Questions on National Integration and Secularism

1. Why is national integration needed?

National integration is essential for any nation with socio-cultural, religious, linguistic and geographical diversities. And for a country like India, it is still more necessary. India is a very large country. A unique feature of our country is that all the major religions of the world are practiced here. There are more than one thousand languages. Despite all these differences India is one political entity. We have to co-exist with each other peacefully. This is possible only when national integration is realised in true sense of the term.

2. Fill in the blanks:

(a) A nation is a country ......

(b) National integration is the awareness of a ...... amongst the citizens of a country.

(c) This kind of integration is very important in the building of ......

(d) In India all the major religions of the world such as ...... are practiced.

(e) During the British rule India became geographically united, but it was not a ...... and ...... nation.

(f) It was during the freedom movement that the feelings and sentiments of ...... emerged.

(g) During the freedom struggle people belonging to different ...... joined hands to drive out the British power from India.

(h) The Indian National Congress was formed in ......

  1. with a unified socio-economic and political structure
  2. a common identity
  3. a strong and prosperous nation
  4. Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, Sikhism, Jainism and Zoroastrianism
  5. united integrated
  6. nationhood
  7. regions, religions, cultures, communities
  8. 1885

3. Do you think that the Constitution of India lays great emphasis on national integration? How?

Constitution of India lays great emphasis on national integration. Its Preamble includes unity and integrity of the nation as a major objective. It also states that every citizen has the fundamental duty to uphold and protect the unity and integrity of India. It has made provisions for a centralized federation and opted for a strong central government.

4. What is communalism?

Communalism is generated when individuals belonging to one religion develop excessive affinity to their religion and hatred towards other religions. This kind of feeling promotes religious fundamentalism and fanaticism and proves to be dangerous for the unity and integrity of the country.

5. Do you agree that regionalism may be justified? State reasons.

Regionalism may be reasonable if the demands are based on genuine grievances of the regions that have been denied fair shares of projects and industries in the overall structure of development. Those may also be related to the continued neglect of a particular region. In spite of over six decades of planned development, all regions in our country have not been developed in the desired manner.

6. Why do non-Hindi speaking States oppose Hindi as the Official language?

Because most of the people do not know Hindi. However, there are non-Hindi speaking States where Hindi is being promoted. It is necessary that Hindi speaking States also promote non-Hindi languages like Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada, Oriya or Bengali or Assamese in their respective areas.

7. Why is extremism a threat to national integration?

Because these movements use violence, create fear in public life, cause loss of lives of government personnel and people and destroy public property. Mostly the youth participate in such movements. The basic reason for taking up arms by the youth is the continuing state of socio-economic deprivations and exploitation. But the extremist activities have been threat to law and order and peaceful living of the people residing in the affected areas.

8. What is the meaning of secularism?

Secularism implies equality of all religions and religious tolerance. In the state context it means that India does not have an official state religion. The government must not favour or discriminate against any religion. It must treat all religions with equal respect. In the individual context, it means sarva dharma samabhava, equal respect for all religions. Every person has the right to preach, practice and propagate any religion they choose.

9. What are the provisions in the Constitution that are focused on secularism?

The Indian Constitution through its Preamble and particularly through its chapters on Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles has created a secular state based on the principle of equality and non-discrimination.

10. What is the role of a citizen in strengthening India as a secular state?

Every citizen must treat all religions with the same respect as he/she has for his/ her religion. No religion permits individuals to ignore or hate others. If citizens look around themselves, they may find that their friends, classmates, neighbours or nearby residents believe and practice religions that are different from their religion. They belong to various castes. How can they interact with them and be a good friend, classmate or neighbour, if they do not respect their religion and they do not do the same. It is, therefore, essential that all the people develop respect towards one another and practice peaceful co-existence.