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Q.1. Which major languages are spoken in India?
Mainly 22 languages are spoken in India and these are Hindi, Punjabi, Marathi, Konkani, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Kashmiri, Malayalam, Sanskrit, Gujarati, Bengali, Oriya, Urdu, Sindhi, Nepali, Manipuri, Assamese, Dogri, Santhali, Maithili, Bodo.
Q.2. Why is India known as a Museum of many races?
India is known as a house or museum of many races because many races live over here. Initially, Dravid people used to live over here. Then Arya people came over here. Later on, many other races entered India either by migration or invasion and settled. Slowly, all these races became a part of its society. In this way, it has been correctly said that India is a museum of races.
Q.3. What is Regionalism?
Explain regionalism in the Indian context.
Giving preference to one’s own region and neglecting all other regions for the purpose of decision-making, availing benefits of utilizing natural and economic resources is known as regionalism. Giving encouragement to one’s region is also a form of regionalism. People of other regions are considered foreigners. For example, migrants of one state are differentiated from other states.
Q.4. How regionalism becomes an obstacle in the way of national unity?
In regionalism, one’s region is being given priority and another region is known as a foreign region. People of other regions are differentiated against. In this way, the feeling of equality and fraternity comes to an end and a sense of superiority of one’s region over other regions generates which is a very big obstacle in the way of national unity.
Q.5. Mention the geographical diversity of India.
India is geographically a diverse country. There are high mountain ranges in the north, the fertile northern plains lie below them. The Thar desert is situated on its west. The peninsula plateau region is located in the central region which is bordered by coastal plains on its two sides. The island groups of Andaman, Nicobar, and Lakshadweep lie in the south.
Q.6. What is the importance of language in National Unity?
Language plays a very important role in maintaining national unity. A common medium of communication encourages interaction among the masses. Through a common language, people of different regions can share their views henceforth removing regionalism.
Q.7. What are the evil consequences of religious diversity?
- Religious Fundamentalism
- Social imbalance and disorganization
- Conversion from one religion to another
- Encouragement to violence
- Conflicts between different religious communities.
Q.8. In which areas, a unity exists in India?
- Cultural unity
- Religious unity
- Geographical unity
- Linguistic unity
- Social unity.
Q.9. Why did constitution-makers want to make India a secular state?
The framers of the Constitution wanted to make India a secular state because they were afraid of communalism. A number of religions exist in India and they did not want to give preference to any specific religion over others. They wanted to give equal importance to all religions for preventing any communal riots in the society.
Q.10. What is meant by casteism?
When politicians try to take advantage of caste consciousness for electoral gains then this process is known as casteism. Leaders of particular castes always try to arouse caste-related consciousness among the people to gather their votes. This is known as casteism.
Q.11. How caste system could be removed from society?
- Caste related laws should properly be implemented.
- Politicians should stop making use of casteism for their benefit.
- Strict actions must be taken against those who promote casteism.
- Inter-caste marriages should be encouraged.
Q.12. What is a Nation? Give its definition.
A Nation is a type of large-scale community. It is a community of communities. Members of a nation share the desire to be a part of the same political collectivity. According to Max Weber,” A state is a body that successfully claims a monopoly of legitimate force in a particular territory.”
Q.13. What is the Sociological meaning of Minority?
The Sociological meaning of minority is that the members of the minority form a collectivity. It means that they have a strong sense of group solidarity, a feeling of togetherness, and belongingness. This is linked to disadvantage because the experience of being subjected to prejudice and discrimination generally heightens the feeling of intra¬group loyalty and interests.
Q.14. State any two constitutional provisions meant to protect minority rights?
- According to Article 29, any section of the citizens of India having a distinct language, script, or culture of its own shall have the right to conserve the same.
- Article 30 says that all minorities, whether based on religion or language, shall have the right to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice.
Q.15. Which major religious communities exist in India?
Mainly seven religious communities exist in India and these are Hindus (82%), Muslims (11.6%), Christians (2.3%), Sikhs (2%), Buddhists (0.8%), Jains (0.4%), Parsis, and other tribal sects (0.4%).
