In this essay we will discuss about the National Integration in India. After reading this essay you will learn about:- 1. Meaning of National Integration 2. National Integration and India 3. Problems 4. Steps towards National Integration 5. Hindrances 6. Measures.

List of Essays on the National Integration in India

Essay Contents:

  1. Essay on the Meaning of National Integration
  2. Essay on National Integration and India
  3. Essay on the Problems of National Integration in Free India
  4. Essay on the Steps towards National Integration
  5. Essay on Hindrances on the Way of National Integration in India
  6. Essay on the Measures for Promoting National Integration in India

1. Essay on the Meaning of National Integration:

By national integration what is meant is that divisive forces should be contained and national and public interests should be kept above everything else. It is a process which helps in bringing discreet social and cultural groups together. It also helps in developing and evolving some basic values which can help in maintaining social order.

It is also a process which helps in establishing a national authority over regional authorities which may even have different social, cultural and political views. It is something which consciousness and mind and thinking can bring. In the words of Dr. S. Radhakrishnan, “Integration … is a thought which must go into the heads of the people. It is the consciousness which must awaken the people at large.”

Thus, it is both discreet and concrete. It is psychological and educational process which is based on feelings of unity and cohesion among the minds and hearts of the people.

In the words of Prof. Myron Weiner, “National integration implies avoidance of divisive movements that would Balkanise the nation and presence of attitudes throughout the society that give preference to national and public interest as distinct from parochial interests.” In other words national integration aims at developing sense of belongings, a feelings of togetherness and unity.

It means feeling of loyalty to the motherland. National integration can be said to have come when the people have feelings of togetherness and unity on the one hand and desire to build a strong and united country without one owns cultural, social and economic interests on the other. It means the congruence of diversities leading to a unity in which all the varieties and peculiarities are preserved.

2. Essay on National Integration and India:

India became free in 1947 under very peculiar circumstances. In the country there were communal disturbances and hatred among different castes and communities, which British rulers deliberately created to maintain their hold over India.

This policy of divide and rule resulted in disintegration of the nation and partition of the country. An important problem before the nation, therefore, was to forge a sense of national integration among the people of India, so that they forgot that they belonged to any region, caste or creed.

They should begin to realise that they belong to India as a whole. They should begin to feel that communal hatred, casteism were things of the past and that a new era in Indian political scene had begun. But the problem was not so simple.

The memories of the past and the type of the psychology being followed over the decades could not be easily forgotten. Casteism, regionalism and religion, along with language had very deep roots in Indian soil. Therefore, the problems which revolved round national integration were proving heavy weights on the whole political system.

3. Essay on the Problems of National Integration in Free India:

Soon after the partition of the country, the new government was faced with many serious problems, which provided disintegrating forces and those opposed to the growth of national integration on the one hand and those who wanted to see India a weak nation, on the other, an opportunity to play their role.

In India task of national integration became still more difficult because of vastness of the country and the people’s having heterogenous character.

It is difficult to approach them because difficult means of transportation and communication. Their loyalties for local leadership and illiteracy also stands on the way of national integration. India’s diversity has always stood on the way of maintaining of India’s unity because whereas nationalist forces are weak, powers interested in disunity are strong and powerful.

British government had been following for Centuries policy of divide and rule and it is not easy to remove its ill effects and to end the evil effects of policy of communal hatred.

But as political stability came in the country, there was a growing feeling among all sections of society, who were interested in the cause of unity of India, that without national integration India shall neither advance nor see prosperity nor modernity and was doomed to remain a backward nation

4. Essay on the Steps towards National Integration:

It was on 31st August, 1961 that the Lok Sabha passed a Bill about national integration. It provided that all those who promoted enmity or hatred between different religions, could be imprisoned for a period upto three years.

On September 4, 1961 another Act was passed by which it was provided that appeal to religious, racial, communal, caste or linguistic sentiments for electioneering purposes was unconstitutional and one who was found resorting to these, could be disqualified, if elected to a House of Legislature.

Beginning from September 28, 1961, for 4 days central government convened a conference on national integration, which in addition to Prime Minister was attended by some top ranking politicians, academicians, journalists and others. The Conference realised that political parties must follow a code of conduct, if national integration was to be forged.

It was because the parties promoted casteism, regionalism, etc., which stood on the way of national integration, for winning elections.

The Conference, therefore, evolved a code of conduct for political parties which provided that:

…. No political party should act in a manner by which existing differences between various castes, communities or linguistic groups either increased or tensions among these developed.

…. For redress of communal, linguistic and regional grievances, political parties should not resort to agitational methods.

…..No political party should disturb or obstruct meetings of any other political party.

…. The government should not put unnecessary restrictions on the working of political parties, in the name of maintaining law and order.

