The Challenges of Cultural Diversity – CBSE Notes for Class 12 Sociology
• It does not mean inequality but it is the difference in terms of culture, languages, regions, religions, beliefs, customs, races, etc.
• Unity in diversity even though we have different religions, etc. and we are different, we stand together as one, as Indians.
• Diversity in Unity-in spite of belonging to one country each state has its own language, custom, culture, etc.
• A group of people who are together due to infrastructure, resources, facilities.
• Most of the time community identity is ascribed status and you learn to love them.
• There is no choice in selecting all of these and you start loving them and no one can say anything against it.
• It can also b| achieved but it is very individualistic.
• Community identity is universal as it is present everywhere (every religion, country) in terms of mother tongue or culture, values, beliefs, etc.
• Virtue is the good qualities of person, nations love for one’s country, honesty, etc.
• Vice is excess of bad qualities excess of alcohol, drugs, boy/girl friend
• We always downplay one’s vices and emphasize on the virtues.
• When two countries or groups are in conflict with each other, very rarely does one country or group accept they are wrong. Even though either both are wrong or one is wrong.
• We always emphasize on the other persons vices and downplay one’s own vices.
Communities, Nation, Nation State
• A nation is a large community with territorial area, population, administration (L,J, E) and sovereignty (autocracies power)
Colonial Rule, State-Nation
India was a nation state, but India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh (E and W Pakistan) were state nations.
Comprising of the nation state 1947 Partition
In 1947 India became a separate nation state after its division.
Pakistan and Bangladesh were state nations who formed a nation state of Pakistan.
• Pakistan and Bangladesh separated because
1. Administration was difficult.
2. Language was another problem as Pakistan wanted Urdu to be the national language, whereas it was not easy in Bangladesh as its language is Bangla.
• A state is a body that successfully claims a legitimate force in a particular territory (given by Max Weber).
It is difficult to define a nation, each nation may emphasize a few characteristics.
• It is very difficult to draw a distinction between a community and a nation because any community can become a nation but not always.
1. Nation, Multiple States
In todays world we believe in one nation one state.
1. USSR-Union of Soviet Socialist Republic
— It was a nation state but had many countries which had their own culture and state nation since the government in counted, the people were not able to voice their opinions.
– Broke up in 1991
2. Jamaica-Part of West Indies (Caribbean)
— There are more non-Jamaicans than Jamaicans.
— Administration is all done by non-Jamaicans and if they leave they will have to start from scratch.
3. Duel Citizenship of Israeli’s in USA
— US has given citizenship to these Jews only in the US (only if bom and brought up).
No person except them can get duel citizenship.
Policies (India follows both)
1. Policy of Assimilation
— Where everybody decides to follow one norm, one belief and one culture and common value.
— The whole country follows the majority as they are more powerful.
This is for convenience sake and unity of the country.
1 e.g., in India Hindus are majority and there are so many festivals as compared to the festivals of the Christians. Parsis, etc.
2. Policy of Integration
— All people follow national culture or pattern in public life and keep all non-material cultures in private life.
e.g., Jana gana mana is national but Vande Mataram would be non-national.
— Because community identities can act as a basis for nation formation, the already existing states view them as dangerous rivals e.g., Khalistan Sikh community wanted a separate nation.
— Therefore, states tend to favour a single homogenous national identity in order to have unity and togetherness.
— But this does not mean we should suppress the identity of the minority as it can lead to revolts and there will be no unity.
— By suppressing the non-national culture of minorities or smaller sections, it can lead to problems and instead of unity the country will divide.
— Thus the government allows people to maintain cultural differences in order to have peace and harmony in the country.
Overview-Differences existing in Our country
• Our country is the thkd largest in terms of Muslim population (after Indonesia and Pakistan)
• Secularism is practised in India, we allow others to practice, profess and preach their religion. Minorities are given reservations.
• Language. There are 1632 languages in India.
— 18 official languages (Hindi, Gujarati, Marathi, English, Punjabi, Urdu)
— The constitution is in English and all the official documents have to be in one of them (Hindi/English)
— There are a lot of laws and policies but the problem is implementation and practising them.
— There is a law against dowry but people still give and take it without any fear.
— A nation, a state is very important, but a state cannot exist without a nation, they are interdependent.
— India is a good nation state though it has a lot of diversity and problems, but we
live together in peace and harmony due to our tolerance and unity.
• Regionalism is connected with the diverse culture, languages, regions, castes, tribes present in our county.
Linguism helped in strengthening of India’s Unity.
• After independence we decided to follow the same pattern of the British, leading presidencies.
• Bombay, Madras and Calcutta, Princely states people in Madras spoke Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada (different languages under one state).
• The country was divided on the basis of language under Nehru (he was apprehensive earlier, but after thought the decision was good) because of Vallabhai Patel (Home Minister)
• Language is a binding force, would bring about efficient communication, unity, state boards (educational purposes), linguism could spread love for language
Madras Presidency got divided into three states.
