“India Without Diversity Would Be Like A Forest Without Bushes”

India, as it stands to celebrate her 71st Republic Day, is contesting views on its very idea. The idea of India is a very complicated, if not an impossible thing to define.

The fundamental nature that defines India is its diversity and multiplicity.

Because you need to have one single definition of the country to define the phenomena. India has nothing in singularity. Every aspect that you observe about India is in its plurality. We have no single language, no single culture, no single custom, no single religion, and even the geographical bandwidth of India transcends extremely different locations.

I, for instance, hail from Bihar, completed my graduation from Jharkhand, got a job in a bank that is headquartered at Hyderabad, only to serve in Mumbai, in a branch where most of the customers are Gujarati. This is the idea of India.

We have one nation, but yet many nations within the nation. Even one of the most popular languages in North India, i.e. Hindi, is spoken in different dialects, and a person speaking the same language in Punjab, sounds very different from the person talking the same language in Jharkhand.

The fundamental nature that defines India is its diversity and multiplicity. Even Hinduism, the oldest of religions originating in India, has so many shades, within itself, that you cannot bind it under one glass.

A practising Hindu from TamilNadu will have more in common with the Muslim from the same state, as compared to a Hindu from Uttar Pradesh, in terms of food habits, costumes, and language. But in terms of holy books and worship, the Hindu from Tamil Nadu will find himself more amicable with the Hindu from Uttar Pradesh.

The sole prerogative of this example being that the diversity is so embedded in the very nature of India, that India without diversity would be like a forest without bushes.
The only thing that we, the citizens of India, can, therefore, do to preserve the much-mentioned “Idea of India”, is to revere the Indian Constitution, which very much sums up the ideals and nature of Indian state.

The Preamble, that calls for justice and equality, the Fundamental duty, that calls for national integration, fraternity and unity and the Indian Constitution, that provides for the protection of aggrieved voices, are the ideals that we must resolve to serve, to ensure that the fluid and flawed Idea of India remains as it is; notwithstanding the ramblings that will, and should remain in a country as diverse as India.

Similar Posts

A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below