Indian culture has had an enduring character. Despite major changes and upheavals significant threads of continuity can be traced throughout the course of Indian history right upto the present day.” Discuss. (15 Marks)

Mentors Comments: 

  • https://nios.ac.in/media/documents/SecICHCour/English/CH.02.pdf
  • India is a unique country with a rich ancient history and with one of the oldest yet dynamic cultures. It has a distinct identity and although diverse in all respects, there is an underlying unity in Indian culture.
  • The question wants us to write in detail about the uniqueness of Indian culture and its salient characteristics. Here we have to be as exhaustive as possible while confining ourselves to the given word limit.
  • In the introduction, write a few lines about the prehistoric origin of Indian civilization and the diversity of our culture in all forms ranging from dance to literature, architecture to philosophy etc.
  • In the main body mention that in spite of all these differences and diversity, Indian culture as a whole has some unique and salient characteristics. Discuss in points, about the uniqueness and salient features of our culture. E.g
    • Continuity and Change
    • Variety and unity
    • Secularism
    • Universalism
    • Materialistic as well as spiritualistic etc.
  • Discuss each point in detail and discuss how each aspect is highlighted in our culture. Take the help of the article attached to the question to frame your answer.

Answer:

India is a vast country with a lot of diversity in her physical and social environment. The composite and dynamic character of Indian culture is a result of the rich contributions of all these diverse cultural groups over a long period of time. The distinctive features of Indian culture and its uniqueness are the precious possession of all Indians.

Distinctive features:

  • Continuity and change:
      • Indian culture has had an enduring character. Despite major changes and upheavals significant threads of continuity can be traced throughout the course of Indian history right up to the present day.
  • Variety and unity:
      • Indian culture, over the last three millennia, has successfully, but quietly, observed
        the best assimilable parts from other religions and cultures, from time to time and integrated them into itself.
      • A large number of languages and dialects are spoken in our country which has led to the growth of a great variety of literature. People belonging to eight great religions of the world co-exist here in a harmonious manner. 
      • The second important reason for the variety in our culture is the intermingling among various ethnic groups. Since time immemorial, people from far and near have been coming and settling here.
      • The people belonging to other cultures brought their cultural habits, thoughts and ideas, which got amalgamated into the existing culture.
      • Cultural exchange between different regions of India has also continued. 
  • Secular Outlook:
      • The secular character of Indian culture is a result of the intermingling of people belonging to diverse cultural groups over a long period of time. Right to freedom of religion ensures the secular nature of our polity.
      • In the Western context development of secularism meant complete separation of the church and the state. In India secularism is taken as a more positive concept to cope with the complex social structure in the country with a view to protecting the interests of all, particularly the minorities.
  • Universalism:
      • The concept of coexistence has not been confined to the geographical and political boundaries of the country only. India has a universal outlook and it has been promoting the message of peace and harmony to the entire world.
      • India has been raising a strong voice against racialism and colonialism. It has protested against the formation of power blocks in the world. In fact, India became one of the founder members of the non-aligned movement
  • Materialistic and spiritualistic:
    • India is popularly known to be a land of spirituality, particularly to the West. However, Indian history from ancient times to the present day shows that the developments of materialistic and non-materialistic culture have been going on alongside.
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