Question 1 : What is meant by cultural diversity? Why is India considered to be a very culturally diverse country ?
Answer : The term ‘diversity’ implies differences rather than inequalities. When we say that India is a nation of great cultural diversity, we mean that there are many different types of social groups and with communities living together. There are communities with different cultural markers like language, religion, sect, race or caste.
Due to following reasons India is considered to be a very culturally diverse country :
- India has a population of about 1.21 billion plus people speaking about 1,632 different languages and dialects.
- Eighteen of these languages have been officially recognised in 8th Schedule of the Constitution.
- In terms of religion, 80.5% of the population are Hindus. They are divided by caste and language.
- About 13.4% of the population are Muslims, which makes India the 3rd largest Muslim country after Indonesia and Pakistan.
- The other major religious communities are Christians (2.3%), Sikhs (1.9%), Buddhists (0.8%) and Jains (0.4%).
Question 2 : What is community identity and how is it formed ?
Answer : Community provides us with the language and the cultural values through which we conceive the world and anchor our self identity.
Formation of Community Identity
Community identity is based on accident of birth and belonging rather than on some form of acquired qualifications or accomplishments. These kinds of identities are called ascriptive i.e., they are determined by birth and individual’s choice is not involved. People feel a deep sense of security and satisfaction in belonging to communities.
Expanding and overlapping circles of community (family, kinship, caste, ethnicity, language, region or religion) give meaning to our world and give us a sense of identity. That is why people often react emotionally or even violently whenever there is a perceived threat to their community identity.
Ascriptive identities and community feeling are universal. Everyone has a motherland, a mother tongue, a family and a faith.
Because of this, it is very hard to deal with the conflicts that involve our communities (whether of nation, language, religion, caste or region) are very hard to deal with.
Each side in the conflict thinks of the other-side as a hated enemy and there is a tendency to exaggerate the righteousness of ones own side as well as the immorality of the other side.
Question 3 : Why is it difficult to define the nation ? How are nation and state related in modern society ?
Answer : A nation is a peculiar sort of community that is easy to describe but hard to define. Many specific nations are founded on the basis of common cultural, historical and political institutions like a shared religion, language, ethnicity, history or regional culture which can be described. But it is hard to define the features and characteristics that a nation possess. Nations are communities that have a state of their own .
In modern times, there has been a one-to-one bond or relation between nation and state. It was not true of the past that a single state could represent a single nation or every nation must have its own state. For example, Soviet Union explicitly recognised that the people it governed were of different nations.
Also, people constituting a nation may actually be citizens or residents of different states. Foe example, there are more Jamaicans living outside Jamaica than in Jamaica. Dual citizenship could also be a possibility which allow citizens of another state. For example, Jewish Americans may be citizens of Israel as well a the USA.
Thus, nation is a community that has been able to acquire a state of its own. It is also seen that states are finding it more and more necessary to claim that they represent a nation. A feature of the modern era is the establishment of democracy and nationalism as dominant sources of political legitimacy.
Question 4 : Why are states often suspicious of cultural diversity ?
Answer : Historically states have tried to establish their political legitimacy through nation-building strategies. They sought to secure the loyalty and obedience of their citizens through policies of assimilation or integration.
This is because most states have generally been suspicious of cultural diversity and have tried to reduce or eliminate it.
The states fear that the recognition of varied culturally diverse identities such as language, ethnicity, religion will lead to social fragmentation and prevent the creation of a harmonious society.
Also, apart from the fear of fragmentation, accommodating these differences is politically challenging. Thus, so many states have resorted to either suppressing these identities or ignoring them in the political domain.
Question 5 : What is regionalism? What factors is it usually based on ?
Answer : Regionalism is a strong feeling of pride or loyalty that people have towards their regions including a desire to govern themselves.
Regionalism in India is based on following factors :
- Regionalism in India is rooted in India’s diversity of languages, cultures, tribes and religions.
- It is encouraged by the geographical concentration of these identity markers in particular regions and fueled by a sense of regional deprivation.