Q.16. What do you mean by unity in diversity?
The meaning of unity in diversity is that all the people live with each other in peace and harmony even if they have many differences among them. Many religions, cultures, races, etc., exist in our country but they live amicably with each other. This unity in diversity cannot be seen anywhere else but in India.
Q.17. How regional diversity saves the ancient culture?
It is right that regional diversity saves the ancient culture. If the culture of the whole country becomes the same then the importance of different cultures will remain no more. Different regions have different ways of living, wearing and eating habits and just by looking at this, we can say that a person lives in that particular area. In this way, culture remains protected through regional diversity.
Q.18. How can regionalism be removed?
Regionalism can be removed with the help of certain steps like by making appropriate laws, by developing means of transport and communication, by encouraging tourism, by developing the common language of the country, by making programs of national unity, etc.
Q.19. How unity of the country can be maintained?
One of the methods of maintaining unity in the country is to adopt a sense of nationalism instead of a sense of regionalism. If we will try to protect the interests of our region then the unity of the country would come into danger. But if we will take care of the country’s interests by sacrificing our interests then the unity of the country can be maintained.
Q.20. Which type of diversity exists in India in relation to eating habits?
Diversity in eating habits also exists in India. People of North India like to eat vegetables and pulses with chapati. But South Indian people like to use rice more in their meals. People of coastal areas like eating rice with fish. Every region has its own eating habits and delicacies.
Q.21. How is national unification possible?
For national unification, it is necessary that people concentrate on national interests instead of their personal interests. If all the people, political parties, castes, religions, institutions start to work for national interest instead of achieving their personal goals then national unification can be attained. Our politicians should think about national problems instead of promoting regionalism for votes.
Q.22. Which are the major obstacles in the way of national unification?
Casteism, linguism, regionalism, communalism, terrorism, communal riots, strikes, etc., are some of the major obstacles in the way of National unification.
Q.23. What do you mean by Communalism?
Communalism is nothing but an ideology that tries to encourage religious ideas of one religion among the people and rejects or undermines the ideas of other religious groups.
Q.24. What is meant by the caste system?
The caste system was a system of division of the society into a hierarchy on the basis of which birth, occupation, eating habits, etc., were provided. Four major castes existed within the caste system which was unchangeable.
Q.25. Write two effects of casteism on our society.
- Encouraging casteism is the major obstacle in the development of a secular society.
- National unity is weakened due to casteism because it arouses caste consciousness among the mass.
Q.26. What is meant by Ascriptive identity?
What are two features of Ascriptive identity?
Highlight the features of ascriptive identity.
The identity which a person gets by birth and can not be obtained through his ability is known as ascriptive identity. Such type of identity is obtained by an individual through his family, caste, or community.
Q.27. What is a privileged minority?
Who are the privileged minorities?
The privileged minority is that minority for whom any provisions have been made. When any particular qualification is attached to a specific minority group then that group is known as a privileged minority.
Q.28. What rights does the Right to Information Act give to the citizens?
Following are the rights given to the citizens under the Right to Information Act:
- To request any information (as defined).
- To take copies of documents.
- To inspect documents, works, and records.
- To take certified samples of materials of work.
Q.29. How are the privileged minorities politically vulnerable?
Privileged Minority are vulnerable:
- As there is a demographic dominance of the majority.
- Face the risk that the majority community will capture political power through elections.
- The dominant majority uses the state machinery to suppress the religious or cultural institutions of the minorities; forcing them to abandon their distinctive identity.
Q.30. Which types of diversities are there in India?
- Diversity of eating habits: North Indian people use more vegetables, pulses, and wheat but South Indian people largely eat rice. People of coastal areas eat more rice and fish than other products.
- Social diversity: People of every area have different types of folkways, mores, customs, ways of living, religious rituals. People worship different gods as well.
- Diversity of physical features: People of plains are long, wide as well as of bright color. People of mountainous regions are not very long but are of broad shoulders. South Indian people have dark-colored skin.
