From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : na
Mains level : the current political agenda's impact on India's cultural diversity and constitutional values
The article emphasizes the threat to India’s secular fabric and cultural diversity posed by the current political agenda, particularly the push towards a theocratic state under the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). It underscores the importance of reasserting the constitutional principles of a pluralistic and tolerant India, in contrast to the growing dominance of a unidimensional cultural and religious identity.
- The “Objective resolution” of the Indian Constitution adopted in 1947 forms the basis of the Preamble, but recent state-sponsored events challenge the constitutional commitment to secularism.
- The BJP’s agenda is criticized for promoting a theocratic state and diminishing India’s rich cultural diversity by imposing a singular identity.
- The article laments the erosion of the concept of “unity in diversity,” replacing it with a vision of one nation, one market, one language, and one official religion.
- The Constitution’s recognition of and respect for diversities and differences, both politically and culturally, is highlighted as the foundation of India’s progress.
- The political effort to centralize and homogenize cultural and religious practices, particularly in favor of Hindutva, poses a challenge to India’s historical pluralism.
- The erosion of tolerance and the imposition of a singular identity may lead to suspicion and animosity among different religious and cultural groups.
- The celebration of a ‘Hindu Rashtra’ contradicts the constitutional principles of a secular state, potentially endangering India’s hard-fought independence.
- Hindutva: The political ideology that seeks to establish the hegemony of Hindus and the Hindu way of life.
- Theocratic: Relating to a system of government in which religious leaders control the state.
- Pluralism: The coexistence of diverse cultural, religious, or ethnic groups within a society.
- Constitution: The fundamental legal document outlining the structure and principles of a government.
- “Flattening of multidimensions”: Describes the attempt to impose a unidimensional cultural and religious identity, eroding India’s diverse cultural landscape.
- “Unity in diversity”: Formerly celebrated, this concept is criticized for being replaced by a vision of singular identity.
- “One nation, one market, one colour, one language, one election”: Illustrates the push towards homogenization in various aspects of Indian society.
- “Will Indians place the country above their creed or will they place creed above country?”
- “Our independence will be put in jeopardy a second time and probably be lost forever.”
- “When power outstrips ability, we will fall on evil days.”
- The Indian Constitution recognizes and incorporates space for diversities and differences in both politics and culture.
- The celebration of a ‘Hindu Rashtra’ is in direct contradiction to the Indian Constitution.
- The Constitution is seen as a guarantee of the right to live with liberty, equality, and justice.
Key Examples and References:
- The consecration of the temple in Ayodhya and the state-sponsored events on January 22, 2024, are cited as instances where the secular principles of the Constitution were violated.
- Mention of diverse celebrations of Dusshera, representing different cultural practices across India.
Key Facts and Data:
- The Indian Constitution was adopted 75 years ago, emphasizing tolerance and solidarity as foundational principles.
- The celebration of the 75th year of the Republic coincides with concerns about the erosion of secular principles.
The article critically examines the current political agenda’s impact on India’s cultural diversity and constitutional values. It highlights the dangers of sidelining pluralism and secularism in favor of a singular identity, emphasizing the need for citizens to assert the constitutional republic over a ‘Hindu Rashtra.’
- The article calls for a reassertion of the constitutional principles of a pluralistic and tolerant India.
- Citizens are urged to make choices that align with the values of the Constitution, ensuring a diverse and inclusive nation.
- A collective duty is emphasized in retaining the values that have shaped India’s social democracy for 75 years.
In summary, the article advocates for a return to the constitutional principles that have guided India for 75 years, safeguarding the nation’s pluralism and diversity against the current trend towards a unidimensional cultural and religious identity