HT Scholarship Programme.
HT Scholarship Programme.

HT Scholarship Programme 2019: Diversity is key to unifying India

The search for 50 of the brightest schoolchildren in the tricity of Chandigarh, Panchkula and Mohali has begun with the Hindustan Times Scholarship Programme 2019 getting underway
By HT Correspondent | Hindustan Times
UPDATED ON NOV 29, 2019 03:35 PM IST

Part 4 of 5 Class 8 winners of HT Scholarship Programme 2018 tell us what factors unify more than 1.3 billion people and how

Pranjal Dhiman

Valley Public School, Panchkula

Secularism bonds us

India is a secular country and doesn’t have any official religion. All of us come from different cultures and have different religions and customs. Despite all these factors, we live together. The reason must be that we are used to it. There is no discrimination between us and we all are treated in an equal manner. We study in the same schools, play and eat together. Our parents and teachers tell us that we shouldn’t make friends on the basis of religion, caste or race. Rather, we should be friends with people with positive qualities and learn to be a better person. In India, everyone has the right to profess, propagate or practice any religion. Everyone is free to go to any shrine to find peace of mind. In the story ‘Hamid Khan’ by SK Pottekkatt, when the author visited Pakistan, he was roaming there and starving of hunger. He entered a small dhaba and the owner of the place asked him whether he would be comfortable eating at a Muslim eatery. The author smiled and said, “If we want to drink or eat good food in India, we feel free to go to a Muslim dhaba.”

Avantika Kulasekar

Saupin’s School, Panchkula

Loyalty towards our nation

India is a vast country and has billions of people living in it. There are people of different caste, creed, language, customs, and religion living together in perfect harmony. India is a home to some of the major religions of the world — Hinduism, Islam, Sikhism, Christianity, Buddhism, Jainism, etc. Some religious elements are accepted by each religion without considering their differences. Some of the epics such as Ramayana and Bhagavad Gita are accepted by all. In the past, India was divided into many kingdoms. Some dynasties such as the Mauryas, Guptas, Delhi Sultanate and the Mughal Empire used ruled here. All these rulers were fighting against each other. The East India Company seized this opportunity and ruled over India for around 100 years. Indians finally learnt the lesson of unity during the freedom struggle. People from all backgrounds fought together and freed the nation from the British rule; and ever since, Indians have always remained unified against external factors. It is our loyalty and commitment to our nation that keeps us unified.

Arshita

Moti Ram Arya Senior Secondary School, Chandigarh

Diversity makes us unique

India is a country rich in heritage and people of all varieties live here. People have different religions, tastes, cultures, languages and geographical conditions. Despite of all these differences, India is one. The diversity and unity makes it stand apart from all the other countries and gives India a respectable identity in the world. The faith of all Indians is the cause of its unification. Our morals, values, principles, ethics and sense of equality are the causes of India’s unity. Our ancestors passed on the teaching that we all have the same soul. Even though we have different bodies, race and colour, internally we are the same. All these teachings form the foundation of our thinking. Every religion teaches the same things, that all are equal and one should respect and love everybody. All religious books such as the Geeta, the Bible, the Quran and Guru Granth Sahib, all talk about positive energy and spirituality. The religions have different customs but all are formed on similar ideas, and that unites us. Hence, the religions might be different, but all these branches are tied up with each other and guarded by the morals we share.

Gurleen Kaur

Chandigarh Baptist School, Chandigarh

Patriotism keeps us together

India is a vast country with various types of communities living together. There are many factors that help in uniting the people of our country. India is a secular state and there is no official religion. People can worship and profess any religion they prefer and no one is forced to practice a particular one. Despite people speaking different languages, all are given equal opportunities without any discrimination.

One has a right to preserve their language, culture and tradition. There is also a political unity in India, which depends on the ruling government in the country. The leaders undertake such initiatives and policies that help in maintaining the unity in the states of the country. India has a large number of communities that live together and there is no racism between them. Everyone is given equal rights and opportunities that they can enjoy. Earlier, discrimination was prevalent because of caste-ism and racism, but it is a new era today and people are changing day-by-day.

Moreover, there is always an emotional bond that connects people, no matter the language or community. Like the armed forces, people are patriotic and can sacrifice their lives for the nation.

Asmi Reddy

Kendriya Vidyalaya, 3BRD, Chandigarh

My class is miniature India

Not too long ago, in the month of July, all the people of our nation were glued to their television sets, yelling ‘Jeetega India!’ And this shows unity in diversity.