…. Political power should not be used to promote party ends.

Since language plays a big role in promoting national integration, it was proposed by the Conference that education should be transferred from state to the concurrent list.

The Conference set up National Integration Council with the object of drawing a code of conduct for general public, students and the press. It could also suggest measures for the redressal of grievances of minorities and dealing with the problem of fasts undertaken for political purposes.

The composition the Council being:

Prime Minister – Chairman

Union Home Minister – Member

Chief Ministers of State – Member

Chairman of University Grants Commission – Member

Leaders of Political Parties -7 Members

Educationists – 2 Members

Commissioner for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes – Member

Nominees of the Prime Minister – 7 Members

The Council made useful recommendations for national integration. It proposed setting up of two committees; one to deal with the problem of communalism and the other with separation. These were, however, not taken very seriously. Between 1961 and 1968 several communal riots broke out in the country and there were outbursts of violence on the basis of religion, region and caste.

Fissiparous tendencies and disintegrating forces became active and tried to get roots. It was felt that in case these were not timely checked, there was every danger that these might become of serious magnitude.

Second National Integration Conference:

In order to again ponder over the problem with all seriousness Second National Conference was held in Srinagar between June 20 to 22, 1968. The size of the Conference was increased by 20 more members, by adding representatives of business and trade unions.

The Conference viewed with considerable seriousness the growing power of disintegrating forces and appealed to all political parties as well as the press to discourage communal ill will as well as check the rise of forces which encouraged casteism, regionalism and communalism.

The press was appealed not to give publicity to such news. It also set up three different committees, one each dealing with regionalism, communalism and linguism. These committees which submitted their report at different times were of the view that intelligence net work should be spread which should watch as well as inform well in advance about the activities of disintegrating forces, so that these could be combated with strength.

The committees were of the view that such newspapers which promoted communal hatred should be arrested and the people who exploited religion, caste, region or language for their selfish ends should be given deterrent punishments. Thereafter several other committees were set up to look into the problem. But unfortunately nothing concrete came out of that.

Towards Insani Biradri:

But when all efforts were being made to bring national integration communal riots broke out in Ahmedabad. These being serious in nature attracted the attention of the nation. On 16th October, 1969, Standing Committee of National Integration Council appealed to all political parties and the press that they should launch a campaign against communal hatred.

It was of the view that Jana Sangh’s proposal of Indianisation of Muslims and exchange of population with Pakistan, as a solution to Hindu-Muslim problem was not healthy. It was sure to create communal disharmony and hatred. The nation had hardly recovered from the shocks of Ahmedabad riots when communal riots broke out at Bhiwandi, in May 1970. Again stress was laid on mass campaign to end communalism.

A National Convention against communalism was held with Late Jai Prakash Narayan, as its President. The convention was opposed to para military organisations like R.S.S. The All India Congress Committee at its June 1970 session passed a resolution stressing that in our secular society para military organisations like R.S.S. and Jamait-e-Islami had no place.

The resolution also said that the government should seriously consider whether such organisations should be allowed to continuously pollute Indian society with communal violence and hatred. It was also of the view that if in a particular area riots continued for 12 hours immediate officers should be held responsible for that.

If duration of riots was 24 hours in that case not only Inspector General of Police but both the Home Secretary and Chief Secretary should also be held responsible. State government should be held responsible if violence continued for a period of 48 hours and if during this period of 48 hours violence is not contained then central government should be exclusively held responsible for it.

In August 1970, a non-official organisation known as Insani Biradri came into being. The formation of organisation grew out of the visit of Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan to India. Jai Prakash Narayan became its President and Shiekh Muhammad Abdullah, its Vice-president.

The main idea of this organisation was to check forces of communal and national disunity and to bring about unity and understanding among all communities. Membership of this organisation was thrown open to all communities and people possessing any political ideology.

But from the very beginning Insani Biradri faced serious problems. As many as thirty-seven delegates felt that it had been so formed that communalism would get respectability and refuge. The Biradri was also unwilling to declare some parties as communal and thus to exclude them from the organisation.

In the opinion of these delegates these communal parties will incite communalism in the garb of Biradri. When no solution could be found out, these delegates left the organisation.

Another voluntary organisation Khudai Khidmat Gar on the pattern of Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan’s Red Shirt Band was also founded with the same object of combating violence. The aim of this organisation also was to rehabilitate riot affected people and to prevent communal violence.

Sampradayikta Virodhi Committee:

In order to check communal hatred and promote national integration in 1970, Mrs. Subhadra Joshi founded All India Sampradayikta Virodhi Committee. The Committee met from 11th to 13th December 1970. It was of the view that communal riots in the country were engineered by organised forces of communalism like the R.S.S., etc.