- Diversity of population: The population is also diverse in India. Many states like Punjab and Haryana are densely populated but many states like Meghalaya have less population.
Q.31. Tell something about the cultural diversity of India.
What is meant by cultural diversity?
People of different castes and religions live in India due to which their language, ways of living, eating and wearing habits, traditions, customs, etc., are different. Their marriage rituals, lifestyles are also different. Every religion has its own religious texts and everyone pays homage to them. The dance of every state is different. We can see diversity in drawing, painting, etc., of different states. Every caste and religion has its own festivals. Businessmen, artists, story writers also have contributed to cultural diversity. In this way, even after having different cultural regions and communities, unity still exists in India.
Q.32. What do you mean by communal politics?
Communal politics refers to the use of religion in politics in which it is propagated that one’s religion is superior to other religions. The political leaders try to misinterpret the basic ethics of the religion such as unity, brotherhood, communal harmony, and omnipotence of God. Communal politics has only one base that community can be formed only on the basis of religion. It states that people of one religion are of the same community and their views, ideas, etc., are also the same. This communal politics also states that followers of different religions cannot make one community. In its ugliest sense, communal politics states that people of different religions are not equal and cannot live together in one particular area.
Q.33. How caste plays an important role in politics?
In a country like India, where caste is deeply rooted in society, the caste system is a very important factor in winning over the elections. People of different castes sire also involved in politics due to which caste plays a dominant role in politics. The importance of caste in politics is given below:
- Political leaders contest the elections and try to win over the loyalty of their cast members to win the elections.
- Different castes come closer to each other to make a pool so that they can demand more facilities for them from the political leaders.
- Many a time, political leaders belonging to one caste propagate views and opinions against other castes which often leads to caste conflicts and even riots.
Q.34. What do you mean by casteism? What are its consequences?
The term ‘caste’ is used for different games of society. A caste is an endogamous group that keeps certain restrictions on its members. In this sense, casteism states that every caste group is a different community from the other group. That is why different caste groups are different from each other and their interests are also different. Society was divided into distinct homogeneous groups in the caste system. Therefore, casteism is an ideology that says that one’s caste is superior to other castes and that it should have supremacy over the other castes. Its consequence comes in the form of social division. Society is divided into different parts and leads to tensions and conflicts.
Q.35. State the main features of the caste system.
- Membership of caste is based upon birth.
- A caste is an endogamous group.
- There are certain restrictions on the caste system regarding social intercourse.
- Restrictions are there on the caste system regarding lifestyle.
- The occupation of a person is hereditary in the caste system. It means that no one can adopt any occupation of his choice.
- Society is divided into different segments. There is a definite hierarchy in the caste system.
Q.36. Caste is a hindrance to Social Unity. How?
It is correct that caste is a hindrance to social unity. It is so because society has been divided into many segments. There are many restrictions in keeping mutual relations among different castes. That is why there was no sense of love and sympathy among people of different castes. People of one caste only think about the welfare of their community. People of lower castes are exploited by the people of higher castes because of which hatred and a sense of casteism develop in the society. Therefore, we can say that caste is a hindrance to social unity.
Q.37. Give three features of ascribed identity and community feeling.
- People are very much associated with ascribed identities and community feelings. It provides reality to the world and gives us a sense of identity.
- Ascribed identity and community feelings are universal. Every individual has a motherland, mother tongue, a family, and loyalty as well.
- All of us are equally loyal towards our ascribed identities. Yet there are certain differences among ascribed identities of every individual and a sense of loyalty remains there in everyone.
Q.38. How can secularism be understood in its two forms?
Secularism in the Indian context:
- India is a State recognizing all religions to be equal.
- It does not favor any one particular religion over the others;
- Opposite of religious chauvinism
- Implies equal respect for all religions
For example – India as a secular State declares public holidays to mark the festivals of all religions.
Secularism in the western context:
- The State has a particular religion
- It refers to the separation of Church and the State
- It means the distancing of religion and political authority.
