India has been trying its best to resolve its social conflicts through accommodation and good governance and realise a more prosperous and inclusive vision of the country, Vice President Hamid Ansari said today.
Addressing a lecture on "Challenges of Global Governance in the 21st century" organised by the Prague Security Studies Institute (PSSI), Ansari who is on a three day official visit to Czech Republic said, "accommodation of diversity has been consciously incorporated as a distinctive feature of the Indian state."
The Indian approach to multi-culturalism is to aspire towards a form of citizenship that is marked neither by a universalism generated by complete homogenisation, nor by particularism of self-identical and closed communities, Ansari said.
"The constant effort of our polity, through its democratic churning, has been to address societal conflict through accommodation and good governance and realise the vision of an India that is more prosperous, more inclusive, more accommodative and more confident of its ability to resolve complex social issues," he said.
The accommodation of diversity and acceptance of multiple identities is the most important aspect of the Indian society, Ansari added.
"We have been fortunate in implementing it due to our civilisational heritage and innate capacity for synthesis."
In the words of a distinguished academic, 'the Indian Constitution was well ahead of its time not only in recognising diversities but also in providing for representation of the collectivities in the formal democratic structures', Ansari said.
He said, the "special provisions for guarantees or affirmative action in eight broad categories – caste, class, tribe, backwardness, religion, region, sex and language – is evidence of this approach for securing justice and ensuring cultural autonomy in a composite culture within a framework of a quasi-federal structure.
It implies that a standardised image of an India cannot be constructed.
Rapid economic and human development has raised new issues of identity and integration. Living in isolation is not an option in the era of globalisation, there are, however, many ways of living together. Integration is necessary and desirable, assimilation is neither desirable nor practical, he said.
"Throughout our history, we have seen identities being built on a series of inclusions and exclusions reflective of ground realities. The challenge for us in the future, as in the past, would be to maintain a balance in favour of inclusions."