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Essay on Myth of Indian Nationhood

A ‘nation’ implies a sizable group of people generally having common aspirations, many similarities of approach as well as a common ideals. There is a sufficiently strong organic bond amount the various sections of such a society, they have the same social background, though their physical complexion may vary. Men and women come and go and generations may pass, as Jawaharlal Nehru said, but a nation never dies because it has something of eternity behind it in its ideas and growth. A nation also has a history of traditions, past achievements and experience. There is no denying that nationalism is a vital precious force.

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The question is often posed by critics of the existing social set-up in thus country. Do we Indian constitute a nation ? The Preamble to the Constitution states: “We the people of India, having solemnly resolved to constitute Indian into a Sovereign Socialist Secular Democratic Republic..” The implication is that we are a nation which has willingly ideas and to the political framework elaborately prescribed in the Constitution. But even the most comprehensive Constitution doesn’t itself make a nation.

Several notable personalities have in recent years expressed their firm conviction that Indian is merely a conglomeration of groups of people having more dissimilarities than similarities. Dr D.R Ambedkar, made a significant observation about four decades ago, “I am of the opinion” he said , “that in believing that we are a nation we are cherishing a great delusion”. How can people divided into thousands of castes be a nation ? he asked. So, the sooner we realize that we are not yet a nation in the social and psychological sense of the world, the better for us.

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Castes, as many politicians analysts and social scientist have pointed out, are anti-national because they lead inevitably to separation in life. Beside, they generate strife, jealously and antipathy between one caste group and another. In the midst of gross violations of the basic principles of liberty, equality, fraternity and justice between man and man, can we rightly claim to be a nation ?

One of the foremost qualities of a well-knit, effective nation is unity. But this is precisely what we lack. Indian is a land of many religions, languages, sub-races and nationalities. It is said that these diversities, it is claimed, has been over shadowed by a common bond running thorough the polity and several unifying factors. But the misfortune is that disunity, discord, divergence and other negative factors are much in evidence in the country today. The forces of division and disruption have been gaining strength and these have greatly weakened such uniting links as existed in the country before, during and immediately after foreign rule.

In the past, India lost its independence, self-respect and much lese beside, because of the treachery, indefinite by selfish group of people. We have not learnt any lesson from history and remained faction ridden, each group striving to achieve its own ends. In today’s India how many people proudly claim that they are true Indians and always place the country’s interest above their own ? Even national leaders and political parties often act in a partisan spirit; seeking always to pull down and discredit others. The promotion of peace and harmony should be their principal guiding factor but it is not.

The vital emotional links are conspicuous by their absences. Individual, groups and parties stress their rights and seldom fulfill their duties and responsibilities. Each of them wants his pound and fresh regardless of whether other people suffer deprivation in the process. About 60 percent of our people being the Scheduled Castes and other depressed classes which live in constant fear of one kind or other. All talk of ‘one nation’ appears meaningless to them.

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In recent years, communal riots, massacre of people downright exposition of poor, hapless sections of society by greedy landlords against rivals have become common. Disharmony and negativism have become distinguishing marks of our society. Worse, whatever spirit of Indian-ness developed under the leadership of Gandhi and Nehru has evaporated. Instead, there are secessionist trends, blatant militancy and assassinations by the dozen. The terrorists recognized no law, no government, no constitution. They occasionally defile, insult and even burn the national flag. They dishonor national symbols. Obviously, we don’t constitute a nation in the real sense.

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