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Diversity & its Types in India - Polity NCERT Notes for UPSC

Jan 20, 2023

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People are different from each other in terms of their appearance, regional, cultural and religious terms. The differences include different languages, different rituals etc. This diversity enriches the lives of people of India.

This blogpost will help you understand What is Diversity and its types in India. Read further to give an extra edge to your UPSC preparation

Difference between Diversity and Inequality

DiversityInequality
It means people belonging to different classes, regions, religions etc.It arises when a person doesn’t have the resources and opportunities that are available to other persons.
Example- India is a diverse country where people from different religions lives peacefully.Example- Division of society on basis of caste system. E.g. A potter son is forced to remain a potter.

Diversity in India

  • India is a country of much diversity due to presence of different languages, various types of food, different festivals, different religions etc. 
  • Often, people went in search of new lands, or new places to settle in, or for people to trade with. So their languages, food, music, religions became a mix of the old and the new, and out of this intermixing of cultures, came something new and different. 
  • Thus regions became very diverse because of their unique histories.
  • Similarly diversity also comes about when people adapt their lives to the geographical area in which they live. For example living near the sea is quite different from living in a mountainous area etc.

Also Read:

Food Security in India

Migration: Types, Causes and Consequences

Art and Culture Notes For UPSC

Historical and Geographical factors influencing the diversity of a Region

Case study

Ladakh

  • Geography
    • Ladakh is a desert in the mountains in the east of Jammu and Kashmir. The agriculture is very little as this region does not receive any rain and is covered in snow for a large part of the year.
    • People here keep sheep and goats. The goats in this region are special because they produce pashmina wool.
    • The people in Ladakh carefully collect the wool of the goats and sell this to traders from Kashmir. Pashmina shawls are chiefly woven in Kashmir.
    • It was considered a good trade route as it had many passes through which caravans travelled to Tibet. These caravans carried textiles and spices, raw silk and carpets.
  • Religion: 
    • Buddhism reached Tibet via Ladakh. Ladakh is also known as “Little Tibet.” 
    • Islam was introduced in this region more than four hundred years ago.
  • Ladakh has a very rich oral tradition of songs and poems. Local versions of the Tibetan national epic the Kesar Saga are performed and sung by both Muslims and Buddhists. 

Useful Links for IAS Preparation:

Macroeconomics- Indian Economy Notes: NCERT Notes UPSCElection and Representation- NCERT Notes UPSCCold War: Origin, Causes and Phases- NCERT Notes UPSCPopulation Composition- NCERT Notes UPSC
National Income Accounting- NCERT Notes UPSCFundamental Rights in the Indian Constitution- NCERT Notes UPSCHuman Geography: Nature and Scope- NCERT Notes UPSCBricks, Beads and Bones The Harappan Civilisation- NCERT Notes UPSC

Kerala

  • Geography: It is a state in the southwest corner of India. It is surrounded by the sea on one side and hills on the other. 
  • Economy: A number of spices like pepper, cloves and cardamoms are grown on the hills. It is spices that made this region an attractive place for traders. Jewish and Arab traders were the first to come here. 
  • Religion: 
    • The Apostle of Christ, St. Thomas is believed to have come here nearly 2000 years ago and he is credited with bringing Christianity to India. 
    • Ibn Battuta, who travelled here a little less than seven hundred years ago, wrote a travelogue in which he describes the lives of Muslims and says that they were a highly respected community. 
    • The Portuguese discovered the sea route to India from Europe when Vasco da Gama landed with his ship here. 
    • People in Kerala practice different religions such as Judaism, Islam, Christianity, Hinduism and Buddhism due to such historical influences.
  • Chinese influence: The fishing nets used here look exactly like the Chinese fishing nets and are called cheena-vala. Even the utensil used for frying is called the cheenachatti and it is believed that the word cheen could have come from China. 

While Kerala and Ladakh are quite different in terms of their geographical features but the history of both regions has seen similar cultural influences. Both regions were influenced by Chinese and Arab traders. Thus, history and geography are often tied in the cultural life of a region. 

Also Read: Land Resources and Agriculture of India

Examples of Unity in Diversity in India

  • Participation of women and men from different cultural, religious and regional backgrounds during India’s freedom movement.
  • Songs and symbols that emerged during the freedom struggle serve as a constant reminder of our country's rich tradition of respect for diversity. 
  • Use of the Indian flag as a symbol of protest against the British by people everywhere. 
  • Jawaharlal Nehru in his book the Discovery of India said that Indian unity is not something imposed from the outside but rather, "it was something deeper and within its fold, the widest tolerance of belief and custom was practised and every variety acknowledged and even encouraged." 

Also Read:

World Press Freedom Index

UN Cybercrime Treaty and Freedom of Speech 

Tribals' Contribution to the Freedom Struggle of India

UPSC Essentials: Women Freedom Fighters of India

Interesting Points

  • Nehru coined the phrase, "Unity in Diversity" to describe the country. 
  • India's national anthem, composed by Rabindranath Tagore is another expression of the unity of India.
  • “Jana Gana Mana” was translated by Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore from Bengali to English in February 1919 at Madanapalle in the district of Chittoor.

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