India is a vast country with extreme diversity in geographical, religious, linguistic, racial, cultural, aspects. There are high mountains, low coastal plains, fertile plains, deserts, evergreen forests, dry scrub vegetation, different types of flora and fauna, and cultures.
In spite of diversities, we maintain unity. The unity of diversity of India is because of our long history and rich heritage.
India with more than a hundred crores population made up of diverse ethnic groups is divided into a number of castes.
Different religions, speaking hundreds of languages and dialects. It is this marvellous diversity of people in India which has made it both a museum and a laboratory for the study of man.
Hence India is rightly called the “Museum of Human Race”. India is the birthplace of many religions and has become the home of many religions.
Vedic religion (Hinduism) is an ancient religion of our country. Christianity was first brought to India by St. Thomas, an apostle of Christ in the first century AD.
The Persians who can to India brought their religion Zoroastrianism. The Muslim conquest of India brought Islam into India.
Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism religion had their origin in India. In spite of all religion’s diversity, Indian have developed a spirit of religious tolerance.
People of India speak different languages like Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, Urdu, Bengali, etc. Besides many foreign languages and dialects are spoken by its people.
There is nearly 845 language spoken in India today. Only 22 are recognized by the Indian government.
Hindi in Devanagari Script is chosen as the official language of India. English is being used as the official link language.
A language is only a tool for communication. But it has become an instrument of division rather than unity.
If we realize all other languages are as good and special as our own language, they would become the instrument of growth, development, and common brotherhood.
The growth of Indian languages led to Indian literature reaching its zenith. Sanskrit and other languages helped the growth of thoughts and philosophy.
The Ramayana and Mahabharata are two great epics of India. Thirukkural by Thiruvalluvar is the greatest literary work in Tamil.
The Bhagavad- Gita is the holy book of Hindus. Umaruppulavar’s Seerapuranam tells the life history of Prophet Mohammad. Thembavani written by Veeramamunivar is related to Christianity.
The Hindu festivals of Deepavali, Navarathri, Vinayaka Chaturthi, Pongal, Chittirai Thiruvizha, Aadi Velli, and Vaikunta Ekadesi, Sri Rama Navami, and Kumbamela are important festivals.
The Christians celebrate Christmas and New Year’s Day. Muslims celebrate Meeladi-Nabi and Ramzan. The Buddhists celebrate the Buddha Poornima.
Jains celebrate Mahavir Jayanthi. The Sikhs celebrate Guru Nanak Jayanthi. All these festivals advocate and practice religious tolerance. All the religious people believe Godhood could be attained by devotion and tolerance.
Customs, Habits and Heritage
Indian heritage advocates, hospitality, charity, friendship, love, unselfishness, dharma, proper conduct, humility, truth, peace, mercy, spiritual feelings, respect for parents, elders and tolerance.
All these help the people live in unity forgetting their difference in other respects.
Art and Architecture
Even in Ancient days, India was famous for its architectural uniqueness. Still, it grows to suit modern tasks.
The paintings at Ajanta and Ellora are world-famous. The Gandhara Art and Sculpture speaks India’s excellence in this field.
Temple architecture is the best among Indian building architecture. North India goes to pilgrimage to the south India temples, churches, and Dargahs.
In the same way, South Indians go to North Indian places like Kasi, Mathura, Haridwar, and Rishikesh. Thus the Holy centres bring unity among Indians.
Music and Dance
The Carnatic style and Hindustani style of music originated in India. Bharatanatyam, Kuchipudi, Kathak, Manipuri, and Odissi are famous dances in India.
There are also various folk dances. The rich and varied Indian Music and Dance play an important part in unity and integration.
In spite of diversity in physical features, its influences on a person’s living, varied habits, religious faiths, language, food, and dress habits make the people different but the heritage of India binds them together.
Humanism, spiritual urge, brotherhood, friendship, love, and religious tolerance make the Indians live in unity and harmony.
Racial diversity in India
Herbert Risley classified the Indians into basically seven racial types. They are Turko-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Scytho-Dravidian, Aryo-Dravidian, Mongo o-Dravidian, Mongoloid and Dravidian.
This post is written for the topic ‘Unity in diversity in Indian culture‘ for Tnpsc, Upsc and other state exams. This article is referred to Tamil Nadu Samacheer Kalvi books.