19 Jul A ‘tolerant’ India can be majoritarian(The Hindu, GS-1, Art and Culture)
Context:- Pew Research Center report which was based on 30,000 people mainly on religious identity, nationalism and tolerance in Indian society. This survey was conducted in 17 languages.
Findings of Survey:-
- “it is very important to be Hindu to be ‘truly’ Indian”, 64% of Hindus think.
- “it is very important to speak Hindi to be truly Indian”,80% among them say.
- 80% of surveyed people think that respecting other religions is a very important part of their own religious identity.
- 91% of surveyed people assert that they are free to practice their religion.
- 77% of Muslims believe in the Hindus way of life of karma.
- when it comes to interreligious marriages the table turns and which assert that 67% of Hindus and 80% of Muslims believe it is important to stop women of their communities from marrying outside;
- The survey depicts that 86% of Hindus have their close friends come mainly or entirely from their religion
- 95% of Muslims (and Sikhs) said that they “are very proud to be Indian”
What is Culture?
- Culture is a way of life which includes from food to dance from literature to architecture.
What is Multiculturalism and Pluralism:-
- On one hand Multiculturalism refers to the coexistence of diverse religious, ethnic or cultural groups within a society and on the other cultural pluralism refers to a phenomenon where minority groups participate fully in the dominant society, but while maintaining their cultural differences.
What are the feature of Multiculturalism:-
- Composite culture
- Culture beyond compartments
- Constant dialogue
- Mutual change of Ideas
- Interrogation of settled belief.
Why compartmentalization in Indian society?
- Absence of solid state civil society engagements in pedagogy.
- Segregation at the workplace based on caste, religion etc.
- Lack of interpersonal relationships in society.
- Lack of intercultural relations.
- Politics based on religion.
There is a stark difference between south India and north India according to Pew Research:-
In several aspects south differs from the north not by a small, but a substantial margin to the rest of India but huge in which are like superiority of one’s own religion, having friends and neighbors from other religions, preventing inter-religious marriages, the importance of being a Hindu and speaking Hindi to be a true Indian, prohibition of beef.
Success of multiculturalism in India some argue that it is there but some confront. We have communities of Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, Christians, Jains, Buddhists, Parsis etc. that have melted well and enhanced the progress of India. India is one of the most diverse countries in the world in terms of cultural, religious and linguistic diversity etc. This diversity follows mainly from length and breath across the country. There is always a challenge for a nation to strike a balance between unity and diversity or managing unity in such diverse socio-cultural situations. In India pluralism describes the reality of cultural diversity and It is an attempt to create a society in which the best of all inputs continue to integrate. It also allows for many different groupings but does not try to impose a uniform status on all of them. But at the same time multiculturalism means showing respect and tolerance to other cultures and faith. It also says that all minority values must have equal status to those of the majority. Our constitution also provides fundamental rights for the preservation of diversity.
What is Skyboxification of American life:-
- According to The American philosopher Michael J. Sandel, There is a “skyboxification of American life” because of rising extreme inequalities of capitalism in which the affluent classes and people of poor means have no connection at all and they “live and work and shop and play in different places” and their “children go to different schools.
- But this is not true for India as compartmentalization is mainly based on Caste, religion, language and which further manifest into rich and poor.
What is the way forward:-
- The way forward for the fear of other social groups, especially minorities is the increased interaction among them in a variety of public and private settings.
- For examples:- Despite anti-Muslim sentiments ,there is a big difference in positive attitudes towards other social/religious groups when members of those groups are personally known in United States and West Europe. Even there this much higher Anti-Muslim sentiments much higher numbers than India are willing to accept Muslims as neighbors.
- Majoritarianism accompanied by mere acceptance of minority communities as non-interacting enclaves is the death of democracy so interaction is to the core of the society.
What are the salient features of Indian society:-
- It can be defined as hereditary endogamous group with a common name, a common traditional occupation, a common culture, relatively rigid in matters of mobility, a distinctiveness of status and forming a single homogenous community.
Segmental division of society:-
- Division of society means social stratification which is largely based on caste. In a general sense Membership to a caste group is acquired by birth, on the basis of which people are ranked in relative to other caste groups.
Civil and religious disabilities:-
- These consist of restrictions based on contact, dress, speech, rituals etc which are placed on every caste group. It was done in order to maintain purity of specific caste groups so as to maintain hierarchy. For Example, lower caste groups had no access to wells, they were restricted from entering temples etc.
- Members of a particular caste will marry within their caste only. Inter-caste marriages are strictly prohibited. However the phenomenon of inter-caste marriage is increasing in urban areas.
- It is the practice of ostracizing a group by segregating them from the mainstream by social custom. Untouchability was a corollary of the caste system, wherein the untouchables (those belonging to the lowest caste groups) were deemed impure and polluted.
- Manual scavenging eventually became a caste-based occupation, which involves the removal of untreated human excreta from bucket toilets or pit latrines, according to mahatma gandhi it is one of the forms of violence.
Plutus IAS Current Affair Team Member