power of diversity – India The News


India’s new One of the specialties of the Parliament House is that it presents the diversity of the Indian nation in a living form. There was complete absence of this in the old Parliament House. Prime Minister Narendra Modi emphasized on this aspect in the inaugural speech. It has a reason. Diversity is not a jungle of identities for India but is like a continuous flow. This is what makes India an exception in the world. Plurality has not been a reason for panic for us, but a reason for confidence. This confidence was visible in the inauguration of the new Parliament House. While the old Parliament building was being built, the imperialists were battling their own intellectualism in understanding and accepting Indianness.

Colonialism had many dimensions. It was not limited to political slavery. This slavery is visible, so imperialism was synonymous with it. The colonists were working at different levels. India’s spirituality, socio-cultural life and thought-system, all three were on their target. He had neither hesitation nor guilt in doing so. They used to consider us as inferior and themselves as a model of superiority. But the flow of India’s diversity forced them to bow down. The society whose ‘self’ is alive, is never defeated. India is its unique example. Its dominance over its rule, power and wealth did not allow its ‘self’ to be defeated, even confused.
The first census of the country took place in the year 1872. Then H. Waverle, the officer in charge of the census in Bengal, raised a question in the report that what is a Hindu?
There were certain features of the census of the British period. A large number of intellectuals used to participate in that work.

He tried to understand the trends and traditions of the society at subtle levels. Whatever may have been his objective, the specialty of India kept emerging in his analysis. Webherle’s question was important in this context. The census takers used to ask the people what their religion was, their answer was Hindu, but there was a huge difference in their spiritual, socio-cultural life. They were of that mind, intellect, thought that just as there are some characteristics of Christianity or Islam, due to which one is clearly visible as a Christian or a Muslim, Hindus would also have some such characteristics. But it was not so. That’s why he was disappointed, but his curiosity also increased. The question raised in 1872 became stronger in subsequent censuses. In the censuses of 1881 and 1891, two learned census commissioners, Bourdillon and JJ Baines respectively, attempted to find an answer to the same question in their own way, but they themselves remained unsatisfied with their answers. Baines concluded that by excluding or eliminating the others (Islam/Christianity) the rest could be considered Hindu. In 1911, the Census Superintendent of Bengal wrote, looking at the ground reality and both past and present analyses, that ‘all analyzes are incomplete and without any conclusion’. And there is no satisfactory answer to this question (what is a Hindu?).’ The provincial and national reports of the censuses of 1921, 1931 and 1941 continued to debate this question, and in all of them the diversity and mental unity of the Hindus puzzled them. It was Europe’s encounter with Indian reality on the ground.

Locality is important in India’s diversity. Localism is not just geography or boundaries, it is the process by which people define themselves. Those who have lived in uniformity cannot understand this experimentalism. They see in this a rivalry of identities, but in reality the subtle social life is a flow of spiritual consciousness and cultures which form the basis of the gross civilisation. Uniformitarians are afraid of this flow. That’s why they consider their prosperity and achievement in cutting off the cultural consciousness from the locality. Culture and heritage do not allow differences in worship practices to become contradictory. Countless examples of this existed before the Pakistan Movement in the colonial period. The 1921 census report mentions the Dudekala sect in Madras. Its number was 71,612. He had converted to Islam. But they used to keep Hindu names. They did not go to the mosque and worshiped Hindu deities and Muslim saints. Mathia and Kunbi are mentioned in the 1931 census. He too had converted to Islam. But they could not break away from the locality. They followed the Atharvaveda and cremated the dead. In marriage, rituals were performed by Brahmins. In the 1911 Bengal Census Report, O’Malley wrote that even after conversion, Muslims used to worship Kali in their homes. In the National Census Report of the same year, Moloney refers to Nagore, where a procession with the idol of Allah-God took place, and attending seven such processions was considered equivalent to Hajj. Christians used to visit a Kali temple in Calcutta for darshan and make offerings. It was called Firangi Kali Mandir. In 1921, eight hundred and fifty people declared themselves atheists, freethinkers and agnostics. They had immense freedom and equal respect for their life values. In Sindh, the religion of the Kuvachand community had changed. But he did not give up Hindu traditions.

The impact of locality, community and cultural consciousness on diversity makes it positive. This is where the ‘self’ originates. They understood this indigenous feeling as foreign. He kept looking at Hindus in the mirror of diversity and due to the absence of religious authoritarianism, Europe also interviewed Europe in the course of the census with its flexibility to influence other religions.
From the Scepter (Sengol) to all the other patterns/pictures mentioned in the Parliament, it is to underline the same cultural diversity, which the critics believe to be given place to a particular religion. There is a fundamental difference between cultural and religious consciousness. A sense of culture prevents sectarian identity from becoming reactionary and narrow. This cultural consciousness existed before the Pakistan Movement even after the conversion. Culture gives birth to a common mind, a common vision and a common nationality. The new Parliament House has expressed itself.
Rakesh Sinha

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