The obstacles to national unity Racial Inequality, Social Inequality, Religious inequality… etc (1)Regionalism/Separatism (ii) Linguism (iii) Casteism and (iv) communalism. (i) Regionalism/Separatism: Regionalism or Separatism is the most advance obstacle in the way of National Unity and development. Above all regionalism and separatism are threatening to balkanize the country. Aggressive regionalism has gravely undermined the feeling of unity of the people. It creates a parochial outlook and narrow-mindedness.
It is primarily a socio economic problem, related to the removal of the obstacles in the development of the people according to their genius and culture. The extremely uneven economic development of the different regions of India has created tensions and jealousy between the states as to which should get priority in the matter of new projects and industries. These tensions have their origin in genuine grievances of the regions and states that have been denied fair shares of projects and industries in the overall structure of development.
The only way to do away with this imbalance in the development is to reduce and eliminate these disparities gradually. The importance of regional balance in economic development and social security as the positive factors for promoting national unity as well as in integration. Therefore, the rapid development of economically backward regions in any state should be given priority in national and state plans at least to the extent that a minimum level of development is reached for all states within a framed period.
While this problem is not only an economic one, there is no doubt that a rapid and balanced economic development calculated to wipe out regional disparities would go a long way towards promoting national unity. India’s unity in the midst of diversity was stressed. (ii) Linguism: India is a multi lingual country. The language controversy started with “Hindi” being given the status of the official language of the Indian union. The people of the south revolted against it and threatened to go out of the Union if Hindi was imposed upon them.
The constitution of India was amended to meet their demand. The plea of the south is that recognition of Hindi as the official language will be implication and in effect create conditions for the domination of one linguistic group over all others. The language issue is very sensitive one. We must not forget how passions were aroused on minor issues concerning reorganization of states on the linguistic basis. The linguistic fanaticism is had, but it has got to be tamed with love, understanding and accommodation not by adopting rigid attitudes and postures.
Some solution to the problem which may be acceptable to all linguistic groups must be solved and evolved. Imposition of any language by force will only worsen the situation accordingly. (iii)Casteism : Casteism is another evil that stands in the way of complete national unity. The most shameful feature of the caste system is the existence untouchability, practiced against the people of the Scheduled Castes. The social oppression to which the people belonging to Scheduled Castes are subjected is one of the blackest spot on the fair name of India.
Our constitution abolished untouchability and untouchability offences Act was passed in 1955, making the practice of untouchability a panel offence. But this practice still persists in our society in several shapes and forms but coming down in number games. When such a vast section of our population is forced to line in such horrible conditions of virtual “apartheid,” one can very well imagine how ironic and meaningless the talk of national unity must sound to the so called untouchables.
A hard struggle lies ahead for those who seek to integrate these poor and unfortunate masses into the body of Indian society. The ultimate solution of the pernicious and inhuman problem of easteism lies in the carrying out of the radical agrarian reforms in the interests of the peasantry, rapid industrialization of both the urban and rural areas and spread of modern scientific education. (iv) Communalism: It is the most serious problem, that needs a permanent solution.
There have been communal riots in the country before and even after the partition of India. It is a poison that has deep roots in our policy. India cannot make any headway in achieving the goal of national unity if communalism is allowed to raise its head again and again without any control. It will need a long and sustained effort to eradicate the evil of communalism. It would be wishful thinking to suppose that pious resolutions of the existing government of India will restore communal amity.
It is essential to strike against the forces that sustain the poisonous tree of communalism. Apart from removing all misgivings among the minority community regarding their language, religion and culture, a law should be enacted to ban all propaganda that fosters the spread of communalism and also to provide for severe penalties for publication or dissemination in any manner, of false reports calculated to rouse communal passion for the time being.
In the course of a long history, people of different races, religions and languages made their own contribution to the building up of India. But in spite of this diversity, India had always had a vasic unity and a peculiar and distinctive identity. Even though the achievement of political unity and freedom have confirmed this unity, various fissiparous and disruptive tendencies, such as regionalism, linguism, casteism and communalism, tends to disrupt the solidarity of the people. These disruptive tendencies have to be controlled and countered.
While certain group loyalties on a religious and linguistic basis may continue, these should be subordinated to the national interest. Lastly, the need of the hour is to take all possible measures in all seriousness to eliminate the obstacles that come in the way. If this is neglected or not done, the consequences may be disastrous. Though efforts to remove the obstacles have succeeded in a certain measure, much more is required to be done. “Unity is unique but Integrity to common”.