India is a land of widespread diversities in terms of religion, language, caste, tribe, race, region and so on. Hence, the achievement of national integration becomes very essential for the all-around development and prosperity of the country.
MEANING OF NATIONAL INTEGRATION
“National integration implies avoidance of divisive movements that would balkanise the nation and presence of attitudes throughout the society that give preference to national and public interest as distinct from parochial interests” - Myron Weiner.
OBSTACLES TO NATIONAL INTEGRATION
1. Regionalism:- Regionalism refers to sub-nationalism and sub-territorial loyalty. It implies the love for a particular region or state in preference to the country as a whole. Regionalism is a country-wide phenomenon which manifests itself in the following six forms:
(i) Demand of the people of certain states for secession from the Indian Union (like Khalistan, Dravid Nad, Mizos, Nagas and so on).
(ii) Demand of the people of certain areas for separate statehood (like Telengana, Bodoland, Uttarkhand, Vidharbha, Gorkhaland and so on).
(iii) Demand of people of certain Union Territories for full-fledged statehood (like Manipur, Tripura, Puducherry, Delhi, Goa, Daman and Diu and so on).
(iv) Inter-state boundary disputes (like Chandigarh and Belgaum) and riverwater disputes (like Cauvery, Krishna, Ravi-Beas and so on).
2. Communalism: Communalism means love for one’s religious community in preference to the nation and a tendency to promote the communal interest at the cost of the interest of other religious communities.
3. Casteism: Indian civilization was split into castes, sub-castes, and sub-castes based on birth in ancient times. People from higher castes acquire a superiority complex against those from lower castes. People become enraged as a result of this. The development of a sense of oneness among the people becomes extremely challenging.
4. Linguism: Linguism means love for one's language and hatred towards other language speaking people. The phenomena of linguism, like that of regionalism, communalism or casteism, is also a consequence of political process.
NATIONAL INTEGRATION COUNCIL:
The National Integration Council (NIC) was constituted in 1961, following a decision taken at a national conference on unity in diversity’, convened by the Central government, at New Delhi. It consisted of the prime minister as chairman, central home minister, chief ministers of states, seven leaders of political parties, the chairman of the UGC, two educationists, the commissioner for SCs and STs and seven other persons nominated by the prime minister. The council was directed to examine the problem of national integration in all its aspects and make necessary recommendations to deal with it.