Role of Individual in National Integration Essay
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At various stages of India’s history since the Independence, the nation has faced various challenges to its integration both from external as well as internal forces. While the threats from external forces have been successfully thwarted by our armed forces, for the threat from within it is the citizens who need to play the most vital role because any injury from inside is most fatal than the external.
For a country like India, having multi-ethnic population following different religions, speaking different languages and having variety of cultural values, it is always an easy ground for the miscreants and anti-national elements to incite communal passions among the innocent citizens that lead to ethnic clashes resulting in loss of lives and property.
Apart from the visible consequences, such disharmony burdens the national exchequer because the government has to spend much for relief and rehabilitation of the affected people, which otherwise could have been utilized for developmental works. Further, the seeds of disharmony and violence create mutual distrust among various communities and like a computer virus it tries to shatter the very root of integration.
The best example is the recent exodus of a large number of people of the north-east from other parts of India after being threatened about retaliation in the wake of recent disturbances in some parts of Assam.
While one anticipates more responsible and pro-active role from the government as well as the media in preventing such situations, we as individual citizens cannot shrug off our own duty and responsibility. One essential perspective is the change in the attitude and approach of the individuals as community consists of individuals and individual’s approach has its bearing on the collective approach. Since communal hatred is born in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men where the fight must begin against communal passions. This fight is more intellectual and psychological than physical. To fight against such passion, one needs to understand the factors that lead to growth of communal feelings. If a person has a feeling that he is being discriminated against for his specific ethnic identity, it is likely to create poisons of communalism in him. So, as responsible citizens each individual should discharge his duty without fear or favour.
No person should be treated with bias or prejudice for his or her ethnic identity. Individual’s attitude and action should not make any one feel the sense discrimination on the grounds of ethnic identity. Secondly, as has been seen in case of recent exodus of the north-easterners from other parts, it was mainly prompted by rumours spread through SMS. So individuals should be more vigilant in spreading such rumours which are mostly baseless. What has been observed recently is that there are nearly 15 lakhs north-easterners living in other parts of the country and of them only about 10 thousand rushed back to their home states, which shows that it was a panic spread by certain vested interests to destabilize the normalcy. As individuals one should fight back such rumours.
Thirdly, there are many instances when in a riot torn area a person belonging to one community is saved by the people of different community. As individuals one should spread such news through media, internet and other resources so that instead of negative aspects, the messages of fraternity are conveyed to the people to help the mutual trust building exercise among the people. It will contribute to the creation of that sadbhavna which is required today to combat communalism and defeat the forces trying to destabilize our national integration.