- Indian federalism has been a means of accommodating these regional sentiments from presidencies to states. After independence, the Indian state continued with the British-Indian arrangement dividing India into large provinces called presidencies. Madras, Bombay and Calcutta were the three major presidencies.
- Soon after Independence and the adoption of the Constitution, all these units of the colonial era had to be recognised into ethno-linguistic states within the Indian union in response to strong popular agitations.
- Language coupled with regional and tribal identity has provided the most powerful instrument for the formation of ethno-national identity in India. But this does not mean that all linguistic communities have got statehood. Foe example, in the formation of Chhattisgarh, Uttarakhand and Jharkhand language did not play any role. A combination of ethnicity based on tribal identity, language, regional deprivation and ecology provided the basis.
Question 6 : In your opinion, has the linguistic reorganisation of states helped or harmed India ? (Delhi 2019)
Answer : In my opinion, the linguistic reorganisation has helped in strengthening Indian unity.
Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru feared that states based on language might hasten a further sub-division of India. Far from undermining Indian unity, linguistic states have helped strengthen it.
In India, language coupled with regional and tribal identity has provided the most powerful instrument for the formation of ecthno-national identity in India. Language ensures better communication and results in more effective administration.
However, this does not mean that all linguistic communities have got statehood. For example, in the creation of three new states in 2000, namely Chhattisgarh, Uttarakhand and Jharkhand, language did not play a prominent role.
Question 7 : What is a minority? Why do minorities need protection from the state?
Answer: Minority refers to a small group of people within a community or country, differing from the main population in race, religion, language or political persuasion. Minorities need protection due to the following reasons :
- Religious or cultural minority groups need special protection because of the demographic dominance of majority. These groups are politically vulnerable. They face the risk that the majority community will capture political power and use the state machinery to suppress their religious or cultural institutions, ultimately forcing them to abandon their identity.
- The protection of minorities require that they be given special consideration in a context where the normal working of the political system places them at a disadvantage vis-a-vis the majority.
- This leads to the accusation of favouritism. But supporters would state that without this protection, secularism can turn into an excuse for imposing majority community’s values and norms on minorities.
- Minorities are small in numbers so their political rights may be overshadowed by the majorities. There can be prejudice and discrimination for the political dominance in favour of the majorities. So minorities may feel neglected.
Question 8 : What is communalism?
Answer : Communalism is an aggressive political ideology linked to religion. Communal means something related to community or collectivity as different from an individual. It is important to emphasise that communalism is about politics and not about religion. There is no necessary relationship between personal faith and communalism.
One of the characteristic features of communalism is its claim that religious identity overrides everything else. Communalism is an important issue in India because it has been a recurrent source of tension and violence.
During communal riots, people become faceless members of their respective communities. Every religious community has faced this violence in greater or lesser degree, although the proportionate impact is far more traumatic for minority communities.
Question 9 : What are the different senses in which secularism has been understood in India ?
Answer : The different senses in which secularism has been understood in India are :
- In the Western context, secularism implies separation of church and state. This implies the progressive retreat of religion from public life, as it was converted from a mandatory obligation to a voluntary personal practice.
- The Indian meaning of secular and secularism imply that state does not favour any religion. This implies equal respect for all religions rather than separation or distancing the religion practiced by the majority from the minority.
- Secularisation was related to the arrival of modernity and the rise of science and rationality as alternatives to religious ways of understanding the world. One difficult issue that arises from this is the tension between the Western sense of state maintaining distance from religion and the Indian sense of the state giving equal respect to all religions.
Question 10 : What is the relevance of civil society organisations today?
Answer : Civil society is the name given to the broad arena which lies beyond the private domain of the family, but outside the domain of both state and market.
- Civil society is a non-state and non-market part of the public domain in which individuals get together voluntarily to create institutions and organisations.
- It is a sphere of active citizenship, individuals take up social issues, try to influence the state or make demand on it, pursue their collective interests or seek support for a variety of causes.
- It includes political parties, media institutions, trade unions, NGOs, religious organisations and other kinds of collective entities.
The main criteria for inclusion in civil society are that the organisation should not be state controlled and it should not be a purely profit-making entity.