— Madras State-Telugu and Tamil (1952-53)
— Kerala State-Malayalam — Mysore State-Kannada
Capital was Mysore and shifted to Karnataka and capital was Bangalore.
• When the Madras state was formed, Telugu people were unhappy as Tamilians were given more important posts and were dominant.
• Thus they rebelled for separate state.
• Potti Sriramulu wanted a separate state (went on hunger strike) for Telugu speaking people.
• After his death, protest continued and the government gave them Andhra Pradesh in 1956.
• The Telegu people had an option whether to stay in the Madras state or shift to Andhra Pradesh.
• 16 proved to be very successful as language is a great binding force but regional differences do arise.
e.g. 1971 Pakistan and Bangladesh
• Due to administration (West Pakistan and East Pakistan) (India was in the middle).
• Urdu was given more importance as compared to Bangla in Bangladesh. Thus they revolted and it led to the formation of Bangladesh in a separate democratic nation.
• The Tamilians and Sinhalas (dominant language, official parliament administration)
• Tamilians wanted to be given equal importance.
• The LTTE was formed which wanted to help the people.
• This led to Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination.
Majority and Minority
• Majority and minority in sociology is connected with religion.
• Minority in any religion are those who are numerically weaker as compared to majorities.
• In India, Hindus are majority class (81%)
1. Inclusive Nationalism
– When all religions work together for one cause benefit of the country, to create unity in diversity.
– It recognises fanality and diversity but in spite of this we come together.
– We try to do away with discrimination and create a democratic set up.
2. Exclusive Nationalism
– When each religion does what in their point of view will benefit the country.
– The best way for the country to be progressive is by including inclusive reasoning in the constitution where all sections of society (including minority) are taken care of.
– The Constituent Assembly tried to include social, political and economic justice when the constitution was drafted.
Features of Minority
1. They are numerically weaker and their needs are not taken care of.
2. They do not have a say in many matters.
3. They have low/less opportunities in comparison to the majority.
4. Minorities are often discriminated against.
5. There is a fear of insecurity and they feel that they are at a disadvantage as they are a smaller group.
6. All minorities have a sense of collective belonging, togetherness and they are always together and protect their rights.
7. They have a sense of loyalty towards their nation.
– Jains, Parsis are communities who are economically strong (businessmen) but they are culturally and socially weak. e.g. Bohras, Vohras,
– Hindu’s are given many holidays but for the festivals of Parsis and Jains there are no holidays.
Minorities and Policies
• In elections it is very easy for the political parties to convert the numerical majority into
• Minorities are at risk and are variable.
• Thus a ‘minority block’ takes place.
• At times, they have to give up their identity to save their position.
• All religions have the freedom to practice, preach and profess their religion.
• Article 29 and 30 are for the protection of the minorities.
Provisions of Article 30
(a) Any religious community can start an educational institution.
(b) All facilities that are given to other majorities should also be given to the minorities.
– No religion should be imposed on a person because it will affect national unity.
– We believe in unity in diversity.
– Every country has minorities, in Europe Christians are majority class whereas Hindus, Sikhs and Jews are minorities.
• Extreme love for your religion, you consider every religion as inferior and subordinate.
• The western meaning of communalism is to do with community which is a group of people doing something in common.
• Communalism is more to do with politics than religion in India because politicians use vote banks in the name of religion. They give seats for religion.
• India is diverse because, whenever there are more people and diversity there is more an issue of communalism.
• Communalism i.e. aggressive political ideology linked with religion. Love for your religion but in a negative way.
• A communalist develops aggressive political identity which condenses every other religion and leads to communal riots.
• Reason for Communal riots are
(1) Political instigation
(2) One community wants revenge on a community or average another community in the past.
(3) To regain lost pride or protect their community.
(4) During riots violence, loss of lives, destruction of poverty and assault, looting, rape take place all around.
Whenever there is a communal riot the government in power must take responsibility and should protect the victims.
• Indian Meaning: All religions should have and be given equal importance and every individual is allowed to freely practice, preach, profess any religion of their choice.
• Western Meaning: Earlier the state was controlled by the church. The word ‘secular’ is used when the state is separate from the church. The church is not allowed to interfere in matters of the state.
• Though secularisation evolved religion is restricted to private domain and not public.
• Secularisation came into being through modernity.
When you consider various view points, related to rationality where you don’t attribute everything to religion allow service to play a role, broadening of mindsets.
• The Indian meaning is a combination of both and opposite of communal because we allow all religions to exist equally.
• One kind of difficulty that exists in our country is the western meaning and Indian meaning of secularism.
• Majority questions the government that giving reservations is unfair.
• Minority demands reservation because they will get out shadowed by majority.
• Other difficulty is that government tries to protect the minority but it is the majority values, festivals, etc. are being followed.
• These controversies are further being aggravated by the interference of political parties.
• In spite of all these problems we are still a secular nation.
• We take care of the minority without upsetting the majority at the same time maintaining peace, tolerance and harmony among communities.
