Diversity suggest differences in region, culture, language and religion in a society. Diversity in society arises mainly on basis of birth or on basis of characters acquired. Diversity on basis of birth is due language, religion, gender, etc. People belonging to different birthplaces live in one society due to different job, education giving rise to linguistic diversity in the society. Religion is decided by the family in which we took birth. Thus in India there are people belonging to Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Christian and many different religion, thereby, giving rise to diversity.
People acquire different characteristics, i.e. they choose what they want to do like hobbies such as reading newspaper, watching movies, playing brings diversity. People with different occupations or skills also brings diversity. As India is more diverse country as compared to other countries like China or European countries. In China only one language is spoken, in European countries only one religion is followed. But in India around 1652 languages are spoken and wide number of religions are followed.
Democracy and Diversity
It was believed that democracy may be successful if the society is homogeneous. Homogeneous means society having one language, religion or culture. For successful democracy homogeneity was taken as necessary factor. But from past years, countries with diversity are functioning well. In India democracy is successful though it has huge diversity. In democracy, people put up their demands, but due to diversity different group will show different demands. Thus there is formation of political groups based on religion, language or other criteria. Moreover, democracy allows politics on basis of various interest. However, diversity allows working of democracy even better.
Diversity and Inequality
Diversity in society helps people to get different policies through different political parties. It helps people to choose government among these parties. Thus diversity helps in betterment of democracy. Inequalities in diversity can cause negative impacts. Thus, democracy should ensure friendly relations among different social groups of society. The main aim for democracy is to ensure equality in the society.
In India society is made of different caste. It is believed that some caste have great value whereas, some have low value. This gives rise to inequality in society based on caste. Moreover, in traditional caste system some of caste were also treated as untouchables. Thus, caste system lead to various issues. Lower caste people get low income jobs and thus families remain poor.
However, upper caste had high value jobs and earn high income. In case of education, very few lower caste people were well educated. Thus social reformers and political leader played important role to improve social conditions of lower caste people. This lead to anti caste movements in which Dr. Ambedkar and Mahatma Phule insisted that as long as caste system is present, government should formulate policies such that, lower castes will get justified share in education and government services. Democracy played an important role in anti caste movements. Democracy provided freedom of expression to all people. Untouchability was made illegal, and government should not discriminate citizens on the basis of caste. Reservations and other such measures were made for lower caste.
Inequality between men and women
Social divisions based on gender is seen everywhere. However is society women is given unequal treatment. Often women had to suffer violence and harassment in home or in public. These are social inequalities based on gender. Tarabai Shinde wrote book “Stree – Purush Tulana” in which she compared womens with mens. In this book she raised issues regarding inequality between men and women. Savitribai Phule raised issue on Women’s Education. She continued her reformation work even after the opposition of people. She was the first lady headmistress in Maharashtra. In democratic countries, women’s movement was raised to empower women to get equality in society.
Initially womens were not allowed to vote, women’s movement pressurised the government to grant right to vote for women. Also women’s were allowed to get governmental jobs, moreover, government facilitate different schemes for welfare of women in society. Government also, reserved seats for women in Lok Sabha, State Legislatures, Gram Panchayat, Zilla parishad, Municipal councils, etc.
Religious Diversity and Democracy
India is diverse country with number of religions like Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Jain, Christian, Jewish, etc . The positive impact of religious diversity is tolerance and cooperation. However, the religious diversity led to conflicts between different religious groups, giving rise to inequality in the society. However, India has accepted secularism, i.e. each person has choice to take up religion of his choice. Government must not favour any one religion. During conflicting situations due to religions, it is duty of government to solve the situation in justified way. Democracy can solve religious equality by providing freedom of religion, equal treatment of all religions and also by protecting minority religious groups.
Democracy and Diversity – Power Sharing
Power sharing is important factor in democracy and diversity. If power is given to one group, it will think of welfare of only that group, thus, there would be violation of democracy. Power sharing encourages cooperation and tolerance in the society and it will help in equal development of all groups in the society.
Distribution of power in federation
Sharing of power is necessary for equal development of all groups. Method of distribution of power is chosen as per the situation of country. If there is linguistic and regional diversity in country, then the best way is to distribute power among different regions of the country. Such a system is called Federal system of government. In this method, constitution creates regional governments for administration and welfare of respective region. It also creates central government for administration at the center. The constitution gives demands of people in the region and takes decision for welfare of people in that government. The powers of regional governments are given by the constitution of respective country. It helps to maintain democracy and diversity in a society.