Q.39. How religion reduces the sense of unity?
We look at religion as means of social control but its practical form is very
much different. These days, religion is used for political purposes. Religion is used to reduce the sense of unity in many ways like:
- Many religious organizations try to propagate their own religion with which sense of superiority of their religion comes in them which reduces the sense of unity.
- Educational institutions of any particular religion propagate their own religion and never allow other religions to come forward.
- Politicians use religion to get the votes of the people and followers of different religions to contradict each other.
Q.40. What is meant by Ashrama system regions and communities?
Ashrama system was one of the bases of the Hindu Social System. According to this system, a person’s whole life is divided into four equal parts which are known as four ashramas. These ashramas are:
- Brahmacharya Ashrama: The first ashrama is known as Brahmacharya ashrama and the first 25 years of one’s life belong to this ashrama. A person in this stage receives education at the house of the Guru and the Guru prepares him for the next stages of life.
- Grihastha Ashrama: After getting an education, a person enters into the Grihastha ashrama which goes up to 50 years of age. In this stage, the person marries, produces children, earns money, and serves the people. He fulfills all his wishes in this ashrama.
- Vana Prastha Ashrama: The third ashrama starts at the age of 50 and goes up to 75 years of age. He renounces every worldly pleasure and meditates in the forest for salvation. Here he tries to concentrate on achieving salvation.
- Sanyasa Ashrama: This ashrama starts from 75 years and goes until death. Man sacrifices everything in this and concentrates on god. He lives in the forest to achieve salvation.
Q.41. ‘Idea of communalism is very dangerous.’ Comment.
The basic notion behind communalism is the promotion of one particular religion at the cost of other religions. This is an ideology pertaining that the followers of one religion belong to one community and people of different religions cannot form a single community. In a country like India, where a number of religions exist, the idea of communalism is very dangerous because:
- Political leaders use religion to win over a maximum number of voters which can lead to the social division of the society on religious lines.
- In communalism, demands of one religion are totally opposite to the demands of other religions which creates tension and distrust among followers of different religions.
- Communalism propagates the superiority of one religion over others and this leads to communal tension.
Q.42. What are the demerits of using caste in politics?
The caste system is very much of advantage to those who use it to gain political momentum, but in general, it has a number of negative impacts or demerits which are given below:
- If the caste system is used in politics then political parties could be divided into different castes which may lead to conflict in different castes.
- Division of political parties on the basis of different castes often leads to caste conflict.
- Different caste leaders propagate against other castes which results in tension between different castes. It diverts our attention from other important issues like poverty, unemployment, education, etc.
Q.43. What is Regionalism? How can this problem be overcome?
Regionalism is an ideology in which citizens of one particular region start to believe that their region is being neglected by the central authorities and that it should be developed. That is why they start to agitate against this discrimination. The creation of Jharkhand and Uttarakhand was a result of regionalism. This is a serious problem and a danger to national unity. To overcome this, balanced regional growth is necessary. The government should take care of all the regions while making plans for the country. Local resources of the region should be used for its development and all the regions should be given enough powers in the decision-making process.
Q.44. Explain the relation of consciousness with caste.
Consciousness towards caste is very less in the caste system. This consciousness exists in the class system. The social status of every individual is determined by his caste which he gets by birth. People belonging to higher castes receive recognition and respect from society whereas the lower caste people are usually neglected and exploited. Due to this, there is consciousness in caste.
Q.45. How Regionalism could be reduced?
The government should give equal grants to all the regions, states, and adequate help according to the demands of that region.
- The government should not give preference to any particular region over the other regions to prevent the sense of inferiority among the people of other regions.
- The literacy rate of the country should be increased and people should be motivated to get higher education so that the educated people put the country before the region.
- People of the country should be provided with more and more opportunities for employment so that people hardly care about regionalism.
Q.46. ‘India is a secular state.’How?
