Dr. Akbar Badsha –
National integration is a kind of psychological and educational process which involves the development of a feeling of unity, solidarity and cohesion in the hearts of people, a sense of common citizenship and feeling of loyalty to a nation. The concept of integration covers a vast range of human relationship and attitudes. India is a multi-lingual, multi-cultural and multi-religious country in which the sense of unity among the citizens is an utmost necessity. Various evil factors play their role leading to the annihilation of integrity among the people of the Indian society. These should be eradicated and tasks in retaining the strength of unity should be encouraged time and again.
Key words: National, integration, unity, evil, casteism.
National integration is the awareness of identify amongst the citizens of a country. It means that though we belong to different castes, religions and speak different languages, we recognize the fact that we are all one. This kind of integration is very important in the building of a strong and prosperous nation. The concept of national integration is quite wide and there are many ways of defining it. According to Myron Weiner, “The concept of integration covers a vast range of human relationship and attitudes. The integration of diverse and discreet cultural identities and the development of sense of nationality, the integration of political units into a territorial frame work with a government which can exercise authority, the integration of the rulers and the ruled, and the integration of the citizen into a common political process lead to the concept of national integration.
National integration includes nation building and state building which means doing a way with the boundaries which divide the society on tribal, communal, racial, castes, linguistic or regional lines on the one hand, and territorial integrity which implies the absence of sectionist and separatist forces on the other. National integration is defined as “A psychological and educational process involving the development of a feeling of unity, solidarity and cohesion in the hearts of people, a sense of common citizenship and feeling of loyalty to the nation.”1
Problem of National Integration
Since independence, India is facing an acute problem of national integration because the forces of disintegration are very active throughout the country. India, a classic traditional society, is also the most complex plural society with a massive federal policy. India’s plural federal character is apparent in practically every major aspect of its collective life, be it social system, economic formation, culture, patterns or language-dialect groupings, religious communities, castes, sub-castes and sects; or local variation of commonly prevalent mythologies and commonly revered deities, or ethnic identities, regional alignment and sub-regional attachments, or diversities of history marked by moments of triumphs and tragedies and differences in heroes and villains, and in the rich tapestry of folklore, folk dance, music cuisine and artifact of life.
The food habits and ways of living of the people are also different. In spite of all the differences, India is one. Its unity is supreme, sometimes multinational forces like Naxalism, ULFA, J & K Violence and terrorism start working against its unity. They pose dangers to our national integration.
At present our country is passing through a very critical time. “Chattisgarh, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, are burning in violence of Naxalism, Jammu and Kashmir becomes the victim of terrorists attack. Some foreign elements are out to damage our national unity. India has to be one despite all the evils working against its national unity.”2
The problem of national integration has two levels of manifestation – vertical and horizontal. Vertically speaking, it is concerned with bridging the gap between the elite and the mass. It is a problem of diffusion of values that the modernizing elite have adopted from the west. Even at the risk of digression, it may be pointed out here that the elite group could be divided into two groups – the progressive and the communal. Actually, as Karl Deutsch brings out, ‘Nationalism is more than an expression of these factors, singly or collectively, it is a psychological responsibility.”
Linguistic differences also create problems. Our constitution has given recognition to eighteen languages. Thus something collective is important in a country such as ours. Our mother tongue is dear to each and everyone. Sometimes people display hostility towards the language of other people. This again harms the cause of our national unity.
Casteism also poses a great threat to our unity. People of one caste support each other and oppose the progress and development of people belonging to other castes. Appointments in job, admission in educational institution are often on the basis of caste considerations. People also avoid social interaction with other castes. These are many forces that come in the way of our national integration. Often people have very strong feelings about their own religion and language and oppose those of others. Such feelings lead to classes between different sects. Such occurrences damage our unity and prove to be a hindrance to our progress.
Communalism is another factor that poses a great danger to our unity. The formation of the state of Pakistan in 1947 leads to terrible communal riots. A very large number of people lost their lives and their homes and had to undergo a lot of suffering to resettle. The British had encouraged communalism because a division between the Hindus and the Muslims was made earlier by them to control our country.
Suggestion for Promoting National Integration
Various suggestions have been put forward for the attainment of national integration from time to time. Recently an all India seminar on National Integration was held at Hyderabad which was attended by the academia, members of bar, senior administrators, decision makers and social workers. Some of the suggestions for promoting national integration are as follows:
- a) The concept of national integration needs more clarity for better appreciation of problem.
- b) The public policy can be an effective tool for promoting national integration. Therefore, the gap between the policy formulation and policy implementation must be reduced to the minimum.
- c) Economic inequalities among various segments of society must be eliminated.
- d) Regional disparities in the dispersal of trade and commerce should be corrected. The public sector may be effectively used for minimizing regional disparities in country’s industrial development.
- e) There is need for a strong political will to create congenial climate for the fulfilment of goals of national integration. For this purpose the political consciousness of the people should be raised through decentralization of power.
- f) The mass media should shed its elitist orientation and urban bias. It should try to reflect the experience and aspiration of the neglected and deprived sections of the society. The mass media should try to project the development and achievements to the country in an objective manner.
- g) Educational system should be moulded to develop scientific temper or spirit of inquiry and reform. Education should reach the rural man to arouse his political conscience and encourage him to participate in nation building.
- h) It should be emphasized on the people of various communities that they have no option but to live together in their mutual interest. Once the idea of indispensability of living together goes into the minds of the people, the task of national integration would be automatically accomplished.
Thus we can say that the problem of national integration can be resolved only through joint efforts of the government and the general public. But the one single factor which can greatly contribute to national integration is the presence of a strong central government which can ensure law and order throughout the country and preserve the integrity of the country.
- Indian Government and Politics. By (Dr. B.L. Fadia, 2015. P – 850, 849).
- Speeches for all occasions. By (Himanshu Singh and Seema Mishra. S.R. Publisher and distributors. P – 37).
- Minorities and national integration in India. By (Olive peacock 1991 – P – 3, 4).
- Indian Government and politics. By (Dr. Prakash Chandra. P – 784, 785).
The writer is the Asstt. Professor, Deptt.of political science, Hatsingimari college Hatsingimari (India)