Has India Lost Its “Unity In Diversity”?

By | January 25, 2022
Unity In Diversity

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We need to preserve the “Unity in Diversity” of India by acting responsibly, read this article ‘Has India Lost Its “Unity In Diversity”?’  by Shubhangi Singh only on Legal Bites.

Introduction

The Constitution makers of India intended to make India a country that respected the choices and freedoms of other Indian Citizens. This intention of Constitution makers is well reflected through various Fundamental Rights like that of Right to Freedom, Right to Religion. In the last few years, India has been witnessing a huge hike in cases of intolerance. Several videos have been making rounds on social media which depict how minorities and women are oppressed in public. India has witnessed several horrifying communal riots in various parts of the nation and the victims of these riots are always women and children.

Religious Intolerance 

Most of us would have come across such instances in which some politicians and religious leaders fuel communal intolerance through their hate speeches. Being lawmakers, politicians should act like responsible leaders who promote religious freedom and respect the practices of other religions. Politicians and religious leaders have increased the rift between the Indians on the basis of their faith and practices. Instead of protecting the secular fabric of our country, they make speeches full of hate, which demotes tolerance and acceptance for Indians belonging to different beliefs.

Some companies have also faced the wrath of the right-wing people when they tried to make advertisements that promoted the acceptance and safety of the general public. For instance, CEAT Tyres faced a backlash for its advertisement which featured Bollywood Actor Amir Khan, telling children not to burst firecrackers on streets but within the apartment complex.

We all have experienced a sense of fear when we are in a car and children burst firecrackers on roads. Massage the company was trying to convey was in the interest of the public and not for hurting the sentiments of Hindus. The right to practice religion is not an absolute right. Those religious practices that harm the general safety of the public cannot be justified in the name of religion and culture.

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There have been several instances where adult girls and boys are killed in the name of respect of the family when they choose a partner of their choice. The Indian Courts have upheld multiple times, that adults have the right to choose their partners irrespective of the faith they belong to. Usually, Honour Killings take place when two people elope and get married outside their caste and religion or when a girl gets raped. The hatred towards other caste and religions is so prevalent in Indian Societies that people forget to respect the choices and lives of their children. Such people are not even afraid of the Police or Judicial System.

Intolerance Towards Lgbtq+

When people get to know that a boy or a girl living nearby does not fit in the narrow standards of a boy or girl, they ridicule them and their families. Unfortunately, in India, parents are more concerned about what people would say than the happiness of their kids. Millions of people belonging to the LGBTQ+ community have faced terrible situations in their lives, when they are thrown out of their houses, by their own parents.

Instead of backing such children, parents and society outcast them and snatch their everything, just because they do not fit in the standards of a boy or a girl. Mainstream people feel that interacting with people of the LGBTQ+ community would degrade their respect in society and therefore, sometimes treat them as untouchables.

Even Politicians too have contributed to outcasting LGBTQ+ people from society. They forgot that they are also their representatives. Instead of pursuing people to accept LGBTQ+ people and respect their choices, modern politicians stir hate for them in society. For instance, recently Dabur Company published an advertisement in which a lesbian couple was seen celebrating Karwa Chauth, a Hindu Festival.

The company had to take down its advertisement after facing a backlash from right-wing people and threats from some politicians. Being a part of the State and Government, it becomes a responsibility of Politicians to at least respect those rights of the people which have been upheld by the Honourable Supreme Court of India ( SC judgment on decriminalization of Section 377 of IPC ).

Many people think that having sexuality different from the standardized one is a disease. Some people are also of the view that recognition of freedom of sexuality has pushed India towards western ideas of liberalism. But, people of the LGBTQ+ community were present since time immemorial around the globe.  Indian society was open to homosexuality before British Invasion. It was during the British era when Homosexuality was criminalized in India because it did not confer the standards of Christianity. So, decriminalization of homosexuality by the Apex Court brought the Indian system to its original roots.

Indian medical texts – Charaka and Sushruta Samhitas, authored by Charaka and Sushruta, respectively. Being queer was believed to be a genetic variation and not a choice. Even in Kamasutra, transgenders and queers are categorised under third gender. Many Hindu Temples like the Khajuraho temple in Madhya Pradesh, were built between 950 and 1050 by the Chandela dynasty. Such temple arts are also visible in Sun Temple in Konark, which was built in the 13th century, and the Ajanta and Ellora caves in Maharashtra.

Though homosexuality was not approved but was acknowledged. Hence, transgender and gay people were never outcasted from society. Thus Indian Culture was vibrant that respected the choices of other humans and nature. Just because this facet of nature is unacceptable to some, it doe not mean that LGBTQ+ people are wrong.

Westernization

Some right-wing members of the society raise objections to the growing influence of the west on Indian culture. They are of the view that the western clothes (like jeans, shorts, shirts, etc.) and western lifestyle (women working in offices, liven relation) and western foods are ruining the Indian Culture and Tradition. But imposing Indian Culture on youth is not the correct way to protect the culture and tradition. Some Khaap Panchayats have banned certain clothes, which shows their intolerance towards westernization. Westernization is a result of globalization, which also plays a vital role in the socio-economic development of any nation.

Indian Culture is one of the most beautiful cultures and it should definitely be preserved. The word “culture” is like an ocean, which does not promote any religion or clothing style. Indian Culture has a specialty of adopting other cultures into it, but not losing its exclusivity, because of which it has successfully survived for centuries.

Conclusion | Has India Lost Its “Unity In Diversity”?

Indians should realize that they are first the citizens of this great nation and then belong to some sect or faith. We have to learn to respect others’ choices, liberties, and freedoms. Being intolerant is not a solution for anything as intolerance always gives rise to rebellion violence and division. We need to act in such a way that does not hurt the secular fabric of our nation.

We need to preserve the “Unity in Diversity” of India by acting responsibly, then only our nation can touch the deserving heights. Politicians and religious leaders should also refrain from abating people towards others’ religion, liberties, and choices, that do not hurt the general public. Already India is struggling with various international conspiracies and issues, therefore we should refrain from creating internal turbulence.


Sources

  1. Article 19, Constitution of India
  2. Article 25, Constitution of India
  3. On An Aamir Khan Ad, BJP MP’s Objection, “Anti-Hindu Actors” Remark, NDTV, Available Here
  4. Honour killing: Casteism not annihilated even after 75 years of independence, says SC, The Hindu, Available Here
  5. Anushree Acharya, Being Queer In Ancient India, A Trip Down The Rainbow-Painted Lanes, Brown Magazine, Available Here

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Author: Shubhangi Singh

SYMBIOSIS LAW SCHOOL, NOIDA

3 thoughts on “Has India Lost Its “Unity In Diversity”?

  1. Mamta

    Your views are spot on Shubhangi. India is such an old and deep civilisation that the intolerant people don’t even understand it. What they call Indian culture is actually their narrow version of it. Indian culture respects life in all its forms, women, transgender, western ideas, everything.

    Reply
  2. Shreya Malik

    I do agree with the views of Shubhangi. the variation like diverse caste, creed or race cannot keep us apart and we all are united for the betterment of our country, we have to respect others choices so that we all can live together in peace. Unity in diversity is important for a country for growth and development, it helps to improve productivity and lifestyle.

    Reply

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