It is true that India is a secular state. It has been declared in the Constitution that India will be a secular state but religion, language, and other factors are not completely discarded from all the public sectors. Actually, these groups are individually sanctioned. From the aspect of international criteria, minority religions are given strong constitutional protections. Constitution has given fundamental rights to everyone (including minorities) to protect and propagate their culture. Everyone is free to adopt any religion of their choice. It has been written in the Constitution that no discrimination shall be made on the basis of any religion. State and government will not have their own religion. In this way, we can say that India is a secular country.
Q.47. Explain the politics of assimilation and integration used to establish a national identity.
Assimilationist and integrationist strategies try to establish singular national identities through various interventions like:
- Centralizing all powers to forums where the dominant group constitutes a majority and eliminating the autonomy of local or minority groups.
- Imposing a unified legal and judicial system based on the dominant group’s traditions and abolishing alternative systems used by other groups.
- Adopting the dominant group’s language as the only official national language and making its use mandatory in all public institutions.
- Promotions of the dominant group’s language and culture through national institutions including state-controlled media and educational institutions.
- Adoption of state symbols celebrating the dominant group’s history, heroes, and culture reflected in such things as choice of national holidays or naming of streets, etc.
- Seizure of lands forests and fisheries from minority groups and indigenous people and declaring them national resources.
Q.48. Explain the reasons for Unity in Diversity in Indian Society.
- Geographical Factors: India is a country full of diversities from the geographical point of view. The world’s highest mountain, Himalayas is in Northern India. Rivers like Sindhu, Ganga, Yamuna, and Brahmaputra form the largest plain of India. India has certain places where a lot of rainfalls and has the driest area as well i.e., Thar desert. It has both fertile as well as barren land. Some of its areas are covered with ice throughout the year whereas others are deserts. It has many densely populated states like Uttar Pradesh and has certain places, like Sikkim, where there is very less density of population.
- Social Factors: In social diversity, we can see different forms of marriage, which is one of the basic institutions of society. Some castes have the custom of fraternal polyandry and some groups like Muslims have the custom of polygamy. Joint family and Nuclear family express social diversity. People, in urban areas hardly know their neighbors even if they lived in one place for years but people in rural areas know everything about everyone in their society.
- Religious Factors: People following different religions such as Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, etc., have been living in India since the ages. After the decline of the Mughal Empire, the British came to India and from then onwards Christianity also became an indispensable part of Indian society. There are 3000 castes in Hindus and 94 castes in Muslims. In the same way, Christians are divided into Protestants and Catholics, Buddhists in Hinayana and Mahayana and Jains are divided into Digambars and Shwetambars.
- But many times religious riots occur in different parts of the country like at Godhra in Gujarat in 2002. But internal unity still prevails even in the presence of religious diversity. Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Islam, Christianity, Zoroastrianism, and Sikhism are different religions propagated in India. They follow their respective beliefs, values, and ideals to establish harmony among all religions. The Indians celebrate their festivals like Hob, Diwali, Dussehra, Eid, Gurupurab, Christmas, Good Friday, etc.
- Caste Factors: Generally, the followers of all religions are divided into many castes and subcastes. Four varnas, which were started in the Vedic age on the basis of action and trait, were changed into thousands of castes due to intra-varna marriage. Three thousand castes exist in today’s India. Every caste has its own beliefs, values, etc. After independence, the Government of India has classified these caste groups into four categories i.e., scheduled castes, scheduled tribes, other backward classes, and general category. Caste stratification has been reduced due to reservation for backward and lower classes. Caste restrictions have been reduced to a great extent because of education, common means of transport, common workplace, etc.
- Linguistic Factors: India is a multilingual society where 22 languages were sanctioned by the Indian Constitution. Hindi became the national language and English was sanctioned as the official language. Indian society has been divided on the linguistic basis to such an extent that in 1953 Andhra Pradesh state was formed by separating it from Tamil Nadu due to the Telugu language. In the same way, Punjab and Haryana were also formed. South Indian people are unable to adopt the Hindi language. In spite of this, linguistic unity still exists in India even in the presence of diversity. Most of the Indians speak, understand, write and read the Hindi language. South Indian people generally use the Dravidian language and North Indian people use the Indo-Aryan language. The spread of education has made it possible that all the Indians communicate with each other either in Hindi or English language.
