• Issues Analysis 360o

The panoramic view of our National Culture from the Prism of Indian Constitution

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The word ‘India’ describes our Colonial Past , The word ‘Hindustan’ reveals our geographical location , but the word ‘Bharat’ carries the fragrance of our culture . Article 1 of the Indian Constitution says “ India , that is Bharat . . .” itself testify the root of our country and the fulcrum of our Nationalism . Oxford Dictionary describes culture as “The ideas , customs and social behaviour of a particular group.” There are two aspects of culture : material and non-material .The non-material attribute of culture that is its philosophy , ideals , values are reflected in material aspects .Perhaps , the non-material aspect is the cornerstone of the any culture like mentioned in Mundaka Upanishad that all physical forms of matter are the manifestation of non-physical . The evolution of culture is an interplay between the physical environment and meta-physical ideas .

India is often described as a land of diversity which articulates itself in the form of language , customs , traditions , belief etc but beneath the grab of all these diversities there is an undercurrent of spirituality which has tied all these beads together into a common nation like a ray of light encompassing the whole spectrum of different colours . The constitution of India ; which is the work of myriad seers having deep insight into the history , society and philosophy of this subcontinent , thence , carries the vestiges of our culture and acts as a pole star navigating and guiding through all ills of time . Thus to delve into the Indian culture “the Constitution of India “ could be the best available script .

The Ideal of Universalism : Vasudev Kutumbhakamim

Since time immemorial India was a economic and military might yet we had never ventured into territorial conquest outside the subcontinent . Mighty empires like Mauryan , Kushans , Guptas , Cholas believed in Dhamma Ghosh inspite of military conquest and ruled the whole Asiatic continent spiritually , religiously and philosophically .Scholars like Fahien , Huan-Tsang took Buddhism with them outside .The vestiges of Buddhism and Hinduism can be seen be the whole of South and South East Asia ; Angkor vat – the largest hindu temple is in Cambodia , The monarch of Thailand is Still called as “Ram “ , the Ramleela is still played in Indonesia by the muslim characters .

Sponsored by OECD nation , Angus Maddison , the renowned Economist along with host of various scholars in 2004 published “ the world economy , historical statistics “ . In this they reckoned that for straight 1500 years from first century AD till 1500 AD India has the highest GDP in the world , 23 percent of the world GDP alone , followed by China . Where as USA and UK jointly had a GDP of less than 2 percent .

Inspite of such a military , political and economic giant we never imposed our self onto the neighbouring countries and these values still resonates in the Article 51 of our constitution “ to promote international peace and security “. Moreover the Panchsheel principles of peaceful coexistence are themselves the heritage of our great past .

The notion of Secularism : Sarvo Dharma Sambhava

The Indian version of secularism is not based on tolerance which carries the negative connotation rather it is founded on the bedrock of acceptance . Around sixth century BCE when vedic religion became stiff and impregnated with the rituals , superstition and dogmas , Jainism and Buddhism took birth and appealed for rational thinking , penetrated the reach of religion to the hitherto forbidden strata of society and made the religion simple . Similarly in the medieval time also when the religious practices could not blend with the contemporary society Sikhism and Bhakti Movement yet again revived the religious fervour.

There are innumerable examples of religious acceptance in India like Ashoka the great although embraced Buddhism built caves for Ajivika sect in Barabar Hils of Bihar , Guptas being the follower of vedic religion patronised the Mathura and Sarnath school of Art where the Buddhist sculpture were the most prominent , Caves of Ajanta , the marvellous achievement of Buddhist architecture were built under different rules like Vakatakas , Guptas who were vedic religion followers , Tipu Sultan the muslim ruler of Mysore gifted idol of Hindu god in the Seringpatnam temple .

The birth of several religions on a single soil is the most sterling examples of acceptance and secularism . This ideal is reverberated in the Preamble and Fundamental Right of the Constitution of India . Moreover Supreme Court of India underlined the significance of Secularism by declaring it as the “ Basic feature of our Constitution “ . Even Fundamental duty in Article 51A ask “ to develop scientific temperament and spirit of inquiry “.

Directive Principles and Fundamental Duties : Dharma

Dharma in Indian context does not mean religion rather it means “ Duty “ or “what one ought to do “.The Manusmiriti explicitly see state as an organic being in which different organs like King , people , Brahmanas etc are duty bound and they must deliver their obligations and duties for smooth functioning of the state .These duties attached to different organs of state are enshrined in the Constitution of India in the form of Directive Principles which are to be followed by the government and Fundamental Duties which are supposed to be attached with the citizenry .

Gender Equality

Women in India from the ancient time had shared equal  dias. Women scholars like Gargi , Aditi etc are mentioned in the Rigveda . No other culture has raised women to the level of Goddess as can be seen in Jainism , Buddhism and Hinduism . This heritage had echoed in the constituent assembly while giving Right to Vote to women without any debate unlike Britain and America which endowed this right to women in 1918 and 1920 respectively notwithstanding claiming the oldest democracies . Moreover after the constitutional acceptance of Local Self Government India has now largest democratically elected women representatives .

 What is a Nation ? Nation is not the geographical features , neither it is the people of a country because both changes with time . Nation is a psychological concept its means having belief in the common history and shared culture . It is about living amicably amidst abounding differences , it is general will of a people to be a nation hence the onus of this great culture and esteemed Constitution lies on the shoulder of the citizens of India that is Bharat to uphold these values and ideal .

Misc By - Misc
Posted On - 8/4/2016 11:27:15 AM

Comments 1 comments

Ashutosh shukla 8 months ago

India is the country where the thinking is unity in diversity.i.e. every people is family