• When we got Independence Nehru said that we are a democratic, secular and sovereign country.
State and Civil Societies
Democracy: Form of government where people have a say and have the right to vote for their leader (Political party) and can use their fundamental rights.
Authoritative: Form of government where people cannot question the government or hold them accountable, all civil rights are curtailed.
The institutions are unable to respond to the needs of the people under authoritative ’government (banks).
Civil Society: Non State, voluntary, private domain, not commercialised, profit is not important. It is an organization which is not commercialised or profit oriented and outside private domain.
Civil societies are those societies/organizations that fight for the rights of people, specially the suppressed classes.
Civil societies keep a watch on the government actions and fight for injustice e.g. Political parties, mass media, NGO’s newspaper, women associations.
• Mass sterilization campaigns were held where indiscriminately people were sterilised.
• Tubectomy (women), vasectomy (men) were done forcibly
• Civil rights were curtailed
• People were put in Jail without a trial
• Civil rights were suspended
• Lower cadre of people who carried out the actions and people were put in jail who spoke against like emergency.
• Many political leaders like Jayaprakash Narayan were put in Jail.
• Indira Gandhi lost election after this.
• After emergency there was uproar in the nation and importance of civil societies went up.
• Healthcare and displacement
Civil Societies work to
1. Keep a watch on government and to see if they are using funds fairly.
2. To see that laws are being implemented.
3. If government is functioning properly, e.g. Right to Information Act
Right to Information Act 2005
When government funds were allotted to villages for construction of roads, building of
– They took it up with the government and looked into it.
– According to this act any person can demand to the government allocation of funds, tax and copy the funds document.
– It is the right of people to demand from the government. The funds have been allocated for different projects.
– This was to do with the government only not with the private sector, people have rights to question the government.
Words That Matter
1. Assimilation: A process of cultural unification and homogenization by which newly entering or subordinate groups lose their distinctive culture and adopt the culture of the dominant majority. Assimilation may be forced or voluntary.
2. Authoritarianism: A system of government that does not derive its legitimacy from the people. Neither democratic nor republican form of government.
3. Civil Society: The sphere of society that lies beyond the family but is not part of either state or market. The arena of voluntary association and organization formed for cultural, social, religious or other non-commercial and non-state collective pursuits.
4. Colonialism: The ideology by which a country seeks to conquer and colonise (forcibly settle, rule over) another. The colony becomes a subordinate part of the coloniser’s country, and is exploited in various ways for the colonizing country’s gain.
5. Communalism: Chauvinism based on religious identity. The belief that religion supersedes all other aspects of a person’s or group’s identity. Usually accompanied by an aggressive and hostile attitude towards persons and groups of other religious (or non-religious) identities.
6. Community: A general term for any distinctive group whose members are connected to each other by consciously recognized commonalities and bonds of kinship, language, culture and so on. Belief in these commonalities is more important than actual proof of their existence.
7. Democracy: A form of government which derives its legitimacy from the people, and relies on explicit popular endorsement through elections or other method of ascertaining the people’s opinion.
8. Diversity (Cultural Diversity): The presence within the larger national, regional or other context of many different kinds of cultural communities such as those defined by language, religion, region, ethnicity and so on. A multiplicity or plurality of identities.
9. Integration: A process of cultural unification whereby cultural distinctions are relegated to the private domain and a common public culture is adopted for all groups. This usually involves the adoption of the dominant culture as the official culture.
10. Nation: A community that believes itself to be a community, based on several shared characteristic such as common language, geographical location, history, religion, race, ethnicity, political aspiration, etc. However, nations may exist without one or more of such characteristics. A nation is comprised of its people, who are the ultimate guarantors of its existence, meaning and powers.
11. Nation-State: A particular type of state, characteristic of the modem world, in which a government has sovereign power within a defined territorial area, and the mass of the population are citizens who know themselves to be part of a single nation.
12. Nationalism: Commitment, usually passionate commitment, to one’s nation and everything related to it. Putting the nation first, being biased in its favour, etc., makes the community distinctive and unique.
13. Pluralism: The existence, within a society of a variety of ethnic, cultural and religious groups.
14. Regionalism: The ideology of commitment to a particular regional identity which could be based on language, ethnicity and other characteristics in addition to geography.
15. Secularism: There are different versions: (a) The doctrine by which the state is kept strictly separate from religion, i.e., separation of church and state’ as in western societies,
(b) The doctrine by which the state does not discriminate between different religions and shows equal respect to all. (c) The popular sense of the antithesis of communalism, i.e., an attitude that is not in favour of or against any religion.
16. Social constructionism: The perspective that emphasizes society over nature in explaining reality. It views social relations, values and interactions-rather than biology or nature-as being decisive in determining the meaning and content of reality.
17. State: An abstract entity consisting of a set of political-legal institutions claiming control over a particular geographical territory and the people living in it. A set of interlinked institutions for maintaining a monopoly over the use of legitimate violence in a specified territorial area. Includes institutions like the legislature, judiciary, executive, the army, policy and administration.