Q.49. Why diversity exists in India due to linguistic factors?
- Language is the best method to keep one’s side or to say anything. It was the first cultural invention and is the main carrier of culture. Language is a means to exchange ideas but it is a very complex system. French and American linguists say that around 2,796 languages are spoken in the world out of which 1,200 languages are spoken by American and Indian tribal people.
- The Mandarin language is the first language in respect of speaking. The second most spoken language is English and the third is Hindi. People speak different languages at national, regional, and local levels in India. Around 1,652 languages are spoken in India. Only 22 languages are sanctioned by the Constitution out of all these languages. Out of a total of 826 languages of India, 723 are of Indian origin and 103 are of foreign origin.
- Languages Recognised by the Constitution. A list of languages is being given in the 8th schedule of the Indian Constitution. First of all, 14 languages were recognized but after the amendment of the Constitution in 1992, they became 18 in number. Hindi language in Devanagiri script was adopted as the official language on 14 Sept. 1949. Four more languages were recognized in 2003 by making an amendment in the 8th schedule.
- Non-constitutionally recognized Major languages. Apart from the recognized languages, thirteen more languages are spoken by more than 5 lakh people. Out of these, the Pahari language of Himachal Pradesh is more important. 673 other Indian languages and 103 non-Indian languages are spoken by a comparatively less few people.
Indian Language Families. All the languages of India can be divided mainly into six language families and these are:
- Other language families
Two main language families are there in India which are given below:
- Indo-Aryan Language Family. Indo-Aryan languages came to India after the advent of Aryan. It is that language family that has covered the three-fourth part of India. The main languages of this group are Hindi, Punjabi, Bengali, Gujarati, Marathi, Assamese, Oriya, Urdu, Sanskrit, Kashmiri, Sindhi, Pahari, Rajasthani, and Bhojpuri. From this, it is clear that out of 22 recognized languages, except for the 4 languages of the south, all are related to the Indo-Aryan language family.
- Dravid Language Family. Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, and Malayalam are the main Dravid languages.
Position of Major Languages in India. Hindi is the language that is spoken by most of the people in India. It is spoken by around 30% of the people. Then comes Telugu, Bangla, and Marathi. Bhojpuri and Rajasthani are the languages that are spoken by more than 30 million people but are not recognized by our Constitution.
Position of different languages in the Indian States. Hindi is the official language of six states i.e. Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and Delhi. Except for Hindi, other states have official languages whose description is given below in the table:
Except this, 57% people of Assam speak Assamese, 65% people of Karnataka speak Kannada, 55% people of Jammu and Kashmir speak Kashmiri but its official language is Urdu. English language is the link language but is not an official language. It is not recognized even by the Constitution. ‘
Q.50. Which factors greatly affected the process of secularisation?
- Modern Education: Now, anyone can take admission in any educational institution. Through educational institutions, every person gets the chance to achieve social status in society. With modem education, traditional ideas started to decline. That is why people started to accept new values of society. Rationalism started to develop in society. Now modem education is given to both boys and girls collectively. In earlier times, females were confined to the four walls of the house and had to spend the whole of their life in the house. But with modem education, females have started to get an education and started to get jobs in every sphere. In this way, the discrimination of untouchability came to an end because everyone has started to receive an education.
- Development in the means of transportation and communication. The British government started to develop means of transport and communication to develop mutual contacts in Indian states. With this development, people started to come in contact with each other. People of higher and lower castes started to travel with each other in buses and rails with which a feeling of sacred-non-sacredness and untouchability has started to decline. With the coming of means of communication and transport mobility in people, it has become easy for everyone to move from one place to another. They come out of their houses for work. With this, the control of the family declined. Humans are getting the social status of their own.