The aim of these forces was to disrupt secular democratic character of the country and in its place encourage communal fascist forces. It also demanded that those belonging to these parties should be^excluded from National Integration Council. It suggested ban on para military organisations. The Committee suggested the Muslims of India to flow in the main stream of national life and give up separatist tendencies.

National Integration Council Meet Again:

But communal forces in the country being too strong could undo the work of Sampradayikta Virodhi Committee when communal violence broke out both in 1971 and 1972 in some parts of the country. In 1973, there were riots in Delhi in which several houses were burnt and properties looted. This necessitated the Council to meet again in January, 1974.

The Committee recommended that:

(a) Bodies like Shiv Sena, RSS and Jamait-e-Islami, etc., should be banned,

(b) The recommendations about checking commercial violence should be implemented both in letter and spirit,

(c) Reading material to be used in educational institutions should be free from communal and anti-democratic over tones,

(d) Efforts should be made to expose and foil the efforts of communalists to disrupt and mislead working classes,

(e) All discriminations against minorities in all walks of life should be ended without delay.

In 1976, National Integration Council again met to ensure that there were no communal violences in the country.

The Council was of the view that:

(1) Efforts should be made to end the hold of obstructionists and extremist elements from the society.

(2) Every effort should be made to eliminate prejudices and suspicions about minority communities.

(3) The people belonging to various professions and faiths should be encouraged to mix freely.

(4) Mass media should be used to highlight the activities of those which brought different faiths together.

(5) Prime Minister’s 20-point programme should be sincerely implemented.

(6) Political parties should be asked to keep their hands off from the students.

(7) Demands of the students should be speedily looked into.

(8) Students of minority community should be given an opportunity to Join institutions of repute.

(9) Minority communities should set up voluntary organisations to advise young boys and girls of their communities about job opportunities.

(10) Those who are found discriminating against minority communities should be strictly dealt with.

(11) The guilty should be promptly punished and all cases of communal violence should be speedily investigated.

(12) Punitive fines in riot stricken areas should be imposed.

(13) Arrangements should be made for providing legal aid to weaker sections of society.

(14) Immediate arrangements should be made for the rehabilitation of communal riot victims.

(15) Communal situation in every state should be periodically reviewed.

(16) There should be total development of all regions, so that regionalism is effectively checked.

(17) Steps taken by the government to check communalism and regionalism should be given wide publicity.

In 1977, state of emergency was lifted and elections were held in the country as a result of which Janata government came to power. During its 29 months years stay in office, there were serious communal riots, in some parts of the country, including Aligarh, which drew the attention of the people. It set up a Minority Commission and wanted to set up a Human Rights Commission as well.

It, however, could not do much in this regards because of their short stay in government and in-fighting among the constituents which formed government.

National Integration Council (1980):

It was again in 1980 that communal violence broke out in the country. In August of that year trouble started on 2nd day at Moradabad and quickly spread to Delhi, Ahmedabad, Sambal Pur, Aligarh and in some other towns of U.P. In order to control the situation curfew had to be imposed in riot affected towns where army had to be called in.

In these riots several lives were lost, in addition to loss of property. It was feared that there was hand of some foreign powers behind these communal violences.

The Council was headed by the Prime Minister but its membership was increased. But some opposition parties, however, initially did not agree to its membership. In November, 1980 the Council met to discuss the problem, of communal disharmony, unrest in north-eastern region and need for a new education system.

The Council felt that for communal imbalances removal of social and regional imbalances was necessary. It was of the opinion that educational system should be overhauled to promote national integration. A standing committee should be set up to keep a watch on the activities of communal bodies. Two more committees were set up: one each to look after and suggest improvement in educational system and the other to find out the causes of frequent outbreak of communal riots.

It decided that integration committees should be set up at district level, with which prominent local leaders should be associated. Minorities should be given due representation in police force and the victims of communal riots should be soon rehabilitated. The committees were finally setup in March 1981 one each under the Chairmanship of then Home Minister Giani Zail Singh and Education Minister S.B. Chavan.

In 1985, National Integration Council was reconstituted. It recommended that all such processions which can create some problems should be carefully watched and their routes restricted. Adequate representation should also be given to minorities in services. In 1986, National Integration Council set up a 21 member committee to function on continuing basis. The Committee was assigned the responsibility of formulating both short as well as long term proposals for maintaining communal harmony and preserving national integrity.

On 3.2.1990, National Front government again reconstituted the Council, which had a strength of 101 members. In it representation was given to women, academicians, journalists and industry, in addition to politicians. It was to be presided over by the Prime Minister V.P. Singh. But Council did not prove effective firstly it had unwieldy size and secondly, the government did not last long.

