South Asian societies are woven not around the state, but around their plural cultures and plural identities- UPSC Essay

It is true that South Asian societies(Society) is woven on the basis of multiple cultures and multiple identities, but since the 1950s and 1960s (that is, decades of freedom or independence), South Asia has at least seen modernity The arrival of the country. In terms of structure and aspirations. For example, the country drafted a constitution, made sincere efforts to establish the rule of law, and made progress in the areas of economic development and modernization. Although culture and identity continue to play a fundamental role, it is incorrect to say that South Asian countries have nothing to do with society. People’s lives are affected by the state, government, constitution, rule of law, public institutions, etc.

These South Asian societies have a complete system of government, police, and armed forces that can not only help run the system and protect them from external aggression but also maintain internal law and order. Society is generally free to practice its cultural traditions and maintain its characteristics, but these must also remain within the scope of the constitution. To be fair, this is a two-way process that weaves society in South Asia, with culture and identity on the one hand, and the country on the other.

In other words, it cannot be denied that South Asian societies are starting and developing, and culture and identity have greatly helped South Asian countries to unite, but this does not mean that they are sufficient for modern, just, fair, and modern democracy. And a progressive society. In the absence of an effective country (such as in Afghanistan or even Pakistan), different factions of people with the same or different cultures and identities often clash and hinder the development of modern countries. The country requires the people to follow the principles of “mutual coexistence”, “live and live”, “tolerance and cooperation”, and “peace and friendship”. These societies witnessed a moment of suspicion and threats to other seemingly different and competing cultures.

The identities and opinions of the majority and the powerful, especially in front of minorities and disadvantaged groups. This trend leads to fear, conflict, social tension, riots, violence and exploitation. Politicians and political parties take advantage of this diversity of culture and identity, which is not conducive to the development, peace and progress of South Asian countries. However, the constitution, the common national spirit and ideals, the rule of law, administration and government, and the infrastructure network maintained by the state link various cultures and identities together.

The concept of nation and society.

People create society and nation. However, society and the country are composed of their history and culture, and have a common purpose. A nation-state is defined as a territory that contains a political community organized by the government. Encyclopedia Britannica defines the state as follows: a state is a political organization of a society, or a political institution, or more strictly speaking, a government institution. The state is a form of interpersonal communication, which is different from other social groups in terms of purpose, order and safety.

Its method, law and its scope of application, its territory, jurisdiction or geographic scope; finally its sovereignty. The society is made up of individuals connected with the culture coexisting with history. Identity is very important for the different communities that make up a society, and can often become a binding force that makes up a country. If the country is represented by the government, it can be understood in an understatement: “The government is the name we give us (a society or a community) to choose to do things together.” But in a pluralistic or pluralistic society, ” The concept of “choosing together” has its own limitations.

People cherish their own culture, identity, and interests, and hope to put themselves and their communities above others not only in terms of social economic scale, but also in terms of power structure. This is the cause of pressure, tension and conflict between society and the country. The trust and trust in the country depends on the country’s skills and fairness in arbitrating between different cultures, identities and interests. It is still a difficult task.

South Asia and South Asia Association

South Asia or South Asia is the southern part of the Asian continent, including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. South Asia is bordered by the Indian Ocean, to the south by the Indian Ocean, and West Asia, Central Asia, East Asia and Southeast Asia are bordered by land (clockwise from the west). The characteristics of South Asian society are homogeneity and diversity. Pakistan was established on the basis of the “two-state” theory, which believes that Islam and Hinduism are not suitable for living together.

However, at the time of division, unlike Pakistan’s desire to establish a theocracy within a democratic framework, India decided to establish a democratic, secular and pluralistic country with multiple religions and communities. Today, although Nepal is primarily a Hindu country, it has adopted a democratic system, as is Buddhist Bhutan. Although Bangladesh is inhabited by Muslims, it has given more value to the formation of its Bangladeshi identity, and it is still a democratic country. Sri Lanka is mainly Sinhalese, including Tamil Hindus and Muslim minorities. However, Sri Lanka is also governed by a democratic system.

South Asian society is undoubtedly ancient, and its history and culture have undergone hundreds of years of evolution and transformation. These societies have long been characterized by conflict and assimilation, and have developed different religions, customs, traditions, languages ​​and costumes, institutions and systems. These factors are vital to the organization and operation of these societies. However, after independence, they all became constitutional democratic countries through their own government and administrative management systems. The legislative, executive and judicial branches of the country influence the lives of the people and their institutions in excellent ways.

The origin of the state in South Asia and the culture and identity in social theatre

In the modern sense, the state has its origin in South Asia. These countries cannot be compared with the nation-states and modern countries born after the Enlightenment and the Renaissance in Europe and other Western countries. There are many reasons for this matter. First of all, freedom and sovereignty in South Asia have recently emerged. Second, unlike the Catholics and Protestants in Europe, the southern states of India are socially and culturally diverse.

These two distinctive features of South Asian countries distinguish them from modern Western countries because they have not yet established a government and democratic system that can fully meet the needs and aspirations of their people. Second, its social, economic and cultural diversity characterized by stratification, discrimination, inequality, and elements of the feudal system hinder the democratic process and influential life, not the life of the country.

Therefore, it can probably be said that the impact of the state on the lives of people in South Asia is not as widespread as we see in modern Western countries. It is worth noting that social reality and culture, including poverty, equality, customs, traditions and patriarchal ideology, have a greater impact on people’s lives than on the country and its systems. Western countries enjoy the trust and belief of their people more than South Asian countries, because South Asian society is home to many poor, malnourished, and illiterate countries. These countries are slow or inefficient to provide comfort and repair for these problems. . The state is usually represented by the “elite” and powerful people in society.