- Westernisation: With the advent of the British in India, Indian people started to come in contact with a western culture which has encouraged the values like materialism, individualism, etc., Restrictions of the caste system have started to decline. The supremacy of Brahmins declined because the British started treating everyone on equal terms. Western culture had developed the process of secularisation. In this way, the process of secularism was greatly affected by the factor of westernization.
- Urbanisation and Industrialisation: The process of secularisation is also greatly affected by the process of urbanization and industrialization. People had to come out of their houses in search of jobs. Domestic production came to an end. The population of cities started to increase. People of every caste started to live in cities and work together in factories. In this way, at this type of place, it was very difficult to go according to the rules of the caste system. Occupation in cities is given not on the basis of caste but on the basis of ability.
- Governmental Efforts: The Indian Constitution was implemented after Independence. The Indian government made a new legal system. The Constitution tried to remove the discriminations on the basis of religion, color, caste, creed, etc. New laws have been implemented, some of which are as follows:
- Special Marriage Act—1954
- Hindu Marriage and Divorce Act—1955
- Hindu Succession Act—1956
- Dowry Prohibition Act—1961
- Widow Remarriage Act—1856.
In this way, many laws were passed to remove the social problems of society. Inter¬caste marriages were given sanctions. Now everyone is treated as equal in front of the law. In this way, the process of secularisation was encouraged by the policies of secularism.
Q.51. Which elements of Unity were there in ancient India?
- Rural Society: Ancient India was based upon rural society. The lifestyle of the people was also rural. The main occupation of the people was agriculture. Most of the people were engaged in agriculture or in occupations related to agriculture. Jajmani system was in existence. Washermen, cobblers, ironmen provided their services to the people. They were known as Kamins. Big landlords used to give a share to them from their produce. This Jajmani system was prevalent since the ages. This established unity in the rural society.
- Institutions: Mobility was present in many traditional and cultural institutions of the society. Gurukuls of education as well as many other institutions became the basis of unity in India. These institutions were one of the reasons for unity in ancient India.
- Language: Brahmi script is known as the mother of all the languages. All of our ancient religious scriptures like Vedas, Puranas, etc., are written in the Sanskrit language. The Sanskrit language is seen with great respect in the whole of India. It is also known as the language of gods because it has been said that different gods used to use this language.
- Ashrama System: One of the main bases of unity in the Indian Society was some of its institutions like the Ashrama System. Four Ashramas are arranged for our life like Brahmacharya Ashram, Grihastha, Vana Prastha, and Sanyasa Ashrama. This system prevailed all over India because the ultimate aim of every person is to get salvation. That is why everyone used to obey this system.
- Purusharthas: There are four main aims of life which were known as Purusharthas. These are Dharma, Artha, Kama, and Moksha. During earlier times, only Brahmins were there. But later on, other varnas like Kshatriyas, Vaishyas, and Shudras came into existence. The most aim of their life was to get salvation. That is why everyone had to spend his life according to these Purusharthas. Everyone had to spend their lives by following the Dharma (duties), earning Artha (money), to continue their lineage (Kama), and ultimately to attain moksha (salvation). Everyone used to obey them. In this way, it was one of the elements of Indian unity.
- Karmas or One’s Actions: The meaning of Karmas is the work or one’s actions. Karma is of great importance in Indian culture. The next life of the person depends upon one’s Karma of his previous life. If Karma is good then the next birth of that person will be at a good place and vice versa. It is also possible that the good deeds of the person may lead him to salvation from the cycle of birth and death. Karma was also one of the elements of unity in Indian society.
Q.52. What are the factors of religious diversity in India? Explain.
Diversity in religion is of two types:
1. Intra-Religious Diversity
- Many reasons for diversity are there in different religions (Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Sikhism, Jainism, and Buddhism) of India. People of Arya Samaj, Brahmo Samaj, Shaiv, Shakti, Vaishnav, Vaam-party, followers of Krishna and Hanuman, worshippers of trees, plants, animals, etc., are there in the Hindu religion.
- People of higher castes of the Hindu religion are known as sacred people and people of lower castes are known as non-sacred. People of lower castes are restricted to perform religious functions.