Today, the activists of civil society organisations have a wide range of issues including advocacy and lobbying activity with national and international agencies as well as active participation in various movements.
The issues taken up range from tribal struggles for land rights, devolution of urban governance, campaigns against rape and violence against women, primary education reform, etc. Media has also started to paly an important role in the civil society initiatives. Among the most significant recent initiatives, is the campaign for the Right to Information.
Objective Type Questions
Multiple Choice Questions
Question 1 : Power whose basis is the threat or application of punishment is called _______ .
(a) charismatic authority
(b) traditional authority
Answer : (d) force
Question 2 : States try to establish and enhance political legitimacy through _____ .
(a) National Building Strategy
(b) Communist Strategy
(c) Imperial Strategy
(d) Singular National Identity
Answer : (a) National Building Strategy
Question 3 : How many languages are recognised officially in 8th Schedule of Constitution ?
Answer : (a) Eighteen
Question 4 : The _____ process involves a continuous dialogue, negotiation and even struggle against significant others like our parents, family, kin group and our community. Our community provides us the language and the cultural values through which we comprehend the world. It also anchors our self-identity.
Answer : (a) socialisation
Question 5 : Activities which are determined by the accidents of birth and do not involve any choice on the part pf the individuals concerned are _____ .
(d) none of these
Answer : (c) ascriptive
Question 6 : Finance Commission which is set up every ____ years to decide on sharing of tax revenues between Centre and States. Each Five-Year plan also involves detailed State Plans prepared by the State Planning Commissions of each state.
Answer : (c) ten
Fill in the Blanks
Question 7 : In ______ authority, rules are obeyed because their commands are within the impersonal, formally defined scope of their office.
Answer : legal-rational
Question 8 : _______ is the political process that has to do with the authoritative formulation of policies that are binding and pervasive throughout society.
Answer : Totalitarianism
Question 9 : Diversity emphasises ________ rather than inequalities.
Answer : differences
Question 10 : ________ refers to the preconceived idea about an individual or groups.
Answer : Prejudice
Correct the Statement
Question 11 : The ‘ descriptive’ identity is determined by the accident of birth and doesn’t involve any choice on the part of individuals concerned.
Answer : The ‘ascriptive’ identity is determined by the accident of birth and doesn’t involve any choice on the part of individuals concerned.
Question 12 : Community identity is based not only on birth and ‘belonging’ but also on some form of acquired qualifications or ‘accomplishment’.
Answer : Community identity is based not only on birth and ‘belonging’ rather than on some form of acquired qualifications or ‘accomplishment’.
Question 13 : A nation can easily defined.
Answer : A nation is a peculiar sort of community that is easy to describe but hard to define.
Question 14 : There is a deep relationship between any specific form of community and the modern form of the state.
Answer : There is no necessary relationship between any specific form of community and the modern form of the state.
Question 15 : Power legitimated by the sanctity of age old customs is called traditional authority.
Answer : True
Question 16 : Corporate culture refers to the branch of management theory that seeks to increase productivity.
Answer : True
Complete the Sentences
Question 17 : States generally tend to favour a single, homogenous national identity in ______
Answer : in the hope of being able to control and manage it.
Question 18 : In terms of the nation-state’s relationship with community identities, the Indian case fits ________
Answer : neither the assimilationist nor the integrationist model.
Question 19 : Regionalism in India is rooted in India’s _______
Answer : diversity of languages, cultures, tribes, and religions.
Very Short Answer Type Questions
Question 1 : Why India is not a full-fledged integrationist nation ?
Answer : India is not an integrationist nation because the Constitution of India declares the state to be a secular state, but religion, language and other such factors are not removed from public sphere.
Question 2 : What policies should be adopted in a multicultural nation to build a feeling of unity in diversity ?
Answer : The policies that should be adopted are :
- Enduring democracies can be established in politics that are multicultural.
- Explicit efforts are required to end the cultural exclusion of diverse groups and build multiple and complementary identities.
Question 3 : What are the most powerful instruments for the formation of ethno-national identity ?