The state is usually marked by corruption, nepotism, dynasty or inherited power, rather than equal opportunity, justice, elites and talent. The states of South Asia are still developing. At the same time, different groups, societies and communities with different identities and interests participate in democratic elections. In some countries, they have been disturbed by military coups and dictatorships, instead of pleasing the essence of politicians and being taken away by propaganda and populism. And when elections return to the seat of power, they are inadequate to meet people’s aspirations for prosperity, well-being, security and dignity. The connection is more united.

Diversity created by South Asian societies and nations

The demographic and cultural characteristics of South Asia are very diverse. From a religious point of view, there are Hindus, Muslims (Shia and Sunni), Buddhists, Jainas, Sikhs and Christians. From the perspective of history and anthropology, there are different groups, namely Aryans, Divines, etc. At the regional level, the division between urban and rural areas and the development differences between the areas closer to and far from the capital is also like this. The capital is one of the most obvious divisions in the South. The languages ​​and scripts of Asian countries vary greatly.

Nonetheless, South Asian countries have developed into sovereign states and are united through their diverse identities and related adjustments and adaptations. South Asia covers an area of ​​about 5.2 million square kilometers, accounting for 11.71% of the Asian continent and 3.5% of the world’s land area. The population of South Asia is about 1.891 billion, accounting for about a quarter of the world’s population. It is the most populous and most densely populated geographic region in the world.

Overall, it accounts for 39.49% of the Asian population and more than 24% of the world’s population, and it is inhabited by all kinds of people. South Asia is the world’s largest population of Hindu, Jaina and Sikhs. It only accounts for 98.47% of the world’s Hindus population and 90.5% of the world’s Sikhs. It is also the region with the largest Muslim population in the Asia-Pacific region, accounting for one-third of the world’s Muslim population, as well as more than 35 million Christians and 25 million Buddhists.

The role of history and culture in the creation of South Asian societies As mentioned above, these societies are not intertwined around “countries”, but their identities stem from their history and culture and their understanding of “good life”. From the social continuum. For example, in India, Durga, Sraswati and Laxmi are considered the mothers of Shakti (power), Gyana (knowledge) and Dhana (wealth), respectively. This tradition automatically leads to respect for women.

The Hindu tradition worships trees, rivers and animals, which instills elements of love and respect for water, flora and fauna, and sometimes this tradition saves these natural resources more than the law. There are countless examples in other cultures and religions, among which the values ​​and virtues include honesty (Musalan Imayan in Islam), integrity, truth, and the right way of life (the eight ways of Buddhism) respect for other lives Ways and mutual respect coexist with Ja Naism.

They drive society in their daily lives. Hinduism’s belief in “Karma and Dharma” defines the belief system and social attitudes. These things are the foundation of social bonds, change and progress. But this is only one aspect of the story. However, cultural traditions and identities can be distorted and used to politicize and divide society.

The impact of culture and identity on South Asian societies

As mentioned above, South Asian societies vary in demographics, beliefs, cultures and traditions. Obviously, this diversity seems to be an obstacle to building a prosperous, just and peaceful society. But history shows that over the years, various ethnic communities in South Asia have learned to coexist peacefully through assimilation and interdependence. History also shows that these communities fought for hegemony and hegemony, especially in ancient times and the Middle Ages.

Some emperors such as Asoka, Chandragupta, SherShah and Akbar acted as unifiers through their military power and benevolent policies, while such as Olang Some emperors of Aurangzeb were at least religiously biased and unfair. Therefore, we find that history sometimes unifies and merges these societies, and sometimes divides. Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism and Ja thatism are great religions.

On the one hand, these societies have certain values ​​and virtues, and on the other hand they have customs and traditions. These religions are great unifiers in this regard, and often push these societies to coexist with each other. These different cultures and identities are in the primacy at different stages of history. However, the primacy of one culture cannot obliterate other cultures and identities. There are cases of assimilation and cross-cultural communication. Sufism, the art of dhara and the Ganges-Jamuni Tehjeeb are famous examples of cultural assimilation. The spread of Buddhism to other countries outside India, such as China and Sri Lanka, has a permanent imprint in these societies.

Towards Pluralism and Multiculturalism

However, in the pluralistic and pluralistic society of South Asia, it is difficult to build a country without paying attention to its cultural diversity and identity issues. Countries are slowly and gradually mobilizing people towards the common dream of prosperity and peace and sustainable development. Good governance, the development of institutions and socio-economic infrastructure, as well as the operation and checks and balances of legislative, executive and judicial powers are the common aspirations of all South Asian countries

These dreams and ambitions unite people, and states increasingly find themselves obligated to fulfill people’s wishes: in addition to health programs, they should also resist external aggression, conduct proper surveillance, and create business convenience. Asian countries. If South Asian societies aspire to development, change and progress, then this can only be done on the basis of a modern country based on pluralism and multiculturalism, secularism and mutual coexistence, tolerance and mutual respect. These countries have large populations, dense populations, different beliefs, cultures and characteristics, and have obvious social stratification structures with “structural discrimination” elements.


In recent decades, the dramatic global development is the emergence and tremendous influence of many often aggressive political and religious positions. In Hinduism, Islamic Pakistan and Sri Lankan Buddhism, the interaction between religion and politics requires a multidisciplinary perspective. Society is composed of complex socio-political and religious factors. Without understanding the very complex political and religious connections, we cannot understand the conflicts in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and many other parts of the world.

Most traditional methods seem to give oversimplified explanations, including positive and negative explanations. Recent developments in religious politics often contradict traditional assumptions and explanations. In theory, this means a limited understanding of the confusion between political and religious development.

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