- Shiyas and Sunnis in Islam and Protestant and Catholic groups exist among Christian. In the same way, Namdharis, Akalis, Nirankaris, etc., exist in the Sikh religion. Hinayana and Mahayana of Buddhism and Shwetambar and Digambar are the main groups of Jainism.
2. Inter-Religious Diversity: Followers of Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Sikhism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Parsi religions live in India. This unity in diversity in these religions is based on the following factors:
- Different gods: Every religion has its own god, for example, Hindus have Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva, etc., Muslims have Prophet Muhammad, Christians have Jesus Christ, Ten Gurus among Sikhs, Mahatma Buddha of Buddhism, Parsis have Zoroaster, and so on. So all the religions have different Gods. ‘
- Religious books: Different religions have different religious books. For example, Vedas, Puranas, Upnishads, Ramayan, Mahabharat, Geeta are religious books of Hindus. Christians have Bible, Muslims have Quran, Shri Guru Granth Sahib of Sikhs and Zend Avesta is the religious book of Parsis.
- Monotheism and Polytheism: On the basis of the numbers of gods Hindus worship Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva, Rama, Krishan, Shakti, etc., Sikhs worship ten Gurus. But Christians, Muslims, and Parsis believe in one God. People following Buddhism never comment on the existence of God but followers of Jainism do not believe in the existence of God.
- Idol Worship: Hindus have given a definite form to all of their gods on the basis of idol worship but Sikhs and Muslims strongly oppose idol worship.
- Diversity in Religious Beliefs: Hindus believe in reincarnation, Karma and rebirth theory, spiritualism, sins, and fulfillment of religious sacraments. But Muslims hardly believe in reincarnation. In the same way, Sikhs also oppose religious sacraments. Buddhist believe in reincarnation but Jains hardly believe in the existence of God. They say that the human body should be given hard suffering.
- Mutually Opposing: Some of the elements of Indian religions oppose other religions or, are opposite to each other’s beliefs, According to Hindu religious beliefs, Brahmins are at the highest strata in all the castes. Hindus worship animals and give water to the sun, worships idols, and believe in reincarnation. Muslims and Christians oppose idol worship. Buddhists, Sikhs, and Jains are against the highest status of Brahmins and they even oppose Hindu religious sacraments.
So from here, it is clear that there are a number of disagreements in different religions about their beliefs. One believes in one thing and other beliefs in the other thing.
Q.53. What is the meaning of Secularisation? Explain its different elements.
Srinivas defined the term Secularisation in the following way: “The term secularisation implies that what was previously regarded as religious is now ceasing to be such, and it also implies a process of differentiation which results in the various aspects of society, economic, political, legal and moral becoming increasingly discrete in relation to each other.”
Essential Elements of Secularisation
M.N. Srinivas has given three essential elements of secularisation which are given below:
- Lack of religiousness: The first and the important element of secularisation is the decline in the importance of religion. An increase in secularisation will automatically bring changes in religious beliefs. People started to feel that those religious beliefs or traditions which he believes are unable to fulfill any one of his needs. People started to create an atmosphere of pomp and show while performing religious activities. These days every person keeps a wish that while performing religious activities he/she should give a feast to others to keep them happy. Now humans do not have any internal religious feelings. Even then they are going to religious places only to enjoy the holidays. In this way, religious views started to decline. Now, every person wants to take advantage of every religious activity.
- Rationality: Through rationality, humans started to examine every type of superstitions, beliefs, etc., on the basis of rationality. According to Srinivas, “In rationality, with other things traditional beliefs and views were changed into modern knowledge.” “In this way, rationality was increased in humans with the development of modern ideals and values.”
- Process of differentiation: The process of differentiation is also related to the process of secularisation. Every sector of society i.e. social, moral, political, etc., are different from each other. Occupation to the person, in modern society, is not given on the basis of religion but is given on the basis of his ability. Now all the persons are treated equally in front of the law. The impact of religion has decreased in every sector of society. People started to get everything on the basis of their ability, not on the basis of religion.