From Kashmir to Kanyakumari, from Gujarat to Assam, our country has rich cultural diversity. There is a huge variance in languages, races, regions, religions, attires, foods, creed, genders, beliefs and faiths. We have snowy Himalayan peaks in the north and extensive shoreline in the south. To add more diversity to it, we have a desert too. There is a unique array of sumptuous biryanis, our comfort food is the humble khichdi, but we also have ladoos and rasagullas to satisfy the sweet tooth. My classroom is a miniature India. Nabaneta is from Odisha, Venkat is from Chennai, Gurpreet is a Punjabi, Jeeya is a Gujrati, whereas I am from Telangana. We all love spending time together and appreciate our differences. Even during the British rule, men and women from different backgrounds and ethnicities came together to fight for our freedom. India has more than 1.3 billion people with countless beliefs and backgrounds, myriad rituals, festivals and faiths. But in reality, all these people do many things that are similar, except that they do them in different ways.

Arshiya Mehta

Delhi Public School, Chandigarh

We connect through Rafi, Kishore

India is a vast country with various types of diversities. The entire society is divided by caste, religion, language, race, etc. But with all these diversities we live together as there is a fundamental unity among us. In a world of so many strangers, we Indians stand together as a family. Firstly, there is unity among various religious groups, such as Hindu, Muslim, and Christians. All the religions have common principles of benevolence, honesty, faith in an invisible power and value of life. The fundamental approach to literature, philosophy, tradition and customs is typically Indian. Some of the religious festivals are celebrated all over the country without any consideration of caste or creed. Sports also play a pivotal role in uniting Indians. A cricket match provokes impulses of patriotism and nationhood. It brings the nation together. The physical and geographical barriers are broken by internet. Internet is a platform that brings the people together.

Cinema and mainstream media also contributes in uniting Indians. Every Indian can easily connect to the songs of legends like Kishore Kumar and Rafi. Indian Army means the finest of soldiers standing against enemies. Hindu, Muslim, Sikh and people from every existing religion, caste serve the nation in Indian Army.

Anushka Rai

Gian Jyoti Global School, Mohali

Cricket brings us together

India is a beautiful country with its different languages, cultures and religions. We all are different but every Indian has the same feeling of love and respect towards the nation. Every citizen respects the country. Except patriotism, sports are a major unifying factor of our country. Whenever there is some cricket, badminton or hockey match, all the fans cheer and support for the Indian team and pray that it wins. The law of our country is equalled for ever individual and it does not discriminate between a rich or poor. Everyone has to follow the same law and order and whosoever commits a crime, then that person has to go through the punishment decided by the court.

Also, festivals of all religions are celebrated with equal enthusiasm in India.

Ayra Ali

St Stephens School, Chandigarh

United against discrimination

India derives its name from the river Indus, which finds its origin in the snow-clad Himalayas. Besides being the second most populated country, our country is known for its unity and diversity. Various factors come into play that brings our unification into existence. People stand united by the by the fact that we reside within the boundary of India. The unification of India finds its roots in the independence era when Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel called out on all the local rulers to come forward and take part in the newly found democracy of India. The fact that man is a social animal is no mystery. Every Diwali, people of all religions come together and celebrate the festival. It also reminds me of the fact that I gorge on sweets at my friend’s place on Diwali and treat her with ‘sheermaal’ prepared by my mother on Eid. Our festivals also play a key role in interweaving us together. This brings me to the conclusion that we should stand as firm as a rock against people who attempt to jeopardise our unity by discrimination on the basis of caste, creed, religion and other petty factors.

Gurkirat Singh Sodhi

St Xavier’s Senior Secondary School, Chandigarh

Indians are one big family

In India, people of different religions, origins, beliefs and castes live together as a family. The major factor that keeps us unified are the festivals that we celebrate, such as Diwali, Christmas, Eid or Gurpurb, we celebrate them all with fervour. They are not restricted to any religion and have rather become a tradition. Similarly, cricket is one game that keeps the country together especially when there is a match between India and Pakistan. This match is no less than a war on the playground. Everyone is glued to their televisions; some are even on their knees praying for the team’s victory.

Our movies also unify us. From Kashmir to Kanyakumari, there is hardly anyone who would not be a fan of Shah Rukh Khan or Aamir Khan. Actors coming from different backgrounds have become our idols. We, as a country have seen many tough times such as riots. Despite this, we are one big family and will remain together.

Reeva Narender Sharma

The Gurukul School, Panchkula

Unity is our strength, wealth

India is a perfect example of unity in diversity with 1.3 billion people, more than 1,650 languages and around 4,200 religions. The Constitution of India has played a crucial role in unifying us by providing equal rights to every person in the country. Everyone has a different way of thinking, people come from different parts and speak different languages, but we all stand united because of our bond of brotherhood, love and respect for each other. People of different castes and religions live together with harmony. It is mainly respect towards each other’s beliefs that unite us and our unity is our strength and wealth. We all are also emotionally unified because of our struggle for independence. We know that united we stand and divided we fall and our unity in diversity is the real reason for our prosperity.

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