Well I was in 10th standard when I first heard the term “Unity in Diversity” in my civics class. That was an attempt to teach the kids about the greatness of our country and the different languages and cultures India posses from Jammu to KanyaKumari. It was 15 years ago and when I look back now I feel what have we learnt? We are still fighting based on language, religion, region and what not. So what does that one chapter in the book accomplish?
India is a country with a beautiful history and tradition going thousands of years back. The country is made of 28 states and speaks thousands of languages and dialects with 22 of them being official. Each state in India almost has their language as an official language other than English of course. So the country has lots of divide from various avenues. People eat different, look different, speak different so there lays a problem.
The problem is that we study so many meaningless stuff about history that we fail to educate the kids about our own country. I can point out so many people coming from the Northern part of India from the current generation who claim themselves educated have no clue of the fact that Southern India posses of 4 different states and speak four different languages. Same can be said about the people from the south India. There are people from India who will actively talk about the current US foreign policies at length without any problem but ask them what language is spoken in Andhra; 70-80% will say Tamil.
That’s the kind of knowledge we provide our future generation about our country’s diverse culture. Politicians of India are notorious in starting up regional divide to further their political agenda and people fall for it. The reason is that unity is not emphasised in schools or at home from our childhood. Just having one chapter in 15-16 years of education isn’t going to help anyone. I am not even sure if that one chapter exists across the nation.
The rigid mentality of the current modern generation is baffling for a country that has made the entire world to take a notice due to its growth. The fact that this mentality is going to be carried forward to the next generation is even scarier. We don’t have to know the language or speak them but we need to learn to respect each other and not degrade based on region. There was one guy who said that he had a bad impression on south India and I was like based on what? He did not even know South India has four states.
A person from South does not want to learn Hindi and the one from other parts of India does not want to embrace the South unless they are forced to. The country cannot move forward with these divides continuing to the future generation. The schools should include more about our country and culture and beauty of it rather than teaching meaningless history. How difficult would it be to include a General knowledge subject to educate the kids about different cultures and traditions of our country? I guess it also becomes a responsibility of present generation that we educate them to break the language barriers and learn to be friends irrespective of what language one speaks.
We need not speak the language but still learn to be friends with a fellow Indian, Isn’t that supposed to be the absolute “Unity in Diversity”? Indians are already divided by religion, caste, region etc; but one thing which can be eliminated is the language divide. I am not saying that everyone has to learn like 20 languages but I am just saying that we don’t use that to discriminate anyone. It should not be a cause for fight between two people. I have friends who speak various languages and I myself speak or understand 5 Indian languages which makes my job easier though. I guess we need to instill respect and love towards fellow Indian irrespective of their cast, religion, region, color etc from childhood. Unless we do that we cannot call ourselves united. I at least hope that the future generation sees a much united India than we are doing today.