In November 1991, P.V. Narsimha Rao government convened a meeting of reviewed National Integration Council (NIC) meeting in the background of Ram Janam Bhumi-Babri Masjid dispute, but no useful purpose was served by that.

5. Essay on Hindrances on the Way of National Integration in India:

The problem therefore, arises as to why communal violences break out from time to time in spite of the fact that no party, individual or organisation preaches that. Moreover, in the past when China and Pakistan invaded India, whole nation, the people belonging to all castes, communities, religions and regions stood like a solid rock to check aggressions.

They forgot their differences in every manner. There was a scene of perfect national integration. Some of the important causes which stand on the way of national integration have already been discussed. What need be remembered is that it is a multi-dimensional problem Centre-state relations on the one hand and mutual State relations on the other create problems which result in regionalism, religionism and communalism of serious magnitude.

These have political dimension. Inter State tensions over distribution of water resources and territories too have political dimension. There is also problem of uneven distribution of available resources among the states by the Centre, it is alleged.

Similarly the problem has economic dimension because there are no well developed and scientific economic perspectives for the minorities. Mixed economy and unhealthy economic competition too strains national integration process. India’s heterogeneous character in socio-cultural field is largely responsible for hindering the whole process of national integration.

6. Essay on the Measures for Promoting National Integration in India:

If it is desired that communal violence should be checked and national integration promoted for that it is very essential that anti-communal and secular organisations should be constantly on the watch. All what has been happening till now is that such committees and councils come to the front only when there are disturbances.

These become active, make certain valuable suggestions, and thereafter become inactive and come to the front again only when violence again breaks out. These bodies should regularly and periodically meet and review the situation.

Then another drawback has been that whenever, violence breaks out, the ruling parties blame the opposition parties and feel satisfied that these have done their duty and washed off their hands before the people. This perhaps is no solution to the problem. It should be investigated thoroughly as to what were the causes which provided these forces an opportunity exploit the situation. Efforts should be made to plug these as well.

Still another remedy could be that ruling parties should try to end regional imbalances. In addition, the grievances of minority communities should be promptly redressed before it is too late. Regional imbalances, if any, should be immediately removed before these become the grievances.

It may also be examined whether for national integration big or small states are more conducive and effective.

A Minority Commission has already been set up to recommend measures and steps for improving the conditions of minorities and to the way in which communal disturbances should be checked. This Commission should be given real powers and its recommendations should also be seriously taken into consideration and implemented.

The strength of the National Integration Council should be so fixed that view point of all those who are concerned with the problems are presented but at the same time it does not become unwieldy or merely a talking Council. It is hoped that recommendations of this Council will receive government’s full attention, particularly when it is headed by Prime Minister.

Concerted and continued efforts, both on long and short-term basis, could alone check malady and end this national ill. For this sincere efforts, both on the part of governmental and non-governmental agencies are urgently needed.

Intelligence network should be strengthened so that the government comes to know about evil plans of disintegrating forces well in time.

Inter-state and Centre-state relation should not be allowed to get strained. As soon as these arise immediate steps should be taken to settle these.

Regional imbalances should be checked and industrial growth should be used as a method of checking these imbalances.

Educational system should be so re-structured that from the very beginning importance of the national integration is fully appreciated in this regard.

It is very important that in this regard policy of communal appeasement and electoral gains and losses should not be allowed to play their part. Those who pay lip sympathy to the cause of national integration should be exposed to the masses.

Organisations should be set up with the aim of spreading composite culture of India.

Different cultural streams should be allowed to meaningfully inter act with each other.

Mass media should be used for promoting the process of national integration.

Such religious rituals which injure the feelings of any other community should not be allowed to practice. Intermingling of cultures should be given all encouragement.

Economic inequalities among various sections of society should be removed at the earliest.

The things should be so arranged that minorities begin to flow in the main national stream without any reservation.

National policies once framed and finalised should be made applicable to all communities without any consideration for personal law of the communities, so that there is no grudge in any way.

Powers should be centralised to the extent possible taking needs of national unity and integrity into consideration.

The governments both at the centre as well in the state should effectively portray their secular character.

Efforts should be made to end sense of insecurity among the minorities. No culture should be forced on the other. Those who in bulge forcible religious conversions should be immediately punished.

Regional language literature should be scanned and material conducive for national integration should be wisely and meaningfully used.

Youth and students of different regions should be provided facilities to frequently mix with each other.

These steps can go a long way in promoting national integration but real integration will come only when the people develop a sense of patriotism and love for the nation, when there is end of feelings of distrust for each other and all flow unitedly and as a body in national main stream. The very approach of the people, particularly those belonging to minority communities will have to be changed.