Day 41 – Q 1. Many political experts had predicted that India would balkanise after independence. However, India emerged strongly from the shadows of colonial rue and became a true nation state. What made this possible? Analyse.
1. Many political experts had predicted that India would balkanise after independence. However, India emerged strongly from the shadows of colonial rule and became a true nation state. What made this possible? Analyse.
कई राजनीतिक विशेषज्ञों ने भविष्यवाणी की थी कि भारत आजादी के बाद बिखर जाएगा। परन्तु भारत औपनिवेशिकता की छाया से दृढ़ता से उभरा और एक सुदृढ़ राष्ट्र बन गया। ऐसा कैसे संभव हुआ? विश्लेषण करें।
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. India adopted Universal adult franchise despite 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 and power.
- Presence of princely states (around 560) will hinder integration.
With communalism at its peak post-partition India was seen as ‘unlikely nation’ meant to disintegrate.
However, division did not happen due to
- Strong leadership at the centre like Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Vallabhai Patel and others.
- 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. Example: 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.
- Skilfully integrating princely states into Indian Union.
- 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, today India has emerged as a much stronger nation state.
Best answer: Arvind Senta