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National Integration

National Integration is one of the vital needs of the day. It is especially necessary for a multiracial, multilingual and multi-religious nation such as our country. Where the people differ in food, dress, manners, customs and traditions, creeds and cultural heritage. There are more and more differences among them. Political dissents further pave the way for dividing them. Even geographical factors in a country like ours may play havoc on the unity of the nation. Hence National Integration is all the more of much importance.

India, once divided into ” fragments of narrow domestic walls”, with many regional dynasties, petty principalities and local Kingdoms, became united later. The advent of foreign traders -The Arabs, The _Portuguese, the Dutch, The French, and The British-, who gradually established their political supremacy here, was an apple of discord in India. They rather divided than united the country. The strongest among them, the British, followed a policy of “Divide and rule”. However, the achievement of Freedom brought unity into the country, though with limits.

We in India have one Constitution, one President, one Prime Minister, one Supreme Court, one Capital at the center and one Parliament. But, we are divided into 25 States where the people speak over 16 languages as well as some hundred and more dialects. They eat different kinds of food, wear varieties of garments, worship differing deities and follow varied customs. Their festivals are various and the celebrations remain diverse. However, in the face of these striking differences, there is a Oneness that overtakes them; this is what Nehru called “Unity in Diversity”.

But the picture is not completely bright. There have arisen many divisive forces from various quarters. The terrorists in Jammu-Kashmir, Extremists in Assam, the fundamentalists in North India, communalists everywhere in the country and the ring leaders of caste-ism, regionalism and political activism are some of them. These ,forces are still at work against the oneness of this nation.

No country can stand on its feet so long as it stands disunited; nor can India. The more united, the better. The need for National Integration has therefore become more urgent today than in the yesterdays. We have to foster national unity at all levels in spite of differences in Caste, Color, Creed and Political ideologies. This is perhaps the greatest power on our part, when some of our neighboring countries are about to engulf us. National integration is therefore very essential to India, as much as, if not greater than, nuclear weapons.

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