Understanding Diversity

NCERT Solution

Draw up a list of the different festivals celebrated in your locality. Which of these celebrations are shared by members of different regional and religious communities?

Answer: Different festivals which are celebrated in my locality are; Holi, Diwali, Eid, Christmas, Rath Yatra, Chhath, Guru Parb, etc. Holi and Diwali are Hindu festivals which are celebrated all over India. In my locality, my Muslim and Christian friends also participate in these festivals. Similarly, Hindus and Sikhs also participate in Christmas and Eid. I have seen most of my Hindu friends wearing the Santa Clause cap during Christmas. Rath Yatra is mainly celebrated in Orissa. But in my locality, when people from Orissa take out the procession; everyone from the neighbourhood participate in that. Chhath is mainly celebrated in Bihar and Eastern UP. But in my locality, most of the people throng the venue of Chhath Puja.

What do you think living in India with its rich heritage of diversity adds to your life?

Answer: I am living in a locality which is truly cosmopolitan. People from almost all parts of India live here. This is like a mini India. I get to understand about festivals, eating habits and cultures of every part of my country. This has made my life more interesting. This has also taught me to develop respect for diverse cultures.

Do you think the term "unity in diversity" is an appropriate term to describe India? What do you think Nehru is trying to say about Indian unity in the sentence quoted above from his book The Discovery of India?

Answer: I think the term “unity in diversity” is an appropriate term to describe India. In his book The Discovery of India Jawaharlal Nehru says 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."

Nehru meant to say that unity in India was not imposed by any outside force. The Indian unity had very deep roots. It developed because of hundreds of years of practice of tolerance of different beliefs and customs. India had always welcomed and assimilated diverse cultures. We have soaked different sets of beliefs since ancient times.

Underline the line in the poem sung after the Jallianwala Bagh massacre, which according to you, reflects India's essential unity.

Answer: In my view, the following line reflects India’s essential unity: “The blood of Hindus and Muslims flows together today.”

From the history books, we know that it was the day of Baisakhi when people had gathered in the Jalianwala Bagh to mark the celebrations. People from all faiths were present in that crowd. When the firing took, followers of different religions exhibited unity even in death.

Choose another region in India and do a similar study of the historical and geographical factors that influence the diversity found there. Are these historical and geographical factors connected to each other? How?

Answer: Let us take the example of New Delhi. This city has been the centre of power struggle for most parts of the last 900 years. The Muslim rule first began in this city around 1200 AD. They brought new architecture, food and clothes with them. The period of Delhi Sultans ended around 1500 AD. This was the period when Mughal rule began in India. The Mughal rule continued till the British became powerful in India. So, the Muslim rulers ruled over a major part of India for more than 500 years.

The influence of Muslim rulers can be seen in many aspects of our daily life. Most of the popular food items came through them. Paratha, halwa, and most of the non-vegetarian foods came through them. In day to day use of Hindi, we use many Arabic words; like kalam (pen), kanoon (law), akhbar (newspaper), aaina (mirror), etc. Salwar and Kurta; which are very popular dresses, came from through the Muslim rulers.

Let us now talk about the influence of the British rule in India. Today, many analysts proudly say that India has a sizeable number of English speaking people. This could happen because of over 200 years of British rule. Trousers, shirts, suits, skirts, etc. are very popular dresses in India. This also shows the British influence. In many modern homes, you will find people using forks and knives while eating. This also shows the British influence.


What is diversity?

Answer: Difference among people on the basis of religion, language, eating habits, etc. is called diversity.

What is inequality?

Answer: Differences because of income level and because of social status come under inequality.

What are the benefits of diversity?

Answer: Diversity gives many benefits in our life. Diversity adds variety to the way we live. We learn to understand and respect different types of culture because of diversity. We learn to think from different angles because of diversity. Had there been no diversity, it could have been a boring life for us.

Which are the two main factors of diversity?

Answer: Geography and history are the two main factors of diversity.

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