Answer : Language coupled with regional and tribal identity has provided the most powerful instrument for the formation of ethno-national identity.
Question 4 : How did the people of India assert their support for a secular Constitution and state ?
Answer : Ever since independence, the people of India, through their direct participation and election verdicts have repeatedly asserted their support for a secular Constitution and state.
Question 5 : What are the main criteria for inclusion in civil society ?
Answer : The main criteria for inclusion in civil society is that the organisation should not be state controlled and it should not be a purely profit-making entity.
Question 6 : State two effects of casteism on our society.
Answer : The two effects of casteism are :
(i) Encouraging casteism is the major obstacle in the development of secular society.
(ii) National unity is weakened due to casteism because it arouses caste consciousness among the masses.
Question 7 : Define state . (Delhi 2011)
Answer : State refer to an abstract entity consisting of a set of politico-legal institutions claiming control over a particular territory and the people living in it. Max Weber stated that a state is a body that successfully claims a monopoly of legitimate force in a particular territory.
Question 8 : What are the two significant features of ‘ascriptive’ identity ‘ ? (All India 2008,2010, 2011)
Answer : Two significant features of ‘ascriptive’ identity ‘ are as follows :
(i) They are determined by the accidents of birth and do not involve any choice on the part of the individuals concerned.
(ii) They are universal and applicable to most of the cases.
Question 9 : What is the aim of the policy that promotes assimilation. (Delhi 2011)
Answer : The policies that promotes assimilation are aimed at persuading, encouraging of forcing all citizens to adopt a uniform set of cultural values and norms. These values and norms are usually entirely or largely those of the dominant social group.
Question 10 : What is meant by secularisation ? (Delhi 2011)
Answer : Secularisation is the progressive retreat of religion from public life when it is converted from a mandatory obligation to a voluntary personal practice. It was related to the arrival of modernity and the rise of science and rationality as alternatives to religious ways of understanding the world.
Question 11 : What rights does the Right to Information give to citizens ? (All India 2010)
Answer : The Right to Information Act specifies that citizens have a right to :
- Request any information
- Take copies of documents
- Inspect documents, work and record
- Take certified samples of materials of work
Question 12 : State some features of an authoritarian state. (All India 2015)
Answer : The features of an authoritarian state are as follows :
- It is a state in which people have no voice and those in power are not accountable to anyone.
- It often limits or abolishes civil liberties like freedom of speech, freedom of press, freedom of political activity, etc.
Question 13 : Who are privileged minorities ? (Delhi 2014, 2015)
Answer : Privileged minorities are a special group of minorities for whom some special provisions have been made or a special qualification is attached to a specific minority group.
Question 14 : State any two constitutional provisions meant to protect minority rights . (Delhi 2015)
Answer : The two constitutional provisions meant to protect minority rights are :
(i) Any section of the citizens residing in the territory of Indian or any part there of having a distict language, script or culture of its own shall have the right to conserve the same.
(ii) No citizen shall be denied admission into any educational institution maintained by the state or received out of state funds on grounds of religion, race, caste or language.
Question 15 : What is nation-state ? (All India 2015)
Answer : A nation-state is a type of state that reflects both the political entity of a state and the cultural entity of a nation.
Question 16 : How are ‘privileged’ minorities politically vulnerable ? (All India 2017)
Answer : In democratic politics, it is possible to convert a numerical majority into political power through elections due to which privileged minorities, regardless of their social and economic position are politically vulnerable.
Question 17 : “In India nationalism, the dominant trend was marked by an inclusive and a democratic vision.” What do you understand by the words inclusive and democratic in this statement ? (All India 2017 )
Answer : In this statement, the word inclusive is addressed because Indian nationalism recognised diversity and popularity.
The word democratic is addressed because Indian nationalism sought to do away with discrimination and exclusion and bring forth a just and equitable society.
Question 18 : Explain the politics of assimilation and integration used to establish national identity. (Delhi 2017)
Answer : Assimilation is a process of cultural unification and homogenisation by which newly entering or subordinate groups lose their distinctive culture and adopt the culture of the dominant majority.
