and our Constitution has accepted Hindi as a national language.
Therefore, so long as our Constitution does not specify otherwise, we shall have to continue our efforts for the development of Hindi in order that in future on some day the entire nation accepts Hindi as a national language.
The people of Hindi states must never evince any hurry and restlessness for Hindi, only then the automatic acceptance of Hindi as a national language may be helpful for national integration.
Earlier we have already referred to the importance of education in national integration. Education is a very powerful weapon for national integration. Through education we may give the necessary motivations to children, i.e., the future citizens of the nation.
In the organization of curriculum, in admission in various educational centers and in appointment of teachers our general policy should be such as to encourage the propagation of national elements and not to give any place to caste, religion, class and community.
In the organizations of our schools, colleges and universities preference should be given to national ideas whenever possible only then we shall be able to promote national integration in the students, teachers and the people as a whole. It is true that education should be organized according to local needs, but even in such an organization national elements must never be overlooked.