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Day 41 – Q 1.Many feared that India would balkanise after independence. Why didn’t it happen? Examine he factors that kept India together.

1. Many feared that India would balkanise after independence. Why didn’t it happen? Examine he factors that kept India together.  

बहुत से लोग डरते थे कि आजादी के बाद भारत के कई टुकड़े हो जायेंगे। पर ऐसा क्यों नहीं हुआ? उन कारकों की जांच करें जो भारत को एक साथ रख पाए।


India is land of diversity in terms of language, religions, ethnic groups, culture, and physiography. Despite this, there was always an underlying unity amidst diversity.


After independence, it was commented that India would balkanise because of its rich diversity as

  • Before India, most nations were constructed on the basis of a shared language, a single religion and a common enemy – or all of the above. This nation, however, had large populations of all the major faiths, while its citizens spoke many languages, written in different scripts.
  • Also, before India, democracy had never been attempted in a poor and largely illiterate country. Universal adult franchise with 85% of voters being illiterate. Presence of multiple religions, multiple caste system, and ethnic groups would break down social unity in a democratic system where groups compete with each other for access to resources, power.
  • Presence of princely states (around 560) will hinder integration.

Hence, India was seen as ‘unlikely nation’ meant to disintegrate.

However, division did not happen due to

  • Strong leadership at the centre. Ex: Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Vallabhai Patel.
  • Feeling of nationalism which was strengthened during freedom struggle.
  • Fear of consequences of partition.

Our national leaders were aware of difficulties that would arise in the future and hence carefully used various means to protect unity of India which have so far held India together.

  • Strong centre in terms of finance, legislative and administrative powers.
    Ex: suppression of Khalistan movement in 1980’s.
  • Enough autonomy being given to states and presence of institutional mechanisms to safeguard their interests. Ex: state list, independent judiciary.
  • Accommodating regional aspirations. Ex: flexible constitution with provisions like 371j, 35A; Reorganisation of states on linguistic lines, Non-imposition of Hindi.
  • Focus on development of nation as a whole by taking care of backward states and regions. Ex: Finance commission, special category status that was accorded, regional planning approaches.
  • Being multi-religious country, equidistance of state from all religions prevented division of society on religious lines. Ex: Article 25-28.


Today, factors such as economic forces, sports, movies have further strengthened national feeling. Though examples of divisive tendencies exist, there has always been relative harmony and unity in the country if not absolute.

Best answer: Messi

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