Integration is a process of cultural unification whereby cultural distinctions are relegated to private domain and a common public culture is adopted for all groups. This usually involves the adoption of the dominant culture as the official culture.
Question 19 : Cite one of the most important characteristics features of a modern era state .
Answer : One of the most important characteristic features of a modern era state is the establishment of democracy and nationalism as dominant sources of political legitimacy.
Question 20 : Cite the important of language in national unity.
Answer : Language plays a very important role in maintaining national unity. A common medium of communication encourages interaction among the masses. Through a common language, people of different regions can share their views effectively, henceforth removing regionalism for votes.
Question 21 : In what way communalism is different from communal ? (All India 2016)
Answer : Communalism means aggressive chauvinism based on religious identity whereas communal means something related to community or collectively as different from an individual.
Question 22 : What do you understand by ascriptive identities ? (Delhi 2019)
Answer : Community identity is based on birth and ‘belonging’ rather than on some form of acquired qualifications or ‘accomplishment’. It is what we ‘are’ rather than what we have ‘become’. We don’t have to do anything to be born into community. No one has nay choice about which family or community or country they are born into. These kinds of identities are called ascriptive identities. That means, they are determined by the accidents of birth and do not involve any choice on the part of the individual concerned.
Question 23 : Identify the religious diversity found in India . (Delhi 2019)
Answer : In the religious diversity found in India is given below :
Question 24 : How are minorities politically vulnerable ?
Answer : Minorities are vulnerable in following ways :
- It is always possible to convert a numerical majority into political power through elections.
- Religious or cultural minorities regardless of their economic or social position – are politically vulnerable.
- They face the risk that the majority community will capture political power and use the state machinery to supress their religious or cultural institutions.
- Forces to abandon their distinctive identity.
Short Answer Type Questions
Question 1 : Why does cultural diversity present tough challenges ?
Answer : The term diversity emphasises on differences rather than inequalities which means that there are many different types of social groups and communities. These communities are defined by cultural markers such as language, religion, sect, race or caste. When these diverse communities are part of a larger entity like a nation, then difficulties may be created by competition or conflict between them. These difficulties arises from the fact that cultural identities are very powerful, as they can arouse intense passions and are often able to mobilise large numbers of people. This is why, cultural diversity can present tough challenges.
Question 2 : What are community identities ? Why are they important ? (Delhi 2011)
Answer : Community identity is based on birth and ‘belonging’ rather than on some form of acquired qualifications or ‘accomplishment’. It is what we ‘are’ rather than what we have ‘become’. Our community provides us the language (our mother tongue) and the cultural values through which we comprehend the world. It also secures our self-identity. It is because of this accidental, unconditional and yet almost inescapable belonging that we can often be so emotionally attached to our community identity. Expanding and overlapping circles of communities (family, kinship, caste, ethnicity, language, region or religion) give meaning to our world and give us a sense of identity of who we are. That is why people often react emotionally or even violently whenever there is a perceived threat to their community identity.
Scriptive identities and community feeling are universal. Everyone has a motherland, a mother tongue, a family and faith and we are all equally committed and loyal to our respective identities.
Question 3 : What is meant by communalism in the Indian context ? Why has it been a recurrent source of tension and violence? (Delhi 2013)
Answer : The word communalism in Indian context refers to aggressive chauvinism based in religious identity. Chauvinism is an attitude that sees one’s group as the only legitimate or worthy group, with other groups being seen as inferior, illegitimate and opposed.
Communalism is an aggressive political ideology linked to religion. It is important to emphasise that communalism is about politics, not about religion. Communalism cultivate an aggressive political identity linked to religion, and are prepared to condemn or attack who does not share their identity.
Communalism is an especially important issue in India because it has been a recurrent source of tension and violence. during communal riots, people become faceless members of their respective communities. They are willing to kill, rape, and loot members of other communities in order to redeem their pride. A commonly cited justification is to avenge the deaths or dishonour suffered by their co-religionists elsewhere or even in the distant past. No region has been wholly exempt from communal violence of one kind or another.
