[Solved] Do we have cultural pockets of small India all over the nation? Elaborate with examples(UPSC GS-1 mains 2019)

A nation is a stable community of people, formed on the basis of a common language, territory, history, ethnicity, or psychological make-up manifested in a common culture. While the idea of small India all over the nation highlights the presence of different and diverse cultures of country. Hence we have cultural pockets of small India all over nation.

 Different cultures in the nation:

  • The state of Jammu and Kashmir have cultural pockets of Kashmir and Ladakh. The state of Uttar Pradesh has the people speaking Khari boli, Braj, Awadhi, Urdu, thus depicting cultural pockets of small India.
  • The north eastern states have different cultural pockets based upon tribes, language, practices, tradition. Similarly there are various states based upon languages like Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Kerala depicting cultural pockets of small India.
  • Himachal Pradesh has Buddhist and Hindus. We have several tribes, castes living together who tend to practice their own traditions.
  • We have many religions in the parts of our country with people believing in different faiths.
  • The Marwaris, Sindhis, Parsis, Christians, Muslims, Sikhs, state people living in different parts of the country. Hence cultural pockets of small India i.e. different cultures present all over the nation.

 Different nations in the cultures:

  • At the same time we have nations in the cultural pockets of small India. The various communities which lived in the various states form stable and sustainable lifestyle, hence depicting nations.
  • The Khasis, Garo, jaintia tribes are a community formed on basis of common culture. The states likeAndhra, Punjab, Gujarat have a stable community based upon common language.
  • The people of North eastern states have common ethnicity. The people of Telangana have common psychological make-up based upon backwardness of state. The Gorkhas have same similar psychological makeup.
  • Hence there are multiple nations in the culture of India.

 India has the cultural pockets of small India all over the nation:

 When we say that India is a nation of great cultural diversity, we mean that there are many different types of social groups and communities living here. These are communities defined by cultural markers such as language, religion, sect, race or caste.

 • Linguistic diversity: Languages spoken in India belong to several language families, the major ones being the Indo-languages spoken by 75% of Indians and the Dravidian languages spoken by 20% of Indians.

 • Racial diversity: 1931 census classified India’s racial diversity in the following groups- The Negrito, the Proto-Australoid, the Mongoloid, the Mediterranean, the Western

 Brachycephals and the Nordic. Representatives of all the three major races of the world, namely Caucasoid, Mongoloid, and Negroid, are found in the country.

 • Caste diversity: India is a country of castes. The term caste has been used to refer to both Varna as well as jati. Varna is the four-fold division of society according to functional differentiation. Thus, the four varnas include Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas and Shudras and an outcaste group.

 • Geographical diversity: Spanning across an area of 3.28 million square kilometer, India is a vast country with great diversity of physical features like dry deserts, evergreen forests, lofty mountains, perennial and non-perennial river systems, long coasts and fertile plains.

 • Religious diversity: India is a land of multiple religions. Apart from the tribal societies, many of whom still live in the pre-religious state of animism and magic, the Indian population consists of the Hindus (82.41%), Muslims (11.6%), Christians (2.32%), Sikhs (1.99%), Buddhists (0.77%) and Jains (0.41%).

Metropolitan areas represent a culture of their own which is entirely different from each other and can be seen in the banter between Delhi and Mumbai. But they are well diverse within themselves as well depending upon the time and place. The Ganpati Utsav and those who celebrate it, form a cultural pocket within Mumbai for ten days. It applies to other places as well. In Delhi, a cultural pocket is formed by the political, defence personnel and the patriotic citizens around the Independence Day celebrations.

Multi Storey housing societies in urban areas are also an example of cultural pockets. Diverse people live in the same building exchanging food habits, traditions, indegenous culture and they celebrate all festivals together as if they are a big joint family. Same applies to multinational organisations and corporate offices as well where workers represent the diversity of India.

Higher educational institutes like universities and colleges provide us with the same scenario. Students from every corner of the nation irrespective of their hometowns, race, caste, class or any other differences sit and study in the same classroom and take part in extracurricular activities and college festivals together.

It is very clear to us that India has uncountable cultural pockets all over the nation with different set of values and outlooks towards life enriching Indian cultural heritage and validating the fact that India is indeed one of the Cultural Superpowers of the world.

 • Festivals: So many festivals each with its unique identity and history, no country in the world would be celebrating so many festivals and that too together.

 • Sports and Cinema: These are followed by millions in the country, thus, acting as a binding force across the length and breadth of India.

 Reasons for India having the cultural pockets of small India all over the nation: • India has seen many kingdoms and Empiresin the past. These include the Rajputs, Mauryan, Dravidians, Bengalis, Marathas, Mughals and many more. Each of those has some culture imbibed in today’s India.

 • Intermingling of different religions, their customs, traditions culture which happened as a result of coming of different invaders to India especially from west Asia.

 • The infusion of different values from the east and the west which later got impetus from the establishment of British rule in India.

 • The message and different sermons preached by social reformers and messengers of peace from different religions helped in the development of composite culture in India and the development of a feeling of oneness.

 Reasons for pockets

 • Ghettoisation in cities has led to geographical isolation of particular communities which practice unique cultures

 • Relative isolation of tribes

 • Linguistic homogeneity in particular geographical areas ex: Tamil nadu

 • Gated communities and large apartment complexes has created caste and class pockets with cultural reinforcement

 Despite the diversity in terms of race, religion, Language, caste and  culture India is still a strong nation tied together with integration and unity in both politico geographic and cultural backgrounds. But concentration of this diversity in pockets may pose a threat as relative homogeneity within creates and strengthens stereotypes. There is a need to address ghettoization and promote diversity in schools and sensitization through government measures like Ek Bharat Shresht Bharat.

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