Question 4 : Mention the contentious issues found in the federal system which led to the inter-regional disparities. (Delhi 2014)
Answer: The most contentious issues are of cultural adversity. These issues are related to religious communities and religion-based identities.
These issues can be divided into two related groups, the secularism-communalism set and the minority-majority set. Questions of secularism and communalism are about the state’s relationship to religion and to political groupings that invoke religion as their primary identity.
Questions regarding minorities and majorities invoke decisions on how the state is to handle different religious, ethnic or other communities that are unequal in terms of numbers or power (comprising social, economic and political power). However, the federal system has worked smoothly, though there remain many contentious issues.
Question 5 : Could the RTI be a means of forcing the state to respond to the people of India? Elaborate. (Delhi 2015)
Answer : Certainly, the Right to Information (RTI) Act can force the state to respond to the people of India. The RTI Act was passes by Parliament on 15th June, 2005. This act had given Indians access to government records. Under the terms of the RTI Act, any person may request information from ‘a public authority’ (a body of government or instrumentality of state) which is expected to reply as soon as possible or within 30 days. The RTI Act also requires the public authority or authorities to computerise the records for wider dissemination so that the citizens of India require minimum resource to request for information formally.
The Right to Information Act specifies that citizens have right to :
- Request any information.
- Take copies of documents.
- Inspect documents, works and records.
- Take certified samples of materials of work.
Question 6 : “Encouraging cultural diversity is good policy from the practical and principled point of view.” Justify the statement using India’s case as a nation-state.
Answer : Nations are communities that have a state of their own, that is why the two are joined to form the term nation-state. The Indian nation-state is socially and culturally one of the most diverse countries of the world. This diverse population speak different languages.
In terms if religion, the population is diverse with Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Christian, etc.
The Constitution declares the state to be a secular state, but religion, language and other such factors are not removed from the public sphere.
In fact, these communities are explicitly recognised by the state. By international standards, very strong constitutional protection is offered to minority religion, the tribal population, Scheduled Caste population linguistic minorities, etc. Therefore, comparative surveys of long-standing democracies show that India has been very cohesive, despite its diversity.
Question 7 : How regionalism creates problems in India ?
Answer : Regionalism is when people of a particular region believe that their region is neglected by the government. Lack of balanced regional growth gives rise to regionalism.
Regionalism creates problems in India as it leads to protests and agitations by the people of the underdeveloped regions. People feel that they are discriminated and greatly neglected by the State or Central Government.
This disrupts the normal peace and unity of the country and often results in mass-movements.
The creation of Jharkhand and Uttarakhand are due to the imbalances of regional development. Thus regionalism results in the disintegration of a region or an area.
Question 8 : Explain how secularism is understood in the Indian and Western contexts.
Secularism in Indian Context : In the Indian context, secularism or the word secular refers to a state that does not favour the religious beliefs and practices of any particular religion or sect over others. In everyday language, secular is considered opposite of communal. It implies equal respect of all religions rather than separation or distancing.
For example, the secular Indian state declares public holidays to mark the festivals of all religions.
Secularism in Western Context : It is the progressive retreat of religion from public life. It is a result of arrival of modernity and the rise of reasons and rational thinking.
Thus, it promotes a new way of understanding. Presently secularism in India also includes the Western understanding of secularism also.
Question 9 : How regionalism could be reduced?
Answer : Regionalism could be reduced with the help of following initiatives :
- Government should give equal grants to all the regions, states and adequate help according to demands of that region.
- Government should not give preference to any particular region over the other regions to prevent the sense of inferiority among the people of other regions.
- Literacy rate of the country should be increased and people should be motivated to get higher education so that the educated people put country before the region.
- People of the country should be provided with more and more opportunities of employment so that people hardly care about regionalism.
Question 10 : How can cultural diversity present tough challenges ? (Delhi 2019)
Answer : Cultural diversity can present tough challenges in following ways :
- They can arouse intense passions.
- Able to mobilise large numbers of people.
- Sometimes cultural differences are accompanied by economic and social inequalities.
- Inequalities or injustices suffered by one community can provoke opposition from other communities.
- The situation becomes worse when scare resources – like river waters, jobs or government funds – have to be shared.
Long Answer Type Questions
Question 1: How can India be made a state nation instead of a nation-state ? Discuss.
Answer : An examination of the events that took place after independence makes it clear that India had to choose state nation instead of nation-state.
The British had left behind them, three giant presidencies including other small presidencies, a number of princely states and a number of provincial states. These were all scattered and disorganised on the basis of ascriptive identities i.e. language, caste, ethnicity, culture, religion, etc.
Mumbai and Madras presidencies were multi-lingual states viz. Marathi, Gujarati, Kannada and Konkani speaking people in Mumbai Presidency while Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam speaking people in Madras Presidency.
These provinces and princely states had soon raised their claims for their reorganisation on linguistic basis. In these circumstances, Government of India had to constitute State Reorganisation Commission and accepted its report on their reorganisation. Thus, India had to establish its federal government in which states were given the status of federal units.
Recent case studies and analysis demonstrate that enduring democracies can be established that are multicultural. Such democracies can be established only when cultural exclusion of diverse groups is ended and multiple and complementary identities are built.
The UNDO Human Development Report, 2004 states that modern India is facing a grave challenge to its constitutional commitment to multiple and complementary identities.
This report says that Hindus are willing to impose their single identity on other people.
It says that flaws have been found in nation-states and state-nation can only cure this situation. The report says national unity and cultural diversity can be maintained by opting for this assumption.
Question 2 : Explain the reasons of unity in diversity in Indian society.
Answer : The reasons of unity in diversity in Indian society are :
Geographical Factors : India is a country full of diversities from the geographical point of vies. World’s highest mountains, Himalayas are in Northern India. Rivers like Sindhu, Ganga, Yamuna and Brahmaputra form the largest plain of India.
India has certain places where a lot of rain falls and has the driest area as well i.e. Thar Desert. It has both fertile as well as barren land.
Social Factors : In social diversity, we can see different forms of marriage, which is one of the basic institution of the society. Some castes have the custom of fraternal polyandry and some groups like Muslims have the custom of polygamy. Joint family and nuclear family express social social diversity.
Religious Factors : people following different religions such as Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, etc. have been living in India since the ages. There are 3000 castes in Hindus and 94 castes as Muslims. In the same way, Christians are divided into Protestants and Catholics, Buddhists in Hinayanas and Mahayanas and Jains are divided into Digambars and Shwetambars.
Linguistic Factors : India is a multilingual society where 22 languages were sanctioned by the Indian Constitution. Hindi became the national language and English was sanctioned as the official language. Most of the Indians speak, understand, write and read Hindi language. South Indian people generally use Dravidian language and North Indian people use Indo-Aryan language.
Question 3 : Civil Society makes the state accountable to the Nation and its people. Explain with reference to the RTI Act.
Answer : Civil society is the non-state and non-market part of the public domain in which individuals get together voluntarily to create institutions and organisations. It is the sphere of active citizenship where, individuals take up social issues, try to influence the state or make demands on it, pursue their collective interests or seek support for a variety of causes.
It consists of voluntary associations, organisations or institutions formed by groups of citizen. It includes political parties, media institutions, trade unions, non-governmental organisations, religious organisations etc. The main criteria for inclusion in civil society are that organisation should not be state.
Controlled and it should not be purely commercial profit-making entity.
The Right to Information Act, 2005 is a law enacted by the Parliament of India gives Indians an access to Government records.
Under the terms of the Act, any person may request information from a public authority expected to reply expeditiously or within thirty days.
The Act also requires every public authority computerise their records for wide dissemination and to proactively publish certain categories of information so that the citizens need minimum recourse to request for information formally.
This law was passed by Parliament on 15th June, 2005.
The Right to Information Act specifies that citizens have a right to :
- Request any information.
- Take copies of documents.
- Inspect documents, works and records.
- Take certified samples of materials of work.
- Obtain information in form of printouts, diskettes, floppies, tapes, video cassettes or in any other electronic mode through printouts.
Civil libraries organisations have been keeping a watch on the state